Well-heeled women step it up in race for Olympic Medical Center Foundation

11Each of the runners was clad in heels — some high, some low, some chunky and some stiletto.

The race began with music pumping the “Chariots of Fire” racing theme and lasted just a couple of minutes — though no one was really timing the just-for-fun fundraiser.

Each contestant in the High “Heal” Run paid an entry fee of $15, and a silent auction held afterward boosted funds for Team OMC — a fundraising group for the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.

The first-place winner, Lori Gray, breezed through the finish line to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as if her red stiletto ankle-high boots were just pair of Nikes.

Benefits OMC

Gray said she ran in the race because it benefited OMC.

“Of course I had to run because it is money for OMC,” she said, sporting braided pigtails and sparkling earrings.

Her boots were already in her closet, and although she regularly trains running, she said she hadn’t practiced running in the heels yet.

For her feat, Gray won a gold-glitter high-heel trophy — and for her feet, she won a free pedicure.

Organizer Ashley Hankins said she was inspired to do the event after seeing Kelly Ripa do a similar event for charity.

After the race, Hankins led the group to Wine on the Waterfront, where a silent auction was held, and the group gathered for mimosas to celebrate.

The high-heeled event is leading up to a real half-marathon that Hankins — along with other Team OMC members — will run in December.

They will run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas to raise more funds for the foundation.

Hayley McComas was awarded a glittering trophy, similar to Gray’s, and also a pedicure for having the “hottest heels” — a pair of shiny, Barbie-pink, calf-high boots.

McComas said she hadn’t tried her hand — or, rather, foot — at running in the boots.

“They were, how do I say it, a Halloween costume gone wrong, so I hadn’t worn them before,” she said.

“This was a lot of fun — I’d definitely do it again.”

Her boots — dubbed “hooker heels” by Hankins as she awarded the hottest heels award — will make a second appearance if she runs again next year, McComas said.

Marie Williamson was a “runner” up for the hottest heels award with her calf-high pink Gucci stiletto boots.

Williamson admitted she might have a leg up on some of her competition — she also came in just behind race winner Gray — because of her experience.

“I live in heels,” she said.

“I hike in heels; I run in heels; I camp in heels.”

Though some ran — Hankins said she thought she saw some sparks fly from some of the soles — others walked the eighth-mile course.

Rebecka Owens was one of them, saying: “I’m no fool.”

Though not her first race — she does the Rhody Run every year — it was her first time in heels.

“This was a lot of fun — next year we’ll be overrun with people,” she said.

“It will really be a big hit.”

Deck the heels

Owens decorated her black stilettos with bright pink faux feather boas.

“After this is all over, they can look normal again — but I thought they would look great with some accents,” she said.

Hankins said the event was such a smashing success that she hopes it will become an annual event.

“I couldn’t have done this without the many, many donations and support from the community,” she said.

“It was great, and not a single person fell down.”

__________

Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladaily news.com.

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