Mariana Vancil had prepared well for the recent Snoqualmie Valley Walk/Run 4 Women, not letting her 86 years of age get in the way.
She’d been out walking every day for months, and for the second year in a row she planned to complete the entire 13.1-mile half-marathon.
“I was surprised at how good I felt at the end of it last year,” Mariana said as she stood and prepared to get underway. “And this is a fun way to help raise funds for a good cause.”
Out on the front steps of the old Depot in Duvall, approximately 65 walkers, runners and volunteers gathered for the event’s official sendoff.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event would go to the women at the Acres of Diamonds homeless shelter in Duvall, as well as to the Eastside Domestic Violence Hotel/Motel Voucher program, which provides an immediate place for women to go when they are in an unsafe situation.
“We can’t do the hard work for these women as they strive to rebuild their lives,” Duvall Civic Club treasurer Rose Hollis told the crowd. “But we can give them our support.”
And with that, the walkers and runners headed down the trail. Among them, of course, was Mariana Vancil. As the eldest walker, Mariana had made a new friend. That was 9-year-old Adam Golshanara, the youngest participant.
This would be his first half-marathon, and though he and his mom initially planned to walk only a couple of miles, in the end they got caught up in the enthusiasm and — along with Mariana — completed the entire 13.1 miles.
“People who never thought they could walk the whole way ended up doing the whole half-marathon” volunteer event chair Maura Van Ness said. “They were very proud of themselves.”
Back at the Depot hours later, Mariana Vancil enjoyed a chat with other participants and rested her tired feet, happy that once again she’d completed the entire half-marathon.
The Walk/Run raised enough money to provide more than $2,600 to Eastside Domestic Violence and the women at Acres of Diamonds.
Among the donations and the walkers were some particularly special stories, including a donation made in the memory of a local woman named Meg Holmes.
And there was the walker Brenda Hale, who participated along with her daughter Danielle Tercier.
Hale said she joined in the Walk/Run 4 Women because she is a survivor of a rare form of cancer called sarcoma and wanted to return the support so many people had given her when she was ill.
The Snoqualmie Valley Walk/Run for Women was sponsored by the Duvall Civic Club, which matched their members’ registration donations for the third year.See them on Facebook or call (425) 788-2492 for more information.
It’s not too late to donate. You can make your check out to “Duvall Civic Club Walk/Run 4 Women” and send it to the Duvall Civic Club, P.O. Box 315, Duvall, WA 98019.
Also critical to the event’s success was the support given by local businesses, including Match Coffee and Wine Bar, Duvall Coffeehouse, Valley Mailbox, Thrive Fitness, Ixtapa, Houston Barkley C.P.A.,Duvall Auto Parts, Pentz Design, Duvall Family Grocer, Duvall Safeway, Grange Café, The Laurel Tree, Community Business Services, Caron Nelson-Glickman Dentistry, Duvall Starbuck’s, Sam Castillo dentistry, and Redmond Ridge McDonald’s.