Runners take their marks at the start of the 47th Annual Rotary Half Marathon on Mercer Island on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Runners take their marks at the start of the 47th Annual Rotary Half Marathon on Mercer Island on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Mercer Island Half brings out runners, volunteers

Thousands of racers and hundreds of volunteers came together to make the 47th annual event happen.

Thousands of runners and walkers turned out to race around Mercer Island for the annual Rotary Half Marathon on March 24, beginning at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

The Mercer Island Half is one of the Island’s largest events of the year. Race director Wendy Weiker said the event aims to “celebrate and promote health and wellness not only for Islanders, but for runners from Seattle and throughout the Eastside.”

Top finishers in the half marathon run were Turner Wiley, Tyler Flannery and Evan Williams (men) and Ladia Albertson-Junkans, Jane Ricardi and Becca Kawaoka (women).

The event, which also featured a 5k, 10k and Kids’ Dash in addition to the half marathon run and walk, brought together hundreds of Mercer Island volunteers, from groups like the Boys Scouts, National Charity League, Soul Mates, sports teams and businesses.

“It takes a village to host four running events, and our community comes together to pull it off,” Weiker said. “This, our 47th year, is no exception.”

Sponsored by the Swedish Cancer Institute and put on by the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, the event raises funds for colon cancer prevention and Rotary charities.

“This year’s theme ‘Be the inspiration’ is why I support Rotary and am honored to do my part in making this year’s run successful,” Weiker wrote in an email. “The proceeds from the event have a huge impact on issues I care about like cancer research, prevention and treatment, as well as human services support locally and abroad – everything from preventing homelessness to helping kids with learning disabilities, to ending polio once and for all.”

Go online to www.mercerislandhalf.com for more.

A local team supports the cause of colon cancer prevention at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

A local team supports the cause of colon cancer prevention at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Women in tutus get ready to run at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Women in tutus get ready to run at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Local youngsters sprint during the Kids’ Dash at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

Local youngsters sprint during the Kids’ Dash at the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon on March 24. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

The Mercer Island Half is one of the Island’s largest events of the year. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

The Mercer Island Half is one of the Island’s largest events of the year. Photo courtesy of Gillian Peckham

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