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Sorry ’Bout That half marathon turns 10

| January 26, 2023 12:00 AM

Sixty-five runners, ranging in age from 11 to 68, took off from the Mission Valley Aquatics Center Saturday morning for the 10th running of the Sorry ‘Bout That half marathon and team relay.

“That’s a little below average,” says run organizer Lou Brenner.

The sun was shining and snow had largely vanished from the course, which took participants up Polson Hill on the bike path to North Reservoir Rd., across to Back Road, downhill to 7th Ave., east to the bike path and back uphill to the Aquatic Center.

“A few ask, ‘am I almost done?’” said Nicci Kamarainen, who directed runners off 7th and onto the bike path. “I say ‘no, sorry ’bout that.’”

Jason Delany topped the men’s category (and posted the best overall time) at 1:18:57, followed by Drew Galahan with 1:21:16 and Austin Allen at 1:25:26. Rollerblader Pat Lake came in at 1:25 but – due to his footwear – was excluded from the winners’ circle.

Brenner proclaims repeat winner Delaney “the King of Sorry ’Bout That,” describing him as “the man who runs not for a distance or a time, but for the sake of The Run itself.”

Third-place men’s finisher Allen is the only runner to compete in all 10 Sorry ’Bout That races. He’s never finished lower than fifth and has posted one overall win.

“Even more important, he always wears a costume and he’s always is smiling,” said Brenner, who gave Allen a framed award commemorating his efforts.

Elizabeth Wasserman topped the female runners with 1:27:10, followed by Morgan Delaney with 1:45:38 and Jenni Brown, 1:48:10. Two Donkeys and a Unicorn won the Team Relay with 1:44:15.

Brenner takes a light-hearted view of the contest (although he did note that its 10th anniversary “is like a midlife crisis – I’m not sure where the time went”).

In comparing the race to playwright Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” he writes:

“Things like start times and distance lose meaning as runners wearing absurd and often cumbersome outfits are rewarded for this irrational behavior, receiving a 30 seconds head start. The aid stations take on a dream-like reality creating a surreal environment in the otherwise barren wasteland of Reservoir Road. Weird things happen, Elvis Presley appears, seemingly out of nowhere, as runners churn on threw a midwinter abyss …” on their way to an elusive finish line.

“The act of running itself is even put to questions as a man is seen rollerblading into the coveted top three. Is this allowed? Will this count? No one really knows.”

For a complete rundown of results, head to Polson Running’s Facebook page.

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These pals were unapologetically strolling the Sorry Bout That route on Saturday. (Kristi Niemeyer/Leader)

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This Sorry Bout That runner was so undaunted Saturday's half marathon that she took time out to perform the splits. (Kristi Niemeyer/Leader)

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One of the front runners in the Sorry Bout That marathon, help Saturday in Polson. (Kristi Niemeyer/Leader)