LONG BEACH and ILWACO - "The event was a testament to Peninsula-wide cooperation," according to organizers Sherry Hash and Chris Jacobson of the End of Summer Blow-out held the first weekend of October. They said the Kid's Safety Fair was a huge success with Fire District No. 1, the police department, and Surf Rescue people all giving valuable hands-on lessons for young and old alike.
The kayak race was again a popular and challenging event. The Chowder Taste Off was the culinary highlight of the weekend with many thanks to coordinator Gayle Borchard. The Canoe Room's Rebecca Fontana ran away with both the judge's and the people's choice prizes for her chowder.
Both the Long Beach and Ilwaco Merchants Associations helped lay out a 5-K and 10-K coarse for the beach run that began in Ilwaco, went along Highway 100 Loop, through Beards Hollow, then to the beach and to the finish line in Long Beach.
Many local runners did exceptionally well in the run that was moved from June to September. Kenneth Sheldon won the 0-11 race, completing every step of the 5-K course. Ryan Brown of Long Beach was 12th place in the men's 5-K division. Monica Millner won the women's side of the 5-K with Kelly Jacobsen coming in second, Saskia Maertens fourth, and Jeannine Miller 18th.
Local area runners were outstanding in the 10-K events. Katie Freese was first for the women, followed by Meredith Jensen second, Annie Fletcher fifth, Andrea Randall seventh, and Jenelle Varila 14th. Stephen Berglund was third for the guys, Guy Glenn Jr. sixth, Dustin Mead eighth, John Raskauskas ninth, John Schelling 12th, and Don Lutz 16th.
Both the Ilwaco and LB merchants are already in the planning stages for next year's beach run, kayak race, and chowder taste off. Hash was checking tide tables Friday to see what weekend in September would best accommodate the activities planned on the water.