Shore Run ending after 40 years

Organizers say goodbye to Lake Washington benefit for The Hutch

Shore Run ending after 40 years

Shore Run ending after 40 years

The Shore Run and Walk has reached its finish after 40 years, the annual fundraiser along Lake Washington being canceled this year.

Dr. William Hutchinson opened the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 1975, named in honor of his brother, who died from lung cancer.

Fred Hutchinson played for the Detroit Tigers, and later managed the Cincinnati Reds. He also managed the Seattle Rainiers.

“I thought I would help out, being the dutiful daughter, and try to raise money for the Fred Hutch with an athletic event,” said Charlee Hutchinson Reed, daughter of Dr. William Hutchinson and niece of Fred Hutchinson. “I organized (Shore Run), I ran it, physically, as well as overseeing all the operations, but I had a lot of help from the neighborhood, of course.”

As the event grew, Orswell Events was brought on to direct the race.

There had been a 10-K run from Seward Park to Madison Park, a 5-K from Leschi Park to Madison Park, and a Kids Run at Madison Park.

“Madison Park was fabulous,” said Judy Curran, a longtime Madison Park coordinator. “There’d be a big party in Madison Park afterward, called Party-in-the-Park.”

Curran said scheduling was a big factor in the Shore Run and Walk’s cancellation this year, as the city ended up granting a permit for the St. Jude Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon on June 9-10.

“That kind of put a monkey wrench in things,” she said, “and then we looked for another date, and then they (the city) offered us the weekend after July 4, and that wasn’t any good.”

Joe Mirabella, director of communications for the  Seattle Office of Economic Development and Office of Film + Music, said the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon had to change the date of its race due to competing events, and June 10 was the only feasible date. Alternate dates proposed for the Shore Run did not work for organizers.

“They do have the option of coming back next year if they want to and apply for permits,” he said, “and the city will be happy to work with them.”

Reed said the Shore Run had changed over its 40 years and, while it did raise a lot of money for The Hutch, cancer research also changed a lot in that time.

“I think we became smaller, and their focus became larger,” she said. “I think the city giving away our date really was the sad part.”

Kelly O’Brien, Fred Hutch vice president of philanthropy, wrote in a message on the Shore Run’s website that the permitting was part of the decision to end the event, as well as the large number of other run/walks and marathons that occur in the region every year that took away from participation.

Fred Hutch has held its annual Obliteride bike ride since 2013, raising more than $12 million in that time.

“It maybe was time to end it,” Reed said of the Shore Run. “I mean, everything has a beginning and everything has an end.”

Reed said she’s sad for everyone that worked on the Shore Run, including the committee members, volunteers and business merchants.

The Shore Run went by Jim Hagan’s house every year. He’s run almost every one, and was a volunteer for more than 20 years.

“I ran 39 of the 40,” he said. “Actually, I started running the day after the first Shore Run and just sort of have kept at it since then. The Shore Run goes right by my front door.”

Hagan is a cancer survivor, but said he didn’t get his treatment through The Hutch.

“I did get treated and I did survive, and I like to think some of that money I raised was one of the reasons,” he said.

The Shore Run was logistically different than many other races because it didn’t end where it started. For the longest time, one of Hagan’s responsibilities was driving one of the buses to take runners from Madison Park back to Seward Park.

“He was always somebody who was there helping along,” Curran said.

Hagan used to coach Curran’s daughter’s soccer team, he said, and he became more involved in Shore Run after that.

“I’m highly disappointed that it’s gone, especially since I just turned 70, and I always like when I race in a new age group,” Hagan said, “because I always do pretty well the first few years or so.”

Curran said she’s hoping to revive the kids run, and add it to the list of Madison Park Days festivities that take place after the Fourth of July. The funds raised could be invested in community projects, such as the annual lighting of trees along East Madison Street, Curran said.

Hagan and a friend are planning to run the Shore Run course on June 10 despite the event being cancelled, he said. If the event doesn’t make a surprise comeback, he’s still hopeful about the kids run.

“If all else fails, I’m still a kid at heart,” he said, “and I may just run that.”