Mike the inflatable orca, modeled after J-26

More than 860 people ran the Orca Half Marathon in West Seattle yesterday. Each ran for an individual southern resident orca, whose life history was printed on their race bibs!

Thanks to Orca Running for making us their non-profit partner for the second year in a row. Thanks to the runners, their families and friends who stopped by our booth to learn about the whales.

And thanks most of all to our rock star volunteers, who passed out water at Aid Station 5, taught about orcas at Don Armeni, and kept Mike the inflatable orca well tended while he posed for hundreds of selfies.

Gail, Eric, Felicia, Bill, Barry, Maya, Melissa, Mitch, Caitlin, Isaiah, Annie, Paul and Tunde – we couldn’t have done this without you. So glad you are part of our pod!

Special thanks to the West Seattle Blog and West Seattle Timebank for helping us get the word out about this event, to my friends who responded so generously to my plea for help last week, and to NOAA Fisheries for loaning us Mike!

It was wonderful meeting new and old friends, and teaching so many people – especially kids – about orcas. Days like yesterday give me hope. We’ll be watching for the return of Mike’s non-inflatable relatives soon. See you on The Whale Trail!