Big day for local athletes in Snoqualmie Railroad Days footrace

Railroad Days men’s 5K winner Jesse Stevick and 10K women’s winner Claudia Copeland start their races. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Railroad Days men’s 5K winner Jesse Stevick and 10K women’s winner Claudia Copeland start their races.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

It was a great morning for one local running club as they swept the titles in the 10k race at the Snoqualmie Days run in Snoqualmie.

Competitors representing the Seattle-based Club Northwest team won both the men’s and women’s races, part of a threesome of runs which also included a 5k and kids’ race.

The 10k men’s winner was Seattle resident Mark Mandi. Mandi clocked a time of 31:23 to beat out Snoqualmie resident—and race organizer—Sean Sundwall by seven seconds. Sundwall was the top Valley finisher in the 10k with a time of 31:30.

Mandi was able to stay focused despite Sundwall’s best efforts.

“I told myself to be patient and to stay tough,” Mandi said. “Sean was starting to pick up the pace and I was like ‘I don’t know if I could hang,’ but I just persevered.”

Fellow Club Northwest runner Claudia Copeland took the 10k women’s race in a time of 35:23. Copeland, from Olympia, was pleased with her efforts.

“I felt pretty good, especially at the beginning of the race. I’m happy with it, (it was) my first time running this race,” Copeland said.

In the shorter race, Olympia’s Jesse Stevick took the crown with a winning time of 15:46. Stevick, like the 10k women’s winner Copeland, was running the race for the first time, and indicated it was because of how well run the event is.

“I knew that it was going to be well-run because Sean (Sundwall), from Club Northwest, he (pays) a lot of attention to detail,” Stevick said.

Woodinville resident Erica Pitman took the women’s 5k with a time of 17:40. Fall City resident Dominick Canady was the top local finisher in the 5k; he clocked a time of 18:39 which was good for eighth place in the race.

The children’s 1k race was won by North Bend soon-to-be sixth grader Conner Drake. Drake, who will be attending Twin Falls Middle School this fall, had to work a little harder to get the victory. “(It was) very challenging at the end because I had a bad cramp, and it was actually kind of fun,” Drake said.

Nearly 1,000 runners competed on the flat and fast layout which utilized a number of streets in and around downtown Snoqualmie, including Railroad Avenue, Park Street, and Mill Pond Road. Kids’ 1k runners stayed exclusively on Railroad Avenue for their entire run. Sundwall said this course appealed to all different skill levels.

“This has been a favorite of recreational runners as well as elite runners,” he said.

The majority of competitors came from Washington state, but there were several out-of-state competitors, coming from as far away as Chicago, Washington, DC, and Hilo, Hawaii, to participate.

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