Hundreds participate in annual Bill Burby run during festival weekend

Jennifer Gogarten inspires awe in onlookers and competitors as she runs the 5k race pushing a triple stroller.  - Derek Wegner
Jennifer Gogarten inspires awe in onlookers and competitors as she runs the 5k race pushing a triple stroller.
— image credit: Derek Wegner


Nearly 400 runners and walkers kicked off the festival weekend at 9 a.m. Saturday by gathering at the VYFS PlaySpace to meet friends and family to “do the Burby.” This was the 34th year of the event and marked the 25th anniversary of the change in name to honor Bill Burby, a former teacher and beloved coach.

Between the start of the 10k and the 5k, Destia Hermes, widow of the late Bill Burby, took the microphone to thank the participants for keeping his memory alive and sharing his love of running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“If he could see this, he would be surprised that it’s still going, but also very pleased,” Hermes said.

Then Russ Brazill, one of the race founders, fired the starting gun and the runners were off.

Just over 16 minutes later, with a time of 16:39, Graham Peet, 17, crossed the finish line to take first in the men’s 5k for the second year in a row. Scott Healey, 39, followed with a time of 17:31. Mark Ripley, 52, came in third with a time of 18:29.

In the 5k women’s race, Michelle Neal, 53, with a time of 21:41 took first, edging past Maddi Groen, 18, after coming in second behind her last year. Groen’s second-place time was 22.02, and Emma Veatch was a close third at 22:12.

In the Men’s 10k, Patrick McAulitle, 30, smoked across the finish line with a time of 34:12. McAulitle was on the island to participate in the annual softball tournament. Second place went to Blake Magnuson, 48, with a time of 40:00, and Kevin Ross, 41, came in third with a time of 40:25.

Rebecca Nichols, 23, was first in the women’s 10k with a time of 47:27 after finishing third last year. Coming in second was Ann Root, 41, with a time of 48:59, followed by Amy Clark, 34, with a time of 49:17 in third.

All first-place winners took home a $100 gift certificate donated by Northwest Sports, and second-place winners picked up gift bags with donated products from Partners crackers and CoreCentric. Two additional $100 gift certificates were awarded randomly as well as two Partners crackers gift baskets, a CoreCentric training package and other products.

Once again this island tradition attracted participants of all ages, the youngest being Rafael Escovedo, age 5, running in the 5k Race. The eldest was Skip Norton, 85, who finished the 5k walk.

Tom Theno proudly wore his 1993 Burby T-shirt from the first year he ran the race.

“This is my 20th race,” he said. “I had to miss one for a family reunion.”

Others were wearing “I’m running for Ryan” stickers.

Friends and family of Ryan Krug, a high school student killed last year in a car accident who would have graduated this year, sold T-shirts and took donations to raise money for the Ryan Krug Memorial Scholarship fund.

Funds raised by the event help support high school athletics and also fund the annual Bill Burby Wellness Scholarship, awarded annually to a student who most clearly demonstrates a healthy lifestyle, consistent with the living philosophy shown by Bill Burby.

Complete race results are available on the website at

— Glenna Mileson is a Bill Burby race volunteer.

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