Make the McKenzie Connection!

Waddle on, Walterville!

Kid runningBy Ada Weeks

Ready? Set! Waddle! And they were off, running, walking, and waddling for the third annual Walterville Waddle 5K (3.1 miles), an action packed part of the 65th Walterville Fair.

These early morning exercisers began the scenic race through town at 8 a.m., last Saturday, led by Walterville’s Citizen of the Year, Greg Clift, who rode a bicycle to lead the way.

Greg paced the pack of 143 racers, decked out in red race?T-shirts featuring the Walterville Waddle duck logo (designed by a local artist). The route began at the Walterville Community Center, wound down Camp Creek Road to Millican Road, by way of Herrick’s and McKenzie River Nursery’s fields, along the Walterville Canal, and ended back at the Community Center, where the fair festivities were underway.



Music on loud speakers energized the group, starting with “Shake, Waddle (Rattle), and Roll,” provided by Eclectic Edge Racing ( Eclectic Edge tracked the timing and announced all winners as they crossed the finish line.

Michael Stearns, 52, from Springfield, clocked a winning race time of 18.44. First place winner for the ladies was Katherine Tegtmeyer, 36, also from Springfield, with race time of 22.41. Another fast Springfielder was 10-year-old Mitch Dumford, the?quickest young runner with his 21.31 race time. Jane Dods, 79, was the oldest runner, and came in 2/5 in her age group, with a time of 45.35.

“Winner, winner! Chicken dinner!” The top three male and female race winners received free chicken dinners at the fair, compliments of the Walterville Grange. Michael and Katherine (first place male and female racers) also received hand carved mugs, created by a local artist, and rode as royalty in the Walterville Fair Parade.

All “Waddlers” received applause and a warm community welcome as they crossed the finish line, and were given sparkly bead necklaces, water, and healthy treats donated by local vendor, Cosmos Creations. Several ending race participants were awarded beautiful chrysanthemum baskets, generously donated by McKenzie River Nursery.

“This is a great cause for the community,” said first time race participant and?Walterville resident, Barbara Brazelton. “I am glad we supported it!” Barbara walked with her son, Boris Aust, Springfield, and 16-month-old sleeping grandson in stroller, Marco Aust. Dad Boris quipped, “Baby Marcos was awake for most of the race, but slept while crossing the finish line, thanks to heavy duty stroller tires to help minimize the bumpy terrain.” Their race time was 56.39.

Sisters Timeri Hansen and Cassedea Ashley, carrying sleeping three-month-old Adalea Ashley, were proud to finish the course with family members, and women’s’ volleyball team members. “Last year our entire wedding party walked in the Walterville Waddle,” Cassedea recalled. “This year, my husband had to work, but I carried our baby on the Waddle!”

Race organizer and Walterville Fair Parade marshal, Greg Clift, explained that three years ago, as a Grange board member, he suggested a 5K walk/race to build community support and help raise funds the 114-year-old Grange Hall’s much needed repairs (roofing, painting, fuel oil). His idea was well received, and Greg became the Walterville Waddle race chairman. Proceeds from the race will go to help restore this once one-room 1891 schoolhouse,?now the?Grange Hall and Community Center.

Image above: Photo Courtesy West Coast Action Photos. Last over the finish line but not least. This family was well represented when Laura Cherry “ran” a 5k which with 10-month-old John on her back, 2-year-old twins Parker and Joseph on each arm, and 4-year-old Trenton was running circles around them all. She also said there was a mystery baby. “We found out the morning of the race that we are expecting #5 in May,” Laura said, referring to a “new Cherry pit in her belly.”


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