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The Bear Run – Better Than Ever

the Silver Strider online presents

Race Reports 

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    7210 Greenlake Dr N, Seattle, WA
   16095 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA


    The Bear Run – Better Than Ever



by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher


.6/11/17 – Maple Valley

The Bear Run in Maple Valley just keeps getting better each year. This race has become a great favorite of the Silver Striders. The Tahoma XC Running Club really knows how to put on a race.

The registration area was well organized and staffed by a large group of friendly volunteers. The low entry fee included a neon yellow Bear Run shirt. Kids 12 and under were free thanks to the Tab Wizard.

The event, held in beautiful Lake Wilderness Park, welcomed 687 entrants this year.  An expanse of lawn adjoining the lake easily accommodated the large crowd of runners.

There was a strong turnout of Silver Striders, many who were participating in the “Tab Wizard’s Grand Prix Series”.  The Bear Run was the 3rd race in the current series.

The Tab Wizard, Dennis Zaborac, is retiring. His generous support of running programs and his sponsorship of the Bear Run have been greatly appreciated and he will be missed by all. Dennis has been giving stuffed bears to the kids at the Bear Run, as well as paying entry fees for children wishing to run in the event.

The Tab Wizard and friend, Dennis Zaborac

The Tab Wizard’s stuffed animal adoption agency

Making a new friend

Making the Bear Run special























The Bear Run was also the venue this year for the Tab Wizard’s Battle of the Boomers in the W 50-54 age division. Four of the fastest women in the state of Washington, wearing the elite “purple” shirt, were competing to determine who would be the champion in their age group.

The weather on race morning was ideal – scattered clouds with the temperature in the low 60’s.

As the time of the race approached, the large crowd of runners and walkers assembled in the starting area. Once the gun went off, the crowd began to filter through the narrow starting area. Everyone seemed courteous, handling the initial congestion well.

Out on the road, there was plenty of room. Streets were closed and trails were free of non-race traffic. The course was well marked with plenty of smiling volunteers cheering runners as they passed by.

The course circled the lake. There were a couple of steep uphill sections early in the race. As the runners reached the higher portion of the course, the scenery was spectacular.

The third mile was a real treat. It was all slightly downhill and the fastest section of the race. The course finished back in the park with the last 100 yards on grass.

Finishing times on the hilly course were faster that you would expect. This was probably due to the fact that the climbs were mostly short and steep, while the downhill section was gradual and long.

Igor Velichko

The first Silver Strider to finish was Igor Velichko, 53, in a time of 19:39.

Kristen Mossman


Super Athlete Kristen Mossman, 53, was the first female Silver Strider with a time of 21:02. Kristen’s time was National Class.

Judy Fisher


Super Athlete Judy Fisher was the only other National Class performer on this challenging course. Judy, age 73,  ran an impressive 26:27.




David Longmuir, age 69, ran an imposing 21:47, missing National Class time by only 11 seconds.

The awards presentation for the Battle of the Boomers was held at 10:00 a.m. An article detailing the Boomer race will be published later this week under the “Boomers” heading on the menu bar.

At the finish line, runners and walkers enjoyed an assortment of muffins and fruit.

Drawings were held for many prizes while the runners were out on the course. The winners were listed on a board following the race. A raffle was held for an additional prize, an autographed Steve Largent jersey.

The race was chip timed, although gun time was used for the awards. The Bear Run awards ceremony followed the distribution of prize drawings. There were 5 year age divisions up to 85+.

Individuals who finished in the top 3 of their age group were introduced and photographed.  First place finishers received the coveted Teddy Bear, emblematic of winning their age division. Second and third place received “Bear Bells”.

The announcer paid tribute to the Silver Striders throughout the day.

                              Photo gallery by Bruce Fisher


Race Director Jarrett Houser and the Bear Run crew.


left to right: Jarrett Houser – Race Director, Sandra Madden – volunteer, the new Tab Wizard – Rob Perry, and Dennis – retiring Tab Wzard


Jerry (left) presents Susan Hall with her Grand Prix Series finishers trophy, a gift certificate, and a free race entry.

Steve Husko, Allen Walker, and Linda Walker



Following the awards ceremony, a happy group of Silver Striders met at Stockton’s for a breakfast get together.

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