All-Comers meets resume Monday

"The increasingly popular all-comers track meets begin their sixth season Monday at 7 p.m. at the Bainbridge High School track.This is a family-oriented event for anybody that runs, meet director Jim Whiting said. Well over half of our turnout is usually kids 12 and under, but we have some serious runners as well.Depending upon attendance, the meet offers races of 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 meters, plus a 4 x 100 meter relay.If enough competitors show up, there are age and sex categories, particularly for the younger runners in the short events, so entrants are matched against runners their own age.Nothing could be more discouraging for a 6-year-old kid than to be put up against a 12-year-old, Whiting said.The meets begin with the joggers' mile, in which the winner is determined by closeness to the runner's predicted time.We have a couple of families where the husband and wife do the joggers' mile and maybe a couple other events, and the kids do some of the shorter distances, Whiting said.The meets are held each Monday through the end of August.At the first three meets, New Motion Physical Therapy will conduct pre-race stretching instruction at 6:30, and stay on-site for complimentary flexibility screenings and gait analysis. While the majority of the entrants are strictly recreational runners, Whiting said the meets do attract some serious athletes as part of their summer training. He said that Chris Charles, a former BHS runner who finished second in the state cross-country meet some years ago, has indicated an interest in coming out. Whiting, a long-time runner and former editor of Northwest Runner magazine, said that current BHS distance runners Evan Galloway and Andy Reese were fixtures last summer. I think it paid off in how they did in cross country and track, he said."

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