Rose blooms as a runner

POULSBO — Cotah Rose has only been running for two and a half years, but she already sports the résumé of a veteran.

POULSBO — Cotah Rose has only been running for two and a half years, but she already sports the résumé of a veteran.

Rose, a Poulsbo resident, started training for distance running with her husband, Charlie, a former coach with the North Kitsap High School cross country team.

Since then, she has won her age division in 13 of 19 races.

Three times she came in second, including the Seattle Half-Marathon in November of 2001.

“It just felt like something I wanted to do,” said Rose, who is no stranger to athletics, having participated in swimming, gymnastics, and karate. I started it, and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Rose’s training began in Raab park, and she now roams over Poulsbo, including the hill behind Central Market and along 305. Her training will range from 25 to 60 miles a week, depending on what kind of race she’s training for. Sometimes she has been known to circle the high school trail loop half a dozen times.

“I remember when I ran a mile and it was exciting,” Rose said, “now it’s like sleepwalking.”

Her husband Charlie said that Cotah’s faith in and dedication to training is what makes her successful.

“She does the hard workouts,” he said. “She picked up on the correct form almost instantly, and that’s amazing. She pays her dues every day.”

Rose likes the long-distance races: “Long distances are my forte,” she said. “I love hills, I love distance.”

She has had opportunities to test that love, running in such races as Viking Fest’s 5-mile run (which was her debut in 1999), the Dolphin Dash, a 10-kilometer run, the Rhody Run in Port Townsend, which stretches to 12 kilometers, and the Seattle Half-Marathon, which uncoils for 13.1 miles.

The half-marathon was a special one for Rose; while her mother was in the hospital, Cotah clipped an angel pin to her gown; when she ran the race — her first half-marathon ever — she clipped the angel pin to her gown and came in second.

“She helped me that day,” Cotah said of her mother, whom she dedicated the race to.

Rose has done more than place well; in at least two instances she has set record. In the 4th of July Race on Bainbridge Island, she broke the time record in her age group in 2001, then moved up an age division in 2002 and broke that record, too.

Rose will enter one race this weekend and another the next.

This weekend’s race will be the McCormack Trail Run, and next weekend’s will be Silverdale’s Whale of a Run, which she ran last year and finished four seconds short of the age division’s time record.

In October, she will compete in her first marathon.

During that stretch, she hopes to make more records fall.

During the middle of this week, while talking about some previous races, she pointed to one and said, “That was my best time —”

Cotah then smiled at Charlie, who was sitting across the table, and said, “Until this weekend, hopefully.”