This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Sammamish Polar Bear 5K. It was so much fun having our SRA community come together for one event when we are usually separated by different days of the week and time of day. During the event we saw some impressive running times and enjoyed much better weather compared to last year.
The Sammamish Polar Bear 5K had the treat of fielding two olympic athletes in the race. Hans Struzyna, a former SRA junior rower, and his fiance, Kristin Hedstrom, each took a first place medal- Kristin won the overall women’s category while Hans was the fastest man in the 20-29 age category, but was 4th for overall men. Hans rowed in the 2016 Rio Olympics and was in town for his sister’s wedding. Kristin rowed in the 2012 olympics, and now works as a personal trainer and weight loss coach in California.
Two SRA juniors followed behind Kristin to place overall 2nd and 3rd in the women’s category. Respectively they were Brooke Caragher and Megan Williams. Chris Gossett won 1st for overall men with an incredible 5K time of 17:11, and was followed closely by Justin Jablonowsky who placed 2nd with a time of 18:08. With a 6:05 mile pace, SRA junior, Nikola Bojanic, took third place overall and first for his age group. On the day of the race 302 people had registered to run, and Woodinville Running Co estimated between 25-35 “day of” registrants.
We had some big goals for this run, and because of your support, we achieved many of them. Our overall goal was to raise money for our 2019 Scholarship Fund, which was mostly achieved through rower and coach fundraising pages as well as sponsorships. Our sponsors were incredible and did so much more than just write a check to support us. Many sponsors showed up on race day to either run, watch the race, or set up a booth to meet community members.
CrewNerd, created by one of our own members, Tony Andrews, is a tremendous supporter of this year’s race. CrewNerd is a smartphone application designed for use on the water by rowers and paddlers, providing athletes and coaches with real-time information about stroke rate, time, speed, distance, direction, heart rate, and more. CrewNerd was the first rowing app for the iPhone and has been used by rowers around the world and at all levels of competition for almost 10 years. It works like an NK SpeedCoach but at a small fraction of the cost, and on all major smartphone models.
Athletes can create custom workouts of various kinds and record workout data which can then be reviewed on the device or exported in a variety of popular formats for analysis and charting. Exported data can be sent via email or through USB to your computer. Rowing shells of all sizes are supported as well as kayaks, canoes, and dragonboats.
Andrews serves on the Board of Directors for Sammamish Rowing Association and was instrumental in securing funding for our relatively newly constructed boathouse. The boathouse is a gorgeous two story structure that was completed in 2016 after six years of building phases and fundraising.
Another supporter and sponsor of the Sammamish Polar Bear 5K was Todd Lozier of Lochwood-Lozier Custom Homes. The Lozier name and home building can be traced back as far as 1776, when the Lozier family first built a home to sell in Midland, NJ. The name of their company is Lochwood-Lozier, a name that was actually derived from a car called the Lozier Lakewood. The Lozier Lakewood finished in second place in the first Indianapolis 500.
Todd Lozier’s great-great-uncle, Eugene Drummond, was the site-superintendent for Frank Lloyd Wright. Eugene’s son, William Drummond, went on to work for Frank Lloyd Wright as his lead draftsman. More recently, the Lozier name goes back three generations to 1958 when the family moved to the Northwest from Omaha, NE.
Todd’s daughter, Lauren, is a current junior SRA coxswain and raced on Saturday as well. She was joined by her younger sister, Claire, who won first place in her age group by running the 5K in 25:06.
As President, Todd Lozier, has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and gives his time to his family church in Bellevue. He has participated for several years in the Clyde Hill Elementary School Auction. He is also a proud sponsor of Clyde Hill Days. SRA was fortunate to have him as a sponsor for our Sammamish Polar Bear 5K as well.
Dave DeWinter’s business, RowHero, was another sponsor. You can follow RowHero on Instagram and watch Dave as he shows off his work on erg data tracking. RowHouse appeared on race day with their own table to tell people about there up and coming rowing boutique studios in the community. PixelFire provided support as well. Their business helps others market through visual communication and was founded by Steve Bumstead who rows for our evening masters team. Lastly, Voyafa Financial and Crossfit PTV sponsored the run as well. Crossfit PTV has trained our juniors in the past and is located just on the other side of Marymoor Park.
Pre and post race fuel was kindly donating by KIND Snacks, Blazing Bagels, and GU Energy who all provided samples of some of their best products. Time was generously donated by our over 20 volunteers! Volunteers helped with registration, running the food table, helping with timing, cleaning up the race site, giving out awards, and monitoring the course.
Junior coaches had a busy day since they attended the 5K run and ran the Junior Captain’s Boat Race right afterwards at the SRA boathouse. Our junior coaches helped volunteer at the Sammamish Polar Bear 5K, and arrived before the beautiful bright sun had risen.
Overall, the Sammamish Polar Bear 5K was a fun event for coaches, rowers, and members of our community. We want to thank everyone for their support, and we hope you had an amazing time. Get ready for the Sammamish Polar Bear 5K 2020!
Thank you Brian Lewis for taking photos! More Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page under the album: Sammamish Polar Bear 5K 2019