Wedding proposal, Men in Pink Tutus and $600,000 raised at the Girlfriends Run in Vancouver WA

October 22, 2019

Honoring and celebrating Survivors and those lost too early

Vancouver, WA – When Sherri McMillan, owner of WHY Racing Events, started Girlfriends Run in Vancouver WA 13 years ago, never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that one day, the event would have surpassed $600,000 raised. She started the event to honor one of her girlfriends Joleen Skarberg who had recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Joleen did the event that year after finishing her chemo and radiation treatment and participated with her daughters, sisters, girlfriends and a few hundred other women. “Joleen continues to do the event every year wearing #1 Girlfriends Bib and is a testimony to the power of funds raised so there is better diagnosis and treatment for women undergoing Breast Cancer so like Joleen, they can come back stronger than ever and live healthy, vibrant lives,” says McMillan. The event has now grown to nearly 1500 women participating from 13 states and 2 countries.

The 2019 event also honored Jaime Wyatt Miller, the former WHY Racing Events Marketing Director, whose life was lost to Breast Cancer a little over a year ago. “Jaime was an incredible woman…inspirational, strong, caring, loving, giving, beautiful in every way and her life was cut way too short by this awful disease,” says McMillan. Why Racing lined a section of the course with photos of Jaime and messages for how Jaime lived her life. “We hope to keep Jaime’s spirit and legacy alive through this event. She was very special to us and the community,” says McMillan. An Endowment fund, the Jaime Wyatt Miller Cancer Compassion Fund, has been started in her name to provide support for financially vulberable women who are undergoing breast cancer to provide them with basic needs like transportation and food when they are going through treatment.

The spirit of the event is captured in this event photo album. Women of all shapes, sizes and ages walk and run the event. Some race with blistering speeds and other women walk and run hand-in-hand celebrating each other and their friendships.

Although a women-focused event, men also participate as part of the Pink Brigade Guys, a group of men who each commit to raising $500 for the beneficiaries and sport pink tutus, tights and wigs helping to raise funds. Shawn Dodd, who raised $900 for Pink Lemonade Project by doing a 5K running backwards comments. “This is the only event that my girlfriend lets me hang out with a couple thousand women! It’s for a great cause and I love doing my part and participating every year in pink!”

This year the event enjoyed a very special occasion with a wedding proposal at the finish line.

Women were celebrated whether they were the fastest, the slowest or somewhere in between but here’s the list of those who crossed the finish line first.

Half Marathon Champions:

1st Place – Jeannette Faber, Age 37, Overall time, 1:24:26 (6:27 average pace)
2nd Place – Kristin Legrand, Age 38, Overall time of 1:35:36 (7:18 pace) –
3rd Place – Asley McKinstry, Age 16, Overall time of 1:37:09 (7:25 average pace)
Masters Champion – Alice Liao, Age 40, Overall time of 1:39:39 (average pace 7:36)

10K Champions:

1st Place – Alexis Leone, Age 13, Overall time, 39:49 (6:25 average pace)
2nd Place – Madelyn Cooke, Age 13, Overall time of 44:47 (7:13 average pace)
3rd Place – Christina Lee, Age 39, Overall time of 45:11 (7:17 average pace)
Masters Champion – Hilary Reed, Age 40, Overall time of 48:03 (7:45 average pace)

6K Champions:

1st Place – Chantalle Schultz-Rathbun, Age 25, Overall time, 21:16 (5:49 average pace)
2nd Place – Shelan Stritzke, Age 37, Overall time of 25:31 (6:58 average pace)
3rd Place – Katarina Mueller, Age 28, Overall time of 25:58 (7:06 average pace)
Masters Champion – Kathryn Caine, Age 59, Overall time of 29:47 (8:08 average pace)

Full Results can be found here.

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


Contact Information

Sherri McMillan
Founder and CEO