Why Racing Events saves Halloween
November 6, 2020
First live event of 2020 wasn't 'Scary' at all
Washougal WA – Halloween was cancelled due to Covid-19 and kids were devastated. With no ‘trick or treating’, parents were scrambling to try and create a festive celebration that their kids could look forward to. Swooping in to save the day, on October 15th, Why Racing Events announced they would be hosting their first live event of 2020 on Halloween morning. “We found out two weeks prior to Halloween that restrictions were lifted and the Governor of Washington would allow a live run/walk event” said Sherri McMillan, the owner of Why Racing Events. “We immediately jumped into action and reached out to our permitting agencies in Washougal WA who approved our ability to host our Scary Run 5K/10K/Half. We were giddy with excitement to have the opportunity to host a fun, festive, but most importantly, safe event for our community” says McMillan.
The event drew 611 athletes and a wide spectrum of costumes. There was a Joe Exotic, a unicorn, penguin, a family of skeletons, monsters, zombies, cats, clowns, princesses and a wide variety of superheroes. Athletes participated from Canada and the USA representing 8 states.
Some athletes came for the Halloween fun and others came for the opportunity to compete in a live event that had been denied up until this point. Many local cross-country athletes from Whisper Running Club participated posting some incredibly fast times. Nicholas Marty, 17 years, posted the top time in the 5K of 17 minutes, 10 seconds. Alexis Leone, 14 years, was third overall and the top female finisher in 17:59. Sam Soto, 13 years, posted the top overall time in the 10K in 39:04. “We were so happy to be able to offer our local cross-country athletes the ability to race. Our youth needs to feel that competitive spirit and sense of accomplishment. It’s as important to their mental health as physical”, says McMillan.
Karissa Schoene, Event Director at Why Racing Events, was ready to go once the announcement to host the live event was made. “We’ve been waiting all year for this,” says Schoene, “We had all of our safety protocols ready to go and have been studying other event directors from across the country who had already been permitted to host live events and were having great success. We knew we could do it safely.” Why Racing Events joked prior to the live event that at Scary Run, masks have always been required way before Covid-19, referring to the Halloween-theme and costumes. In order to control crowds, athletes were asked to sign up for starting waves 10 minutes apart with a group of 3 athletes starting every minute over a 3-hour period. Athletes had to pass a health and temperature check before entering a staging area and then line up at cones spaced 6 to 20 feet apart and wear their masks at all times, except when running.
Comments on social media have been overwhelmingly positive regarding organization and safety. Theresa Sivelle, one of the athletes commented “the race was very well organized, fun and above all, I felt very safe”. Another athlete, Sandy Webb Branch commented “I felt safer at this race than going to the grocery store. I went shopping after the event and there was too many people and no one was practicing social distancing.”
Scary Run also raised over $2700 to support local kids and non-profits.
McMillan said she hoped that successfully and safely hosting this live event will serve as a launching point for more live running events later this year and into 2021. “Our community needs more opportunities to safely recreate outdoors and feel together with others in a physically distanced manner. Feelings of isolation and depression are at an all time high. People’s health is deteriorating as a result of staying indoors, eating too much and gaining weight. We need to take a more proactive approach to overall health, especially during a health crisis” says McMillan.
The Scary Run Photo Album displays the costumes, festive celebrations, joy, excitement and sense of accomplishment that athletes experienced as they all ran and walked on a mission to save Halloween.
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