Plateau runner takes on Boston Marathon

Bonney Lake resident Jesse Rodriguez has long had an affinity for running and the countless miles finally carried her to the biggest stage. On Monday, April 18, she was in the field for the 120th Boston Marathon.

Jesse Rodriguez is sent off to the Boston Marathon by her students at Chinook Elementary in Auburn.

Bonney Lake resident Jesse Rodriguez has long had an affinity for running and the countless miles finally carried her to the biggest stage. On Monday, April 18, she was in the field for the 120th Boston Marathon.

Rodriguez, who serves students as a counselor at Auburn’s Chinook Elementary School, said running in Boston was something of a new goal.

She was in a pace group about three or four years ago and some of her peers told her she could work toward qualifying for the event.

“I thought, ‘I must be going way too fast,'” she said, adding that she qualified for the Marathon about 18 months ago.

While her aspirations are recent, Rodriguez’s penchant for running is not. She credits her older sister, Stacey Churchill, for suggesting they compete in a marathon together when both were young adults. But motherhood scuttled those plans.

Rodriguez said their parents helped her realize her longtime goal when they set her up with a training program, Fleet Feet Sports, in Bonney Lake. She enjoyed the experience enough that she now serves as a coach for the store.

“It’s just been a fantastic journey,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve met some really wonderful people of all ages – all walks of life – who have this same kind of crazy addiction.”

That training put her in position to run with Churchill in the Marine Corps Marathon four years ago in Washington, D.C. Rodriguez said her sister, who lives in Virginia, elected not to continue running marathons after that, but will attend the Boston Marathon. Rodriguez said her husband and parents, who are traveling from Colorado, and some friends will be there, as well. The group plans to stay two days after the race to do some sightseeing.

Rodriguez has done plenty of that lately. She celebrated her 50th birthday by running a 50-kilometer race at scenic Deception Pass.

“It was beautiful,” she said, adding that she logged 40 to 50 miles per week in preparation for Boston.

But the allure of racing is about more than admiring Pacific Northwest landmarks.

“I think there’s a huge sense of camaraderie in local running communities,” Rodriguez said. “You form these really close friendships because you just end up talking and talking and talking.”

She also feels the chemistry developed from those relationships is different than in other sports.

“I think it’s a nice sport because you’re really only competing against yourself,” Rodriguez said. “It tends to be a little happier, I think, than team sports where there’s a whole win-win thing. If you tend to be a competitive person then you’re always trying to mostly beat yourself and your own time.”

That mentality applied to the Boston Marathon. Rodriguez had a goal of running the 26-mile, 385-yard course in 3 hours, 45 minutes (she completed it in 3 hours and 54 minutes), but had said in advance she would not place too much focus on her time.

“Whatever happens is going to be fine,” she said, the week before the race. “I’ve never run a course that’s quite like Boston because it’s a slow downhill and then like 3 miles of solid uphill. I’m not quite sure what that will feel like, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”

More in News

New utility included in Enumclaw budget; final vote set for Nov. 27

Significant progress has been made on crafting a 2018 Enumclaw budget, a document that could forever change the way the city collects and disperses certain funds. The plan now under way would see creation of a stormwater utility probably by August of the coming year.

Proposed recycling center sparks environmental fears

A proposed material processing facility outside of Enumclaw has some local conservationists worried about how it may affect the Green River and other natural environments. “The location of this, next to this natural area, just is not right. It doesn’t make sense to us at all, for a variety of reasons,” said Bernie McKinney, president of the Green River Coalition, a non-profit preservationist group.

Mobile Impaired Driving Unit hitting the streets this holiday weekend

The MIDU is a self-contained 36 foot motorhome that has been retrofitted as a mobile DUI processing center and incident command post.

Two Enumclaw volunteers honored for work at library

Two members of the Enumclaw Friends of the Library were honored during the recent Friends’ Day, an annual celebration of King County Library System volunteers.

Abigail Hill, 19, is crowned Miss Washington by the 2017 title winner, Alex Carlson-Helo. Photo courtesy Jerry and Lois Photography
Local Miss Washington prepares for national stage

That’s right — Enumclaw is competing in Miss U.S.A. Abigail Hill, the city’s newest star, was recently crowned Miss Washington , clearing the way for her to compete nationally in the spring.

Beyond the Borders now travels from Sumner to Bonney Lake

Come December, it’ll be easier for youth, seniors, people with disabilities or low-income to travel between Sumner and Bonney Lake.

Early start to Crystal ski season

The outdoor season has officially greeted those heading uphill, with snow deep enough to enjoy.

Suspect faces possible ‘third strike’ after alleged car chase, kidnapping

A suspect with a long criminal history finds himself in “third strike” jeopardy, the result of an alleged robbery in Enumclaw and ensuing car chase out of town.

Why now is a good time for a flu shot | Public Health Insider

With the holidays drawing near, many of us look forward to travel or seeing family and friends. And just as our schedules get busier, it’s also the time of year when the flu starts to circulate. We turned to Libby Page, manager of our immunizations program, to get the scoop on flu vaccine.

Election 2017: Change in Enumclaw; Buckley mayor race close

The 2017 general election is over, and although the results are still two weeks from being certified, many candidates are in the clear to take up their elected positions come winter.

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.