by Christina Russell
The second annual Walla Walla Crush 5K Run and Walk went off without a sprain last Saturday. Runners from all walks of life arrived at 9 a.m. at the vineyards of Pepper Bridge and Northstar Wineries, to pay heed to the great tradition of running and to support Whitman’s very own Cycling Club, who has hosted the event two years and running.
This year Whitman’s Brian Woods and Sam Clarke lead the run representing “Bacchus,” the Greek god of wine. They dressed in elaborate togas and laurel leaf headbands and still managed to claim the title as co-champions of the race.
Participants in the event included Whitman’s Cross Country team, many of whom arrived dressed in costume. There were running pumpkins, a Pokémon and one man that looked ready for work in a suit and tie.
No fewer than six Whitties claimed top times: Sam Clarke and Maria Corcoran clocked in as the fastest in the 21-and-over age group, while Brian Woods and Abby Higgins won 20-and-under and Patrick Moore and Rebecca Jensen won for ages 21-29.
In addition to traditional race categories, the Crush also featured a “chariot” race, which was brought back this year by popular demand, for mothers and fathers pushing strollers.
Post-race food, provided by Huckleberry’s and Merchants included a plethora of Cliff and Luna Bars and sausage egg wraps.
Joanne Schmitz, who volunteered her time alongside the Whitman Cycling Club, made this event possible.
There were 68 prizes made available to winners in a multitude of age groups and capacities, including wine, goblets, various merchandise and gift cards. The fastest male and female in the 21-and-over categories received commemorative Riedel carafes and the under-21 men and women won Brooks running shoes. First-year cyclist Kendi Thomas said, “It was fulfilling to be able to connect with Walla Walla citizens in this capacity.”