Young runners check the results posted after their race (Mary Margaret Briggs Photo).

Young runners check the results posted after their race (Mary Margaret Briggs Photo).

Burby race continues to draw old and new crowd

Event has helped support Vashon Island High School athletic programs for decades.

On Saturday, Avangeline Burby, age 9, won the girls’ 9-and-under 5K run that bears her grandfather’s name.

Over 300 runners took part in the 39th annual Bill Burby Inspirational Fun Run and Walk this year, according to race director Andy Sears. He added that he was pleased to see familiar faces at the starting line, as well as among the 40 volunteers who directed traffic throughout the racecourse and attended water stations, the registration table and the start and finish areas.

“It really takes a bunch of people to get it going. In some ways, it runs itself every year. In other years it’s quite a testament [to the] people working together to get things done,” he said.

The athletes lined up for their respective events — first the 10K and then 5K run — as longtime coordinator Russ Brazil, who helped start the race in 1980 in honor of his friend, readied his gun to start.

Bill Burby pushed to incorporate physical education into the Vashon Island School District’s K-12 curriculum during the 1970s, leaving an indelible mark on a generation of islanders. Brazil has started the 5K and 10K runs nearly every year since the first race was held.

The Bill Burby Inspirational Fun Run has helped support Vashon Island High School athletic programs for decades. A portion of the money raised also funds the Bill Burby Wellness Scholarship, awarded annually to a high school senior.

As they have in the past, island businesses and organizations formed their own groups to participate in the race this year, including the Vashon Athletic Club.

“We always think that’s cool when groups get together,” said Sears, who added that for the second year in a row, the Silver Striders, a group of athletes over 50, participated in the 5K run. This year they brought 54 runners to the island, with the oldest taking their mark at 85 years old.

Sears said that plans are already being made for next year’s 40th-anniversary run.

“We’re excited about the 40th year next year, and we’ll want to have a big crowd out,” he said.

Aaron Burby, Bill’s son, took second place in the 10K in the men’s 40 to 49 category. Board member Mary Margaret Briggs said she is touched that the event continues to have the participation of the Burby family after all these years.

For her, she added, watching determined island children take to the starting line is a thrill of its own.

“Everybody’s reaction is personal, but for me, it’s just seeing the kids,” she said, singling out Xan London Chambers, who won the 5K run in the boys’ 10 to 14 category.

“He has been running his heart out since he was a little kid, and he continues to show up and really put 100% in, so I love watching him. For me, it’s the kids, and that’s what makes it such a great event for the island,” she said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Island rowers claim victories off the water

US Rowing held their virtual National Youth Championships in lieu of their annual on-water regatta.

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Updated: Athletics to continue despite coronavirus threat

School district superintendent said for now games will continue as scheduled; players, coaches react

Ryan Krug Vashon cup soccer match held

The game raised over $2,500 this year.

Pirates season ends at playoffs

The Pirates, winning most of their games this season, lost to Meridian High School

‘Leaving on a high note’: Vashon wrestlers place 11th at state tourney

“It was all thanks to our coaches who believed in us and pushed us to outwork our opponents.”

Boys basketball team heads to playoffs

“We anticipated a close game and the team’s mind was set just right to win.”

Vashon Seals coach says she is stepping down

You could say Lisa MacLeod knows what it’s like to be in… Continue reading

Vashon wins regional championship

Nine athletes are headed to the upcoming state tournament, the largest of its kind of the year.