Mercer Island Rotary Run on pace for record year

Participants start the annual Rotary Run half marathon on Mercer Island during the 2011 race. Organizers say the 2012 event is on pace to be one of the largest. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Participants start the annual Rotary Run half marathon on Mercer Island during the 2011 race. Organizers say the 2012 event is on pace to be one of the largest.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

Credit the warmer winter, or the 40th anniversary, but whatever it is, the Mercer Island Rotary Run already is on pace for a record year.

The annual event, which takes place on Sunday, March 25, has over 3,000 registered participates, 12 percent more than 2010 – the best year for the race.

"In the half marathon run/walk we have a little shy of 2,000 people racing," said chair of the event, Dawn Naye. "It's really great."

Naye said in 2011 in early March 900 people were registered for the 1/2 marathon and in 2010 it was 1,600.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the event, and Naye said they have really focused on bringing awareness to colon cancer. Funds raised from the event go towards fighting the disease.

As part of raising awareness this year the Rotary Run has a Faces of Colon Cancer campaign, highlighting the stories of survivors and those who have passed away.

"We're going to be giving away the Face of Courage award to Tricia Moen, she was a KOMO day time producer and passed away last year" said Naye. Moen was 39.

This year the race features the half marathon, the 10k run, 5k run and walk and kids dash, as in years past, along with the Saturday expo event, filled with vendors and information.

"This year the local Girl Scout troop is going to do a pasta feed at the expo," said Naye. "Anybody can buy a ticket, it's a good deal."

Naye said organizers have also been working with local businesses, trying to find ways to get the Island more involved in the biggest event on the Island.

Along with more participants in general signing up, Naye said they are seeing another trend – teams.

"We have a lot more teams signed up this year," said Naye.

There are no course changes planned this spring, but race organizers are highly encouraging people to use transit systems.

"We're stressing to people to use Sound Transit," said Naye. "Parking is an issue and Sound Transit drops off just a block away from the race."

To learn more or to register for the race visit


Race day kicks off with day-of registration starting at 6:30 a.m. The half marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. with the half mile kids dash at 8 a.m. The 10k run begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the half marathon run at 9 a.m. and the 5k run and walk at 9:30 a.m.

The pre-race expo will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.



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