More than 1,100 participate in fifth annual Can Do event in Bothell

Runners, including
Runners, including 'Waldo,' explode from the start line of the 2013 Can Do run in Bothell. The event celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday. Proceeds from the Can Do go to support special needs organizations in the Bothell area.
— image credit: Matt Phelps/Bothell Reporter

The Can Do 5/10K run and walk celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday, as more than 1,000 area residents took to Bothell streets to support special needs organizations for kids and their families.

"It is empowering to know that we are helping our community," said this year's event co-director Natalia Bynum. "This is our community. We are all participating and it is very inclusive."

The race played host to 1,129 runners and walkers this year with most participants there to support the special needs community. Most of the volunteers are a part of the organization Northwest Special Families (NSF). All proceeds benefit NSF and other organizations that support special needs kids. The Northshore YMCA and Center for Human Services are organizing sponsors of the event.

"All of these kids are faced with limitations, and with this race, we want to show what they Can Do," said Bynum. Many of the racers have children, or know someone who has a child, with special needs. Participants traveled from near and far to show their support and get some exercise.

"I wanted to support a co-worker of mine who has a son with autism," said Megan Siler of Everett, competing in her first race. "This event is really cool because it is nice to see the support from the community."

It was also Bothell resident Joyce Hays' first time taking part in a race.

"It seemed pretty low key and I wanted to run a race before I was too old," joked Hays. "And it is for a good cause."

Diane Jacoby, who works for the Northshore YMCA, was competing in her third Can Do and brought her husband James and father Steve Chase.

"I have taught many of the kids out here swim lessons and it is very inspiring to see these kids raising money for special needs families," she said.

For Chase, who said he is a "recovering couch potato," it was an opportunity to give back to community and get exercise.

"It is my dad's first race and it is a flat course," said Diane Jacoby. "I think more people are able to do the course because of that. And it is at a good time of the year."

The rain clouds held off as northbound lanes of 120th Avenue Northeast filled with runners, walkers, dogs and baby strollers at 8:30 a.m.

Entire teams of Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts volunteered to help with the race's organization and 24 Starbucks employees also volunteered. Many Bothell businesses have made it a tradition to support the event through volunteering or with monetary support.

Although the total funds raised won't be known for a couple of weeks, last year the event raised $30,000 for special needs organizations, with 1,400 turning out for the event.

"It has really grown during the past four years and we have had fabulous support," said Bynum. "We are looking to meet or top last year's total (for funds raised)."

Race results

As for the race itself, Zach Chupik was the first 10K runner across the line in a time of 40 minutes, 59 seconds, while the first female across the line was Sam Robbins in a time of 48:30. The race had 108 official participants. In the 5K, 680 runners officially participated with Nicholas Laccinole crossing the finish line first with a time of 18:15. The first female was Erica McElrea in a time of 20:26.For all the individual race results, visit the Online Race Results website at

For more photos go here.


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