PeaceHealth AppleTree overcomes all odds!
September 30, 2020
Athletes from 5 countries and 14 states raised nearly $14,000
Vancouver WA – If it wasn’t Covid-19 to shut down PeaceHealth AppleTree Marathon Festival, it would have been the forest fires on the west coast causing the area to be covered with the most hazardous air quality in the world. Karissa Schoene, event director for Why Racing Events explains “We have been challenged all of 2020 and this event was no different. We had a global pandemic, forest fires, poisonous air quality, bridge closures, rioting, vandalism and more to deal with but challenges prove resilience and grit always overcomes! Our athletes did not let all these obstacles stop them. They overcame!”
The event had 680 athletes come together from 5 countries including USA, Canada, Australia, Sweden and England and 14 states. Sherri McMillan, owner of Why Racing Events, reports “Our numbers were lower than usual but we feel so happy that we had 680 athletes who were able to experience joy, excitement, accomplishment and feel a sense of belonging and community – something we all need right now!”
The event had 102 kids race the 5K for free. McMillan says “We are so honored to be able to get kids off their electronic devices and learn that being healthy and active can be fun. They need these opportunities to focus on their physical fitness and mental health just like adults.”
The event hosted a TEAM VANCOUVER vs TEAM PORTLAND CHALLENGE. Team Vancouver took the win for the Inspiration award by inspiring the greatest number of people to register and focus on their fitness during a health pandemic. Team Portland won the Speed award by averaging a 10:53 per mile split with Vancouver averaging a 13:20 per mile split.
The event raised $13,886.27 for Police Activities League, Friends of the Fort and other non-profits with 30 Police officers running, many in full uniform, to raise funds. McMillan continues “It’s hard to raise money during a Global Pandemic but look what we did together. I’m so glad we didn’t’ cancel on our athletes. A virtual finish line is definitely better than no finish line!”
The city of Vancouver, the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and National Park Service allowed the event to mark the course and athletes had 9 days to run or walk the scenic course through many historical sites in Vancouver WA. Schoene reports “It was amazing to see so many athletes out on the course and there were many times we were able to capture them racing or finishing and cheer them on. We had athletes completing their very first Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K, and some achieving personal bests in this virtual format and we were so excited to be able to support them and provide them this opportunity.” One post on social media highlights a couple two-year olds finishing their first 5K, a few half marathoners and a marathoner finishing their race at the virtual event.
“There’s no way we could have done this without the support of our title sponsor, PeaceHealth. They went above and beyond this year to make the event a memorable experience for our athletes including helping to support upgraded SWAG. It says a lot about a company when they stay the course during extreme obstacles and PeaceHealth has always been an organization dedicated and committed to the health of our community” says McMillan.
The PeaceHealth AppleTree Photo Album displays the joy, excitement and sense of accomplishment that athletes experienced.
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 every year from March to October, including children’s races, fun runs, half marathons, marathons, 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