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New race on the Ridge

Children race through the starting line last fall, during the Snoqualmie Turkey Trot fun run. Snoqualmie runner Sean Sundwall is starting his third local race, the Finaghty’s St. Patty’s Day Run, in March. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Children race through the starting line last fall, during the Snoqualmie Turkey Trot fun run. Snoqualmie runner Sean Sundwall is starting his third local race, the Finaghty’s St. Patty’s Day Run, in March.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Snoqualmie resident Sean Sundwall’s dream of turning the Valley into a prime running destination is gaining ground.

Sundwall is organizing the third of what looks to be a year-round series of footraces and fun runs in Snoqualmie. The first annual Finaghty’s St. Patty’s Day Run is planed for Saturday, March 14. The event includes a five kilometer race and one kilometer children’s race. Both events start and end on Kinsey Street near Center Boulevard on Snoqualmie Ridge. The children’s run begins at 9 a.m., and the 5k run starts at 9:30 a.m.

Sponsored by Finaghty’s Irish Pub, proceeds from the races go to Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Racing is a passion for Sundwall, who wants to create a culture of running in the community.

Sundwall’s other two races, a Railroad Days fun run and an autumn Turkey Trot, began last year. The trio of Snoqualmie races make it easier for runners in the Valley to stay on track.

“Three times a year, people can check in on where they are in their fitness, and do it in a fun, low-pressure atmosphere,” Sundwall said.

The course on the hill is reasonable, with ups and downs but no truly steep stretches.

Walkers and strollers are welcome. Sundwall said the race is meant to be all-inclusive.

“There are a lot of reasons to run,” he said.

Sundwall runs 100 miles a week, and has found it a great way to manage stress and enjoy the beauty of the nature in the Valley.

For its size, the Valley is blessed with trails, walking paths and a modern track facility at Mount Si High School. Runners can easily get a key for access at the school district office. Many residents, Sundwall said, live within walking distance of a trail or paved path.

“The great thing about running is that whatever level you are at, you can always make the team,” he said. “There is no getting cut.”

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