‘Marathon Man’ makes Silver State 20th win of year | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Marathon Man’ makes Silver State 20th win of year

Dave Price

CARSON CITY – To a baseball pitcher, reaching the 20-win plateau in any given season is always reason to celebrate. On Sunday, Chuck Engle became a 20-marathon winner in 2006 by running his way to a gold medal at the 30th annual Silver State Marathon in Washoe Valley.

But for the 35-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, there was no need to celebrate the victory. After all, it was his 35th marathon so far this year, and he was simply happy to be at Bowers Mansion Regional Park.

“I’m running a marathon every weekend and I’ve been blessed,” said Engle, who bills himself as “Marathon Junkie” on his Web site, chuckengle.com. “God has been good to me. I’ve been focused and I’ve been able to run well consistently.”

Engle led virtually all the way through the 26.2-mile loop through Washoe Valley and finished in a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds under weather conditions that were ideal for August.

He was chased to the finish by long-time running friend Bryan Smith, 44, of Thibodaux, La., who finished second in 2:48:21.

“He pretty much pulled away from the start,” Smith said. “I was back there, and he knew it. He knows I finish strong, so that motivated and pushed him.”

The first woman to finish was Megan Curtis of Highland, Calif., in 3:49:09, and Perry Pownall of San Francisco was second in 3:52:48. The top local finisher was Zephyr Cove’s George Farmer, who finished 33rd overall in a time of 4:00:54.

Engle’s winning time was the fastest at Silver State since Nick Bingham ran 2:42:44 in 1997.

Smith, who has run 11 marathons already this year, was pleased with his performance on Sunday. It was especially impressive considering he was limited to a liquid diet after breaking his jaw in a mountain bicycle accident the first week of July.

Smith has experienced a test of survival since Hurricane Katrina ravaged his hometown New Orleans last September.

“I was at the 17th Street Canal break … You could see that from my apartment,” said Smith, adding that he now lives with his parents in Thibodaux. “It’s been tough coming back for a lot of us. We’re all going through a lot of adjustments.”

My lifestyle has changed. It’s been the same for anyone who runs down there. We’ve all had more important issues to deal with than just races.”

The scenery of the Silver State course certainly caught his attention.

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