RICHLAND -- Chuck Engle won Sunday's Tri-Cities Marathon, finishing the 26.2-mile course that ran through all three cities and finishing at the Shilo Inn in Richland with a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 51.2 seconds.
But if you thought that was his best race, you're wrong.
Engle won the Hoover Dam Marathon near Las Vegas on Saturday.
That wasn't his best race either. It was getting from Las Vegas to the Tri-Cities that may have been his best performance of the weekend.
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"As soon as the race was over at Hoover Dam at 11:30 a.m., I had to take the shuttle back to Bally's where I was staying, check out of the hotel, and make my 12:30 p.m. flight at McCarron Airport to Portland," said Engle, who lives in Coos Bay, Ore.
"I looked at the lady at the counter and told her I had to make that flight," he said. "They were calling my name. I made the flight, then had to drive from Portland to the Tri-Cities. I barely made the registration."
Engle -- who has competed in 32 marathons during this calendar year, winning 26 of them -- said the running is the easy part.
"It's the logistics, getting to the races, that's the hard part," he said.
But Engle got to Richland for the start, even though he hadn't been able to recover correctly after the Las Vegas race.
"The nightmare of the race today was I didn't have time to eat anything yesterday until I got to Portland," he said. "The plane was sold out of meals."
The woman sitting next to him worked for the airline, and she had a small sandwich that she gave him.
"She could tell I was pale," he said. "I was sitting there cramped up in the corner."
Engle, who has run 262 marathons, thought he might have a chance at the course record, which is 2:32.
"At the halfway point, I was at 1:17," he said. "I caught the lead runner at mile 4 or 5, and I was putting in 5:40 miles. I was feeling good. The last three or four miles, though, I was gassed out."
Kjell Schioberg of Moscow, Idaho, was second overall with a 2:52:24.3, while James Richman of Spokane was third at 2:54:58.7.
Georgeta Gruescu of Medina was the top women's finisher with a 3:01.27.8, while Stephanie Neil of Belfair was second at 3:27.49.0, and Portland's Susie Woodward was third at 3:31:07.08.
Race director Mike Vaughn said that 28 runners met the qualifying time for their age groups for next spring's Boston Marathon.
That's includes five Mid-Columbians: Richland's Ritchie Jenson and Mark Painter, Kennewick's J.J. Coats and Artiseo Negrette, and Prosser's Kevin Gustafson.
Nearly 300 runners competed in either the marathon or a relay portion of the event.