Plenty of fun was had at Bill Burby Inspirational Fun Run and Walk

Aaron Burby, 35, won the 10K race overall. He’s the son of Bill Burby, for whom the race is named. - Sy Bean photo
Aaron Burby, 35, won the 10K race overall. He’s the son of Bill Burby, for whom the race is named.
— image credit: Sy Bean photo

Aaron Burby defended his title by crossing the finish line first for the second year in a row at the Bill Burby Inspirational Run/Walk on July 18, the annual Strawberry Festival competition named in honor of his father.

Following in second place was Islander Kevin Ross, also for the second year. The two men have been friends and friendly rivals since elementary school.

“Kevin used to beat Aaron back when they ran track together,” recalls Destia (Burby) Hermes, mother of Burby, “but Aaron is in really good shape right now, training for triathlons.”

Twenty minutes after crossing the finish line, Aaron Burby crossed over the line again with brother Jason, who is recovering from knee surgery, but wanted to participate.

“It was just so much fun for me to watch both of them cross the finish line together,” said Destia. “It touches my heart that Vashon is still honoring Bill. Running was such a big part of his life. This would make him happy, such a wonderful tribute.”

Now in its 29th year, the event has become a tradition for many Island families. Third-place finisher Stephen Harvey ran with his father Scott, who finished seventh.

“I had a great time running with my son,” said Scott. “He’s become quite the athlete since the last time we ran this race together three years ago. I used to be faster than he was.”

Many other families and couples shared the event, some running, some walking and talking, and some holding hands as they crossed the finish line together.

Conditions were nearly perfect with overcast skies keeping the air cool when the runners took off at 9 a.m. Separate tables for registration, timing chips and T-shirts allowed the organizers to efficiently handle the registration process.More than 400 participants registered for the event.

“I think it went well,” said Susie Kalhorn, one of the race organizers. “We had a few minor problems with the race timing data, but we worked really hard to get the results recorded accurately as we know how important that is to the runners.”

Thanks to the race sponsors, most of the race expenses are covered. This year’s sponsors included Vashon Rotary and Northwest Sports. Windermere supplied the water bottles. Gage Design created the Web site. Vashon Island Junior Basketball also contributed. The money raised is used to fund the annual Bill Burby scholarship and support high school athletic teams.

The top winners were:

10K men — Aaron Burby (first), Kevin Ross (second) and Stephen Harvey (third).

10K women — Dana Sears Klemond, Brittany Jackson and Jasmine Azpiri.

5K men — Scott Healy, Bruce Cyra and Alex Kuehl.

5K women — Karen Estevenin, Lindsey Lyons and Lisa Cyra.

Complete results can be found at

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