We have arrived, y’all! I was so excited that I got up before breakfast on Saturday morning to take a bus into Seattle to cover the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s inaugural Refuse to Abuse® 5K at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. Honorary co-chairs of the event were the Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge and his wife, Kate.
The premier runners left the starting gate promptly at 9:00 A.M.
Refuse to Abuse® is a joint venture with the Seattle Mariners, and the Mariner wives (in bright orange) ran the race.
It was a total trip to have unlimited access ~ for free ~ to a beautiful Major League ballpark like Safeco Field. The Mariners pulled out all the stops to welcome DV survivors and supporters.
The 5K race course took runners and walkers throughout the stadium.
The finish line was in the outfield, and many participants stopped to check out the dugouts along the way.
The Mariner wives were gracious to pose in front of the scoreboard after the race. Among the runners were Shelley Vargas, wife of Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas, Kristin Smoak, wife of Justin Smoak, and Sharyn Meichtry, Brendan Ryan’s fiancé.
Everyone who completed the race received a gorgeous medal on a beautiful purple ribbon. These folks are wearing the Refuse to Abuse® 5K souvenir T-shirt. 799 people finished the race. Click here for race results.
It made my heart sing to see men who ran with little girls.
Fathers raced with their daughters.
Survivors raced with their families.
Race winners got a goodie bag which included autographed baseballs. The first person across the finish line was Paul Mannino at 17:44. The top women’s finisher was Erica McElrea at 19:10.
Donald Mackey, the top fund-raiser, gets to toss out the first pitch at a Mariners’ game. The event raised $18,000. The top three fundraisers were Donald Mackey, Mike Clark and April Randhawa. Every dollar raised will directly support WSCADV’s violence prevention efforts.
My favorite fund-raisers were the team from the consulting firm of Toku Saku. It means “a good plan.”
Nikki Finkbonner, the LVOC Coordinator for the Lummi Indian Nation, came down all the way from Bellingham in Whatcom County. The Lummi Nation was one of the sponsors of the inaugural 5K.
Cycle the WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere) were a strong presence in the inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5K. On September 16, 2012, they will be hosting an all-women’s cycling experience benefiting domestic violence programs. This year is their 5th anniversary. The ride will start at Issaquah High School with several route options: 12 miles (little sister), 25 miles (girly girl), 42 miles (middle sister), and 65 miles (burly girl). If you register by July 31, the cost is $65, but if you wait until ride day, it will cost you $85.
Inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5k raises over $18,000 for Domestic Violence Prevention (Mariners’ blog)