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Chum Run features lots of ‘fast food’
Frank Jacques paced the field to win the 13th annual 5K Chum Run Sunday at Community Park with a time of 18 minutes, 56 seconds.
The fact he did it wearing a chef’s hat only emphasized the nature of the event, a not-so-serious 3.1-mile race, walk and team competition through the woods on South Whidbey.
“It was brutal,” Jacques said. “Trying to run and keep my hat on required some advanced levels of strategy.”
Coming in second with 19:09 was Jasper Hein, and Peter Oakley was third with 19:31. Oakley, also a member of “Team Fast Food” with Jacques, managed to keep his wooden stirring spoon out of harm’s way during the race.
For the women, Katie Gordon was first in 20:59, followed by Dana Hezel at 21:33 and Rosie Donnelly at 23.37.
The top middle school finishers was Cole Zink, 21:35, and Lillianna Stelling, 24:38. High school winners were Trevor Hein, 23:20, and Courtney Bosman, 27:26.
A record 245 runners of all ages ran or walked through the wooded trails named for the man who first laid them out in 1983, South Whidbey High School cross country coach Carl Westling.
Which is fitting, because half the day’s proceeds go the high school’s cross country program to help offset travel expenses to faraway meets. The balance of the funds will be used for South Whidbey Parks & Recreation’s scholarship fund.
Race director Frazer Mann was busy keeping the proceedings on track, but wasn’t surprised at the turnout this year.
“The word has gotten out that this is a fun race for the whole family,” he said. “It has reached that critical mass of people’s awareness.”
High school coach Steve Jones warmed up by making a few cracks.
“I’m here to exert on myself the same punishment I put on my students,” he said with a grin. “I want to feel their pain.”
Steven Gabelein, just back from his first year at Gonzaga University, was just trying to stay in shape.
“This is a great way to start the summer,” he said.
Pam Jacques and her daughter Phoebe formed “Team Sundae Run” by wearing hats adorned with faux ice cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry.
“I’m here to run my first 5K race,” said Phoebe, 9.
Lest anyone was in doubt as to whether the Chum Run was taking the high road this year, before the race five members of the girls cross country team — Chantal White, Courtney Bosman, Angelica Janda, Lilliana Stelling and Nora Felt — led the crowd in the Cha Cha Slide, ably joined by master of ceremonies Jim Freeman.
“Why have any concern over the embarrassment factor at my age?” Freeman quipped.
The overcast sky kept conditions cool and spirits high as the runners wended their way through the woods.
Gordon admitted she had a hard time staying up with her father, Curt.
“The old guy can still beat me,” she said.
Hezel has been doing the Chum Run for years.
“The course is always beautiful this time of year, and I really like that part of the money is going to the cross country team,” she said.
Sarah Birger said she enjoys doing the race when there are lots of kids present.
“They sprint, then stop on the track to chat a bit, then start running again,” she recalled.
The Fry Run, several short races for the little guys, was the big draw for families. Twins Rhianna and Ryder Hobbs, 6, fought each other to the finish in a dead heat.
Freeman kept the crowd in stitches while giving out the requisite awards, after people cheered their favorites in different categories.
“So, best costume wins based on the precious factor, which is only fitting,” Freeman said as he presented the medal to the Jacqueses — mother and daughter — for “Sundae Run.” The “Revolution” soccer club won for best team name.
“If the Bolsheviks enter next year, they might have a lock,” Freeman said.