Sports

Big new role for Snoqualmie Railroad run

Raising a “1” sign in triumph, Mike Sayenko, of Bellevue, crosses the 10-kilometer run finish line in the first-ever Railroad Days race last year. Behind him, race founder Sean Sundwall watches the competition on his bicycle. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Raising a “1” sign in triumph, Mike Sayenko, of Bellevue, crosses the 10-kilometer run finish line in the first-ever Railroad Days race last year. Behind him, race founder Sean Sundwall watches the competition on his bicycle.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

This is one busy summer for Snoqualmie runner Sean Sundwall.

Fresh from starting a new running club in the Valley, Sundwall is set to host the second annual Snoqualmie Railroad Days 5K/10K race.

The footrace, to be held Saturday, Aug. 22, comes with added stature — this year, it doubles as the Pacific Northwest Track & Field 10k championship, and is now sanctioned by USA Track and Field.

As a result, Sundwall is expecting a larger field for 2009. Around 250 competitors have registered, well over last year’s numbers, and upwards of 500 runners could come. The Valley Record is one of the race’s sponsors.

A member of the Pacific Northwest Track & Field Association attended the race last year and was impressed with both the course and turnout. The association decided to be part of the run, making it their marquee summer event, Sundwall said.

“I’m honored, I’m thrilled,” he said. “It has less to do with me and more to do with the people that have turned out for the race and the course that was selected.”

“My goal with the Railroad Days race was to provide a local flat, fast, beautiful course and flat, fast, and beautiful in the Northwest oftentimes don’t go together,” Sundwall said.

Fall City resident Mark Howard, who raced last year, is looking forward to the larger field.

“It’ll be good. It’ll be interesting,” Howard said. “Last year, surprisingly, I won first in my age group (50-55), but I just came out to run it just for fun.”

Run club

Meanwhile, Sundwall is seeing growing interest in the Mount Si Running Club. Recently formed, the club has new members joining each week. It now has around 40 active runners.

Sundwall sees the club as part sport, part social.

“We have those who will run a seven minute pace; we have those who will run at a 15-minute pace,” he said.”I envisioned this [as] a group for everyone to come and find someone to run with, because running [is something] we do too often alone.

“The idea is to just build a community, a somewhat social community, of runners,” Sundwall added.

He’s excited because the word is getting out about the club.

“It’s kind of fun to come down here on a Saturday morning, especially when it’s nice weather,” said Howard, who recently joined the club. For him, it’s great to “have a group, be able to find a couple [people] that run about your same pace and get to know them,” Howard said.

Membership in the club is $40 and includes a T-shirt; the entry fee for the Railroad Days race is $20, or $10 for the children’s race

Along with a free T-shirt, all children get a medal for finishing.

To learn about the race and club, visit www.runsnoqualmie.com. On-site registration for the race will be available on the day of the event.

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