Last Sunday, approximately 2000 people, including about 35 Zillow.com employees, friends and family ran, walked, rode in strollers, and hobbled* in the 31st Annual Shore Run Walk 2008. This year we were led by Team Captain, Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CFO and his lovely daughter Sophia, but typically it’s David Beitel, our CTO, who leads the charge. David has been a supporter of the Hutch for years, so it’s no surprise the this is the third consecutive year Zillow.com was a sponsor. It fact, just months after our Beta launch in 2006, Zillow initiated its sponsorship of the 6.7K Run, and for the last two years has been the 5K Run sponsor. The Hutch is such a great organization and doing such important work, it’s hard not to want to support them.
If you’ve never come out for this event, I highly recommend you make every attempt to check in out next year. Why? First, it’s hard not to like the Early Detection Initiative for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and second, there is good reason the Shore Run is referred to as “Seattle’s Most Beautiful Race.” There are two separate beginning points for the races, with the 6.7K Run start at Seward Park and the 5K Run/Walk start at Leschi Park. Both are scenic courses that wind through the neighborhoods and scenery around Lake Washington, through neighborhoods like Leschi, Madrona, Denny-Blaine and to the finish line in Madison Park. Even while sweating through the 5K Walk and hoping to finish before the 5K runners dash pass you by a second time, it’s actually easy to forget you are exerting yourself physically at all. It’s really a stunning stroll along the lake through some of the most beautiful neighborhoods and homes in Seattle, and actually I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say past some of the most beautiful homes and neighborhoods in the world.
There are large and lavish homes, as you will find near most any waterfront area, but there are also homes that more of us have a shot at affording some day. We noticed quite a few homes for sale and with Make Me Move (MMM) prices. A few that caught my eye include this gorgeous condo for sale in Leschi overlooking the marina (one could imagine watching many sunsets from that balcony), then there was a charming 988 sq foot 1911 beach cottage, just steps from the lake with easy access for paddler-types, and in the “one can always dream” category is this 6800 sq ft home with a dock for your float plane (image below).
At the race finish area in Madison Park, people kicked back in the sun and listened to a 10 piece jazz band. I’m not sure who these guys were, but they definitely knew how play and we particularly enjoyed their solos, especially the ones by the baritone sax player. There were also free snacks and drinks to enjoy provided by Mad Pizza, totally delicious Dave’s Killer Bread being sliced and handed out by Dave himself. Talking Rain provided several kinds of interesting energy and vitamin drinks, and there was the usual assortment of fresh fruit, trail mix, white cheddar popcorn, and more.
While some of us were sunning and snacking, the “Kids Run” took place with 68 kids participating. Somewhat amusing is that the race was literally over before it began as most the kids were across the finish line before the race actually started –- apparently the kids were cued on by a balloon pop. Speaking of fun things for kids, check out the new playground at Madison Park. The play area and equipment is really something special since being recently renovated, courtesy of donations from the Friends of Madison Park.
*For those who care, the reference to “hobbled” is for those of us in the Wells Fargo Center building who walked down 46 flights of stairs last week in an emergency preparedness drill. Some of us were inspired by the Mom of General Counsel, Liam Lavery –- whose reach from far away Michigan extends quite effectively to Seattle. She sent Liam a copy of an article “How to Survive a Disaster” –- and the rest is history -– so read at your own risk. Personally, I find it highly alarming to realize at this stage of life that walking DOWN the stairs could be that strenuous, and that a week later my calves and quads are still emitting tiny screams when I actually use my muscles from time-to-time to do such useful things as walk to the kitchen for a snack. Therefore, I resolve to be in better shape next year and intend to do the 5K Walk in 40 minutes or less.