When people think of track and field, they usually associate the sport with the highest-level athletes aiming to break world records every time they step onto the track. For the Bellingham All Comers track meet, however, all ages are allowed to come out and participate.
The meets are put on by the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Department on Mondays at 6 p.m. on Civic Field.
From ages 4 to 70, racers of all ages participate in events from the 200-meter dash to the mile. In terms of field events, the meets offer discus, javelin, long jump, triple jump, shot put and pole vault, as well mini javelin for kids 12 and younger.
“It is All Comers and it truly means all comers,” said Parks and Recreation Representative Gail Northey. “We have had people with one leg or one arm, it is truly an all comer event.”
The top three finishers from each event receive a ribbon and everyone else who competes gets a participation ribbon.
The meets run all summer long, with a total of 12 or 13 meets between June and August 24, as well as a once a month 5,000-meter run, Northey said.
The track meet also features the “joggers mile,” which offers participants a chance to predict their mile time, Northey said. Timers and watches are banned during this race due to the prizes on the line. If a runner comes within three seconds of their estimated time they win a giftcard to a local Bellingham eaterie.
Western student Amanda Lewallen participated in the joggers mile, just missing her time by 30 seconds.
“I do the [joggers mile] because it offers a prize for running, so what is there to lose?” Lewallen said.
About 60 people participated in the joggers mile with some people finishing in seven minutes, and others finishing later around 15 minutes.
The All Comers track meet is entering week eight and meets at Civic Field with a daily event pass costing $5, or a season pass, good for the whole summer, costing $30. The track meet started in 1976 and continues to offer events that are open to every age.