Grandparents Race Each Other at Horse Racing Track – Runner's World

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Grandparents who broke from the gates were allowed to run, walk, or jog across the track.

Emerald Downs, a Washington State venue usually meant for thoroughbred racing, offered up a new type of race over the weekend. The racetrack hosted its inaugural “Grandparents Weekend,” including an aptly named “Grandparents Race” on Sunday, which consisted of over 20 participants covering a distance of 40 yards.
Grandparents who broke from the gates were allowed to run, walk, or jog across the track, though the competition was quite spirited. Straight away, two grandparents that got off to a great start can be seen tumbling to the ground—though no injuries were later reported.
Steve Butler of Everett, Washington, was crowned the inaugural race winner with a wire-to-wire finish. Butler kept a steady pace on his way to glory, unlike a few opponents, who appeared to be gaining on him before crashing to the dirt. After the race, Butler claimed to have not run a foot race since he played high school football in 1973 when he raced against the linemen in practice. Impressively, a few more “advanced” runners appeared to be flying down the track toward the finish line.
Finishing last in the race was a couple that opted to stroll across the finish line hand in hand.
This isn’t the first time the track has gone with a more offbeat race in the name of a good time. In 2021, the racetrack held a “Jockey Foot Race” that pitted the racers against one another sans steeds. The track has also held bulldog races, corgi races, and even a baby race appropriately named the “diaper derby.”
The fun-filled weekend included free entry to the racetrack for grandparents, along with special prize drawings.
No word on if anyone at the track was able to hit a trifecta on the race.
Laura Ratliff is a New York City-based writer, editor, and runner. Laura’s writing expertise spans numerous topics, ranging from travel and food and drink to reported pieces covering political and human rights issues. She has previously worked at Architectural Digest, Bloomberg News, and Condé Nast Traveler and was most recently the senior editorial director at TripSavvy. Like many of us, Laura was bitten by the running bug later in life, after years of claiming to “hate running.” Her favorite marathon is Big Sur.

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