Vancouver, WA – The 5th annual Peacehealth Appletree Marathon festival on Sept 17th & 18th attracted 1125 athletes from two countries and 22 states. The race was on its way to becoming a northwest favorite with incredible waterfront scenery, a ‘run through history’ theme and a Boston-qualifying flat and fast course when Covid-19 hit after only its second year. “This was our first year back to predominantly live racing since the pandemic and we are at 76% pre-pandemic numbers so we are moving in the right direction” says Karissa Schoene, race director and owner of Why Racing Events.
History buffs will enjoy the course as it winds its way through Fort Vancouver, Historical Officer’s Row, the Army Barracks, Pearson Airport (the oldest operating airport in the USA) and the Old Apple Tree. The course is lined with historical facts to provide a history lesson to distract you from the pain of all the miles.
Christopher Hall, age 52, from Brush Prairie, WA took home the first place finish in the coveted Marathon division with a time of 2:49:27. Adria Biasi, age 33, from Vancouver WA was crowned the marathon female champion with a time of 3:32:08
The event is structured as a weekend festival to attract the entire family to participate with a Sunset 5K on Saturday night, the Marathon & Half-Marathon on Sunday morning, a health and fitness expo, bouncy house, concerts, a BBQ and of course, apple pie.
The main beneficiary for the event is the Police Activities League (PAL), a non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement agencies to promote positive relationships between law enforcement officers and youth in the community through educational opportunities and recreational opportunities. This year, PAL used the opportunity to honor fallen officer Donald Sahota, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. Lining up with the participants were a number of police officers dressed in full uniform running to raise funds. Schoene joked “our motto is…Running with the police is far better than running from them!” The event has raised over $11,000 with donations still coming in.
The event has come a long way from it’s first year when drama unfolded when one athlete was disqualified and stripped of her second place finish for riding her bike throughout most of the course rather than running the distance. She confessed that she had a long-history of cheating at various races across the country. It was later exposed that her cheating was not limited to running races but in fact, she falsified her education and professional licenses. The woman closed her practice, changed her name, moved across the country and was caught cheating once again. It was recently reported that she has once again changed her name.
On Saturday night for the 5K race, athletes were treated to sunshine, a perfect evening and 167 kids raced the 5K for free side by side with many local officers. Sherri McMillan, founder of WHY Community, with a mission to provide free racing to at-risk groups, is “honored to be able to get kids off their electronic devices and learn that being healthy and active can be fun.”
About Why Racing Events: Why Racing Events is a multi-sport event management organization that offers athletes of all ages and abilities, from the elite level to the back-of-the-packers, the chance to successfully complete a racing event. They host a series of events throughout the year including half marathons, marathons, trail runs, fun runs, duathlons and triathlons. They are committed to providing a positive experience to everyone involved while raising awareness and funds for important community causes. Find out more information about Why Racing Events at www.whyracingevents.com
About Why Community: Why Community is a Non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to provide at-risk populations, including kids, with the opportunity to register and cross the finish line of various runs and multi-sport events, ultimately boosting their self-esteem and belief that they can accomplish anything. Find more information about Why Community at https://whycommunity.org/