Run To Support South Sound YMCA Youth



By Brooke Guthrie

South Sound YMCA Run (154)Over 1,000 people will gather on May 4 at the Capitol Campus to run for a good cause and participate in the 26th annual Spring Fun Run to support the South Sound YMCA youth development programs. Last year the run generated over $9,000 which was used to help grow program capacity and ensure that programming remains high quality and affordable.

There are three routes through downtown Olympia; the 10K travels around Capitol Lake, the 2K down Capitol Way and the kids half mile on the Capitol Campus.

The event, which was started by the State of Washington to encourage employee wellness, is still a large component of the run with teams of employees from many of the agencies at the city, county and state level as well as local school districts.   The South Sound YMCA has been organizing the event for the past 14 years.

“All ages participate in the run, from infants in baby carriers and strollers to seniors in their 80s,” said YMCA Executive Director Jake Grater. “The Spring Run is one way for the community to connect with the Y,” he said.

Participants, who can sign up until the day of the event, will compete in a 10K or 2 mile run. Kids will compete in an untimed half-mile run through the campus and all kid participants get a blue ribbon.

ymca fun fun“The event provides a fun activity for families and provides a quality running experience for the community,” Grater said. “Running is one of the easiest and cheapest sports to engage in. We naturally run while playing as kids, yet we get out of the habit as adults.”

Jessica Little and a group of friends and family have participated the past couple of years to honor her father, Dick Hancock who was a state employee for the Department of Social and Health Services and had  participated in the run for over 20 years.

Hancock died in 2012 from a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer, and until then he had always loved to run, Little said. Many family members had memories of running with him, and when he died, they decided to participate every year to honor him. This year she will run with her husband, her kids and a group of friends and family.

“I enjoy running, it feels good to do a race,” she said. “It’s good for me and the community.  Now I am doing it to honor my dad. He loved to run and take care of himself.”

ymca fun runAwards will be presented to the top three male and female runners in each age group category and all kids run finishers will get a ribbon. It costs $26 for the adult run, and $10 for the kids run.

Coordinators who register more than 20 people will get a free pair of running shoes courtesy of South Sound Running. This year’s artwork was designed by Martha Guilfoyle. The race shirt is a “hi-tech” shirt.

Volunteers are still welcome to help at the event.  If interested, contact Jerrie Licht at

The Spring Run is sponsored by: Timberland Bank, Providence Medical Group, WSECU, South Sound Running and Mixx96. In addition there are other businesses that support the event including Great Harvest Bread, The Olympia Farmer’s Market, L & E Bottling, Capitol City Marathon, City of Olympia, City of Tumwater, State of Washington and the Olympia Running Club.

To register for the race, click here.  Race begins at 8:30am on Saturday, May 4.

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