Sports

Chum Run fun hits the road this Sunday

Frank Jacques breaks out of the woods during  last year
Frank Jacques breaks out of the woods during last year's Chum Run.
— image credit: Brian Kelly

People who like to run will have the chance to help children at the same time at this year’s Chum Run.

For the first time, proceeds from the race will help kids long after their little legs have recovered from the Children’s Center Walkathon.

The walkathon and the Chum Run will be held together this year, and proceeds from the race will benefit the South Whidbey Children’s Center and the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District’s scholarship fund.

The Chum Run is a 5-kilometer race, walk and team competition over wide, groomed forest paths with a few moderate hills. The Chum Run draws people of all ages from around the Northwest. The run is 10 a.m. Sunday, May 27 at South Whidbey Community Park on Maxwelton Road.

Children’s Center co-director Poly Schmidt said the event helps meet the center’s goal of encouraging family oriented activities.

“We advocate a healthy lifestyle,” Schmidt said. “This combines two events that already existed into one. As a fundraiser it helps support early learning and the after-school child care program.

“This will be first time the Chum Run will be combined with the Children’s Center Walkathon and Family Day. With local and visiting runners and walkers, plus our Children’s Center families, it’s going to be a big South Whidbey event,” she said.

With “Conductor of Fun” Jim Freeman as the day’s host, the event promised to have a fun and light-hearted quality.

As usual there will be serious runners competing for prizes, but there are also a lot of casual runners and walkers who just want to come out to the park and have a great time.

Medals and gift certificates will be awarded to the winning male and female runners and the winning teams. Team members also compete individually.

“A fun way to enjoy the Chum Run is run together with friends as a team,” race director Frazer Mann said.

Teams are scored by combining the top three team members combined age group finishes. There will also be prizes for the “most original team name” as voted by the audience.

Door prizes donated by local merchants will be handed out, as well.

New this year are award categories for student runners. The top middle school and high school runners for both boys and girls will receive Chum Run medals and gift certificates.

“This won’t be a race among just South Whidbey students,” Mann said. “Runners have been invited from North Whidbey as well as off island, so there will be some stiff competition.”

A highlight of the Chum Run are the kids’ races. The Fry Run is emceed by Freeman, who is as quick with a quip as the kids are with their feet. Children from 2 to 10 are eligible to participate.

“Every child will receive a medal in the Fry Run,” children’s run coordinator Linda Irvine said. “At this age, the point is to have fun and make everyone a winner.”

The cost is $20 for advance registration; $25 day of the race. The cost for students is $20 (with a T-shirt) or $10 (without a T-shirt).

Registration for both the run and walk starts at 8 a.m. and is held on the south lawn near the park office.

For compete Chum Run information and advanced registration, visit www.swparks.org or call 221-5484.

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