Steve Byerly held his son Rory’s hand as the duo ran across the finish line of the Dad’s Day Dash at Manito Park on Sunday.
“It’s great to do something with the kid,” Steve Byerly said with sweat dripping down his face. “I can show him perseverance and stick-to-it-iveness.”
Byerly and his son, who wasn’t sweating at all, were among roughly 500 runners in the Dad’s Day Dash 5K this year. The race is hosted by SNAP Spokane, a nonprofit group that helps address the needs of low-income families and homelessness in Spokane.
This year’s run marked the seventh Dad’s Day Dash, and it raised about $35,000 for the nonprofit, said Nicole Bishop, spokeswoman for SNAP.
DJ Shawver and his daughter Brayden Shawver, 6, participated in their first Dad’s Day Dash. Brayden wore a pink cape and matching mask as she held her dad’s hand.
“I like the setting,” she said.
DJ said he appreciates that the Dad’s Day Dash is more focused on family than other races.
The smaller, more intimate venue means the Dad’s Day Dash is geared toward families and kids. The race includes games and snacks.
“I think that’s what draws the family aspect of it,” Bishop said.
Many dads at the race wore a blue, comic-book-themed Dad’s Day Dash T-shirt that got shades darker from the sweat during the sunny day.
One dad, Khalid Shirzad, came to the Dad’s Day Dash because his wife, Susan Shirzad, is on the Spokane Swifts Running Team, his son, Drew Shirzad, 12, is training for a marathon and his daughter is running the Dad’s Day Dash.
“They talked me into it,” he said laughing. “They said, ‘We’re going to sign you up,’ and I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ ”
Sophia Shirzad, 11, said she was excited to run the race with her dad “because he walks.”
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