Following a one-year hiatus, the 17th 5K Chum Run kicks off this weekend and is expected to once again attract a cadre of participants, from hardcore athletes bent on personal glory to superhero-clad runners out for an afternoon of fun with friends.
The former would include Scott Warwick, a Clinton resident and veteran competition runner. He finished in first in the North Olympic Discovery Marathon this past Sunday.
Warwick said he’s been anticipating the return of the Chum Run, and is ready to pound out the miles in record time this weekend. Having an event so close to home is great, he added.
“It’s pretty cool to have races on your home turf because you’re accustomed to the course,” Warwick said.
The annual event was scrubbed last year when Frazer Mann, the longtime race director, had to step away for the season. Returning for 2014, Mann is anticipating a healthy turnout for what he said has “grown into one of the biggest events on South Whidbey.”
More than just a contest for finely tuned athletes, the Chum Run has developed into a spring celebration where adults and children come to enjoy the park, he said. It’s designed to be a draw for everyone, offering a great course and lighthearted and fun activities, from a pre-race line dance led by the South Whidbey High School track and cross country girls to individual and team costume competitions and face painting.
“The main purpose is to have fun,” Mann said.
“We make it appeal to everyone,” he added.
The race begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 8, and is held at South Whidbey Community Park. The run takes place entirely within the park.
Hosted by the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District, 50 percent of proceeds will go to the organization and 50 percent to the high school’s track team. The school board recently approved a new track surface and jumping areas, but other parts of the stadium also need work, according to Mark Eager, the school’s track and field coach.
Over time, the overall condition of the school’s facilities led to the cancellation of a spring track invitational, the Westling Invite, which was dedicated to South Whidbey Hall of Fame track and cross-country coach Carl Westling.
“Money raised by the Chum Run and directed toward the track team would specifically be used to address these concerns,” Eager said. “When completed, South Whidbey could once again have a first-rate facility for the team, the school district, and the community.”
Warwick, a South Whidbey graduate and former member of the track team, said he was just happy to have the Chum Run back, but was equally thrilled to be running for a good cause.
“It would be cool if they brought it [the Westling Invite] back,” he said. “It’s kinda sad to not to have any home events at the high school.”
To register, visit www.swparks.org or show up on the day of the race. For details call: Carrie Monforte 360-221-6788.