Student Stride will mark eighth year in Washougal

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The Stride 2011 logo (above), featuring a strongman Stride Cat in orange and black, was created by Washougal High School senior and longtime Stride participant Travis Quackenbush. His design was chosen from contest entries submitted by WHS art students.

Registration is currently open for the Washougal Schools Foundation’s eighth annual Student Stride for Education, an all-student fun run and 5K run/walk.

The event, which funds teacher grants and student scholarships distributed by the foundation, will be held at Washougal High School’s Fishback Stadium and the surrounding area on Saturday, May 21.

“The Stride reflects our community’s commitment to education in and out of the classroom,” said WSF President Kyle Eakins. “It’s not just another run; it’s a show of solidarity and confidence in our children’s education and the teachers that provide it.”

Runners of all ages can participate. Kindergarten, first- and second-grade students will run a 1.5K course, while third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students will run a 2K. Middle and high school students and adults will take part in the 5K run or walk or as volunteers.

The final heat of the day is The Dash, a race for the “pre-kindy” crowd — just one lap around the track.

“We’ve come to expect between 600 and 700 students, teachers and community members to register for The Stride,” said Rene Carroll, event director and co-founder. “It’s hard to believe that the first group of kindergarten runners is now in seventh grade. Many of the high school runners who accompany the younger students in their heats ran the event in elementary school.”

The Stride kicks off at 8 a.m., with the 5K run and walk and then individual grade-level heats follow starting at 9 a.m., and ending around noon.

Discovery Dental of Washougal is the title sponsor.

“My immediate and extended family, as active members in our community, have participated in The Stride for the last five years,” said Dave Stinchfield, DDS. “Our passion with physical fitness and running, combined with our passion for our community, education and children, compelled us to throw our full support towards the annual Stride. We hope to see as many of our community members as possible there, supporting the education of our youth and our future leaders.”

Other sponsors, as of April 3, are Watercare Industrial Services, Waste Connections, Sodexo School Services, Columbia Credit Union, Kemira Chemicals Inc., Corwin Beverage Company and Washougal Sport and Spine.

Registration for all runs is $10, which covers race costs and provides each runner with a commemorative T-shirt, race-day medal and finish line refreshments. Deadline to guarantee a race shirt is April 28, but runners can still register up to and including race day.

Runners can have their names listed on the back of the T-shirt with other donors, at a cost of $10 per name. Deadline for those donations is also April 28.

Registration forms are available at all Washougal schools, Discovery Dental, 2614 “E” St., in Washougal, and at www.washou or

For more information on the Washougal Schools Foundation or The Stride, contact Carroll at 607-5990 or visit the website.

“If you have never been to [The Stride] before, we recommend you come by and see for yourself what all the buzz is about,” Carroll said. “It is so heartwarming to watch those kids cross the finish line with such a sense of accomplishment.”