Submitted by Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
On September 11, 2016, at 11:30 a.m., 278 participants took off to the burst of an air horn in the 3rd Annual Wander to Wander 1K – a .62 mile “wander or sprint” from Johnny’s Donuts to Wander Brewery during Bellingham Beer Week. This event is the first of its kind in a town renowned for endurance races. All of the $5,466 proceeds benefit an equally unique nonprofit: the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center and their mission to provide and promote collaborative and constructive approaches to conflict through mediation, training, facilitation, and community education.
Derek Thornton of Bellingham took first place, crossing the finish line with the fastest time yet at 2 minutes and 48 seconds. Derek had a commanding lead on racers trailing him at a wide range of paces – from lightning speed to a relaxed wander. Individuals and teams celebrated their feat with a pint of beer or root beer at the Wander Brew Hall, proudly wearing finisher medals. Racers came together in a ceremony to bestow Derek with a single, 23” tall golden letter “K” trophy. A smaller golden “K” was presented to the race’s “Final Wanderers,” Michelle and Ryder Kronlund of Everson.
Colleen Kuehl, Co-owner of Wander Brewing stated, “The services provided by the WDRC help strengthen our local community. The WDRC is unique in how they approach dispute resolution and we are excited to have partnered with them for the 3rd Annual Wander to Wander 1K. The event is an excellent tool for both fundraising and also strengthening awareness of the WDRC.”
The WDRC would like to thank Wander Brewing, Chazzzzam Signs & Graphics, Overhead Door, Pacific Surveying & Engineering, Johnny’s Donuts, and Fairhaven Runners for sponsoring and hosting this successful event, and to all of the returning and new participants this year. WDRC Executive Director, Moonwater stated, “This event was a fantastic way for families and friends to participate in Bellingham Beer Week and raise money for such a good cause at the same time. We were thrilled with the turnout and look forward to this event growing even more next year!”