The inaugural Vancouver USA Marathon is hopefully just the first of many to help revitalize the downtown core, at least that’s the wish of one Uptown Village merchant.
Tony Curtis is owner of Current Home Technologies, a custom home electronics storefront near the corner of 23rd and Main Street in Vancouver.
On a Father’s Day morning that waxed and waned between shades of gray and levels of mist, Curtis was out to cheer the runners who made their way past his business. He was joined by other business owners and dozens of volunteers who did the same.
As participants made their way through a 10-plus block of Uptown Village, they were greeted with an unofficial water stand blasting inspirational music, as well as a smile, clapping, and words of encouragement from Curtis and his Beagle, Roxy.
“We wanted to give people some music, pump ‘em up,” said Curtis, as “The Final Countdown” blared out of a makeshift DJ station on the sidewalk. “We’re at mile 15 and a marathon isn’t an easy thing to do. So we just wanted to be out here and support the runners.”
The music ranged from the fitting, “I can see clearly now, the rain has gone…,” to the ironic “Life in the fast lane…,” which played even as a group of runners was still 11 miles from the finish in Esther Short Park more than 3 hours into the race.
“We spent a lot of time trying to find some good, upbeat music to get in people’s head, keep ‘em moving,” said Curtis, waving to participants as they continued on their way.
It was an inspirational scene on every level: from those who organized the race and volunteered to those like Curtis who did their part to help the runners endure.
Many runners stopped by for water, some kept going but shouted words of thanks, and some took a brief timeout to chat with Curtis and give Roxy a pet. Then they were on their way, hopefully, for what will be the first of many marathons to spotlight the city.
“It can only be good,” said Curtis. “Let’s get people back down here and revitalize Main Street. There’s a lot going on down here in Clark County that I don’t really think people really recognize; come out to downtown and uptown and check it out.”
Paul Valencia of The Columbian provided coverage of the race, in which Clark County locals captured the men’s and women’s titles:
Cody Barton of Ridgefield is the first winner of the Vancouver USA Marathon in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 37 minutes, 40 seconds. Lauren Breihof of Vancouver wins women’s race in 2:54:10 unofficially.”