A touch of sun and 65 degrees by 8:30 a.m. was the perfect setting for the annual Kewash Half Marathon, 10k and 5k that sped through Washington this weekend.
Organizer Shawn Loy said the goal for the sixth annual run was to bring in 400 runners, but they exceeded that goal and brought in 447 runners representing 15 different states. This was a record for them and one they hope to reach and exceed next year as well.
Loy said she was excited to see so many runners because it meant the proceeds could help multiple organizations in the Washington Community such as local running groups Girls on the Run and Let Me Run and phase two of the YMCA.
Among the runners were members of the Washington Fire Department (WFD). Some of them ran the 5k in their full gear while others teamed up to form a relay for the half marathon. Nic Williams, firefighter with the WFD, said the department decided to run because they wanted to promote positive healthy habits in the community.
“We thought it would be a good cause to spread awareness about cancer in our line of work and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle in the fire service,” he said.
Williams said he hoped that when people saw them running, it brought out a new appreciation for what they do and how difficult even putting their gear on is.
“(We hope they) just know what we go through and what it takes to wear this gear and how much it weighs and how big of a chore just putting the gear on is,” he said.
Loy said seeing the WFD get involved was exciting because she felt they were setting a positive example by encouraging people to be healthy by trying something new. She said a lot of the firefighters are not regular runners but stepped up for this event.
“It’s all personal. It’s not always about being fast or getting to be first,” she said. “It’s getting to show your kids being healthy and maybe getting your parents to be healthy or your siblings to be healthy and cutting down the screen time,” she said.