More than 150 runners and at least a score of canines came out on a sunny, cold Saturday morning to pound the pavement in the fifth annual Edmonds Police Foundation Holiday Dash to support the men and women of the Edmonds Police Department.
Runners, many decked out in holiday finery, began gathering in the sub-freezing dawn to fuel up on traditional police fare (coffee and donuts, naturally), warm up those muscles, and enjoy the spirit of community fellowship that’s a traditional highlight of this event.
Always a casual, informal affair, the Holiday Dash eschews elaborate electronic timekeeping and competition, instead concentrating on good spirits, community togetherness, and kicking off the holiday season with a smile. No one is bothered if some runners go off course and set their own route; it’s not so much about rules as it is about fun.
First across the finish line — for the second year in a row — was Brian Hanchett of Edmonds, known to many as “Old Man Brackett” from the Edmonds’ Fourth of July Beat Brackett Run. According to Police Foundation Treasurer Kimberly MacArthur, who kept informal race times on her cell phone, Hanchett (who swears he followed the set course) crossed the line in 21 minutes, 21 seconds, finishing the course a full one second longer than his time last year of 21:20 (but who’s counting, right?).
“Hey, what do you expect? I’m a year older!” laughed Hanchett.
“We had 135 registered runners today, with more signing up last-minute,” MacArthur said. “The money we raise today helps support the Foundation’s mission to provide our police force with the most modern equipment, technology and training. Current projects include purchasing an advanced software package to allow crime investigators to quickly extract critical data from confiscated cell phones (we previously paid a private firm more than $1,000 per phone for this service and had to wait days for the results), and a camera-equipped drone.”
The foundation offered thanks to event sponsors First Financial NW Bank, My Edmonds News, N2 Publishing, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Starbucks, Windermere Real Estate, The Edmonds Bakery, Pepsi, and Events NW 24/7 for supporting this special community event.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel