Crater Lake run part of Williams’ rich existence
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
August 15, 2001
By BRIAN MORTENSEN
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK — In his young life, Jay Williams has availed himself to an existence rich with adventure.
An ambitious hiker, he has attempted to backpack the entire north-south route of the Pacific Coast Trail — and will try again.
He’s only run in six marathons, but two of them were in New Zealand and Anchorage.
And last Saturday, Williams, 23, ran his first Crater Lake Marathon.
“Very, very demanding,” he said of the 26.2-mile race around Crater Lake. “The first 22 miles were relatively simple compared to the last four.”
He still managed to finish seventh in the race out of the 67 who started, running in three hours, 38 minutes, 24 seconds.
Williams, who currently lives in Eugene, where he’s attending the University of Oregon, was the first of six Klamath Basin-based runners to finish.
“You’re feeling great coming down the hill for 10 miles or so, and then you hit this uphill (at the Grayback Turnaround), and your (quadriceps muscles) don’t know what to do,” he said.
Williams’ previous experience at Crater Lake was in the 6.7-mile race, and he hadn’t trained that long (about a month) for Saturday’s marathon.
“Probably my longest run was about a 15-miler, with a lot of hills, though,” he said.
Williams, who ran for Klamath Union High School’s track and field and cross country teams before graduating in 1996, has run in the Portland Marathon twice, the Boston Marathon in 1998, as well as ones in Anchorage and in New Zealand on New Year’s Day in 2000.
Since our winter is summer in the lower hemisphere, Williams said conditions for a Jan. 1 marathon were “wonderful.”
“It’s the perfect time of year,” he said. “It’s kind of bizarre celebrating Christmas and New Year’s when the sun’s out. You can walk around in T-shirt and shorts.”
He said the Anchorage marathon, run during the summer solstice in June, was the closest in difficulty to Crater Lake Marathon because it has a lot of hills and nine miles of off-road running.
“That was my first one, too, so that made it psychologically difficult,” he said.
In the summer of 1998, Williams tried to backpack the entire length of the Pacific Coast Trail, which runs from the California-Mexico border across from Tecate, Mexico to a point on the Washington-British Columbia border in the Paseyten Wilderness Area in Washington.
As the winter of 1998 was the heavy El Nino snow year, it made hiking the trail, which includes lots of traversing through mountainous areas as well as desert, difficult and he didn’t finish.
“Since then I’ve hiked 800 miles of it,” he said. “Later that year, I got in the whole stretch of Oregon, so it was good to get out at least a pretty good chunk of it.”
He said he’ll try it again within the next couple of years.
“In fact, (Friday) I was just up at the (Crater Lake) Lodge, and I met about 10 people who started in Mexico, so it kind of stimulated a reborn interest in it,” he said.
He said he spent three months hiking the national parks in New Zealand after he ran in the marathon there. New Zealand has mountains as high as 13,000 feet.
Williams has one more class to finish to complete his undergraduate degree in exercise and movement science.
“These marathons are kind of like a practicum,” he said. “All of this pertains to what I’m studying academically, when you apply it to real life, so I think it’s really beneficial to blend the two.”
His faculty adviser from the U of O was also at Crater Lake, running in the 13-mile race.
Other local finishers in the marathon included Mark Fay of Klamath Falls, who was 11th in three hours, 46 minutes, 24 seconds; Eric Bergstrom of Sprague River, 27th in 4:04.07; Paul Fouch of Klamath Falls, 44th in 4:43.07; Sandy Mundy of Klamath Falls, 49th in 4:51.21; and George Freeland of Tulelake, 55th in 4:59.58.