Community members waited patiently at the starting line, stretching in preparation for Saturday’s race. As the start time neared, people packed into the running lane in anticipation of the starting horn, which began after a 30-second countdown. After the go was given, runners flooded ahead of each other, some pushing each other along the narrow side street in order to clear a path.
The race started at the Sehome Village Haggen, continuing through downtown Bellingham and several neighborhoods until reaching the finish line at the Meridian Haggen store. After crossing the finish line, runners and walkers were greeted with stands full of prizes, treats and plenty of water from local business sponsors.
“It’s a really fun way to be involved with the community. We look forward to it every year.”
Participant Alexander Potapov
Whatcom Community College student Conner Johnsen placed first in the event with a time of 14 minutes and 57 seconds, followed closely behind by Western senior Juan Castillo who came in third with a time of 15 minutes and 18 seconds. Castillo and Johnsen, who are friends, said that this was their first time running in the event and that they ran it together because they enjoy the competition.
Another top competitor was senior Cody Brocato. This was his second year running in the race, having previously run it three years ago.
“I’m running to get trained for a few half marathons I want to do,” Brocato said. “I’m also competing in the Chuckanut 50K race next spring and want to be ready for that,” he said.
Brocato is an employee at Fairhaven Runners and one of the race’s sponsors. He was one of dozens of Western students who attended the race.
The event yielded people of all ages.
Alexander Potapov and his 10-year-old son, Ivan, were among some of the community members running. This was the third time Potapov has run the race with his son. This year they both improved their times by completing the race in just less than 26 minutes. The two also ran in the Fun With The Fuzz 5k race last month.
“It’s a really fun way to be involved with the community. We look forward to it every year,” Potapov said.