FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 23, 2021
YAKIMA, WA – We had big plans for the return of the Downtown Yakima Mile this year, but nature had other plans. For the safety of the runners, volunteers, spectators and our community, we must put the event on hold due to effects from the Schneider Springs Fire northwest of Naches. The race down Yakima Avenue was to be held Saturday, Aug. 28.
The 11-heat event included community-wide opportunities for runners/walkers of all ages and abilities, with the men’s and women’s Elite heats in the evening highlighting the festivities. In 2019, its inaugural year, the Downtown Yakima Mile quickly became a must-do destination for many of the world’s top mile racers when Amos Bartelsmeyer set a new Washington state record for men with a time of 3 minutes, 51.79 seconds.
This year’s race was to feature a men’s field of more than 20 Elite milers, most with times under 4 minutes, including Olympian Matthew Centrowitz, who took the gold medal in 2016 in the 1,500-meters. Collectively, the expected field holds 13 of the 20 fastest outdoor mile times run this year by Americans.
The Elite race purse for this year almost doubled ($46,500), thanks to our generous community sponsors. Funds raised were also earmarked to support YWCA Yakima. Race organizers remain committed to benefitting Yakima’s largest provider of domestic violence services in Yakima County. The YWCA provides the only shelter of its kind in the city of Yakima, operating 24/7. In addition, YWCA Yakima offers the first affordable housing specific to families who are homeless as the result of domestic violence. Crisis, housing and legal advocacy is also provided to those in need. We encourage you to learn more about the life-saving services provided by the Yakima YWCA at ywcayakima.org.
The Downtown Yakima Mile was founded by Chris Waddle of Hogback Development Company. Hogback’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the Yakima Valley. The Downtown Yakima Mile was created to encourage health and fitness for everyone in our community.
We remain very excited about the future of the Downtown Yakima Mile as both a community and world-class sporting event. We take inspiration from our runners: We will never give up. At the Downtown Yakima Mile we care about our community 365 days a year.
Look for a new date for the Downtown Yakima Mile soon. For the latest information visit yakimamile.com.
We encourage our community to reach out to those in need at this time. The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help operate shelters for people evacuating from fires and other disasters. To volunteer or for more information, go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.