Short Chum Run returns with big prizes for Sweet 16 celebration

Nicholas Murphy, dressed as the Flash, sprints off the starting line. His friend and teammate, Spider Man/Brian McCleary, eventually finished ahead of Murphy. - Ben Watanabe / Record file
Nicholas Murphy, dressed as the Flash, sprints off the starting line. His friend and teammate, Spider Man/Brian McCleary, eventually finished ahead of Murphy.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / Record file

Change is coming to the 16th annual Chum Run 5K at South Whidbey Community Park in June.

Same course. Same place. Same name.

For the first time, the race will be in the afternoon instead of the morning. The run begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Race coordinator Frazer Mann said the change was made to accommodate church-going runners, who may now participate in both activities.

“It will also be warmer by that time and let the dew on the grass dry out,” Mann said.

The short course invites varying levels of runners. Frank Jacques, last year’s winner, is a local ultra distance runner. His 12-year-old daughter Phoebe also competed in the 5 kilometer race.

Oh yeah, there’s also a costume contest, which brought out the likes of Spider Man, Wonder Woman and the Flash (forgive the Marvel Universe/DC Comics crossover) and a family of pirates, complete with a cardboard pirate ship.

“We certainly try to attract competitive runners by offering quality prizes, but our main focus is to create a fun event for the community,” Mann said. “We make the Chum Run fun and zany, so that everyone can have fun.”

Another perk Mann and race organizers highlighted was the race T-shirt. Shirts from the 2011 race were gray, cotton shirts with the Native American salmon Chum Run logo on the front with sponsors listed on the back. This year’s shirts will be black and half cotton, half polypropylene and there is a limited amount available the day of the race. A second printing will be available after the race and can be ordered there. Kids’ shirts will be bright green.

A “Fry Run” for youths 10 and younger is free (and less than 20 meters). Plenty of prizes are given to the tiny track stars.

Money from the Chum Run goes to the South Whidbey High School cross country team and the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District. The Falcon cross country team travels to a couple of destination meets each year, including Yakima and Oregon in 2011, and Chum Run funding helped pay for those trips.

An early registration discount is available until May 31. Registration can be found online at the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation website,

Prizes include 10 pairs of running shoes valued at $110, donated by the Seattle Running Shoe Store, and gifts from the Clyde Theater, the Goose Grocery, Payless Grocery, RadioShack, Useless Bay Coffee Company and Village Pizzeria. Awards are given to the top three finishers in age divisions, and the top three male and female racers receive medals. Registration costs $25 for adults before June 1 and $30 after and on the day of the race; $20 for youths 18 and younger; and there is a family discount of $5 off each racer’s registration for families of three and more.

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