Strange Seattle ‘Lardbutt’ run brings boos, but all in good fun

SEATTLE -- This is the season of road races and most are pretty competitive.

But imagine a road race that doesn’t even stretch a mile, and isn’t the least bit competitive?

This Saturday, the Lardbutt 1k returns to Magnuson Park in Seattle. It’s a .62 mile race that’s not really a race, but rather, a way to poke fun at all those other road races, and also acknowledge that some of us are slowing down.

“We still enjoy getting out and being active but my goodness we sure slowed down,” said Mark Peterson, the brainchild behind the race. “This isn’t intended to make light of people who are big or small. Lardbutts come in all shapes and sizes.”

More than 2,000 athletes signed up for the first race last year, including some seasoned runners who bolted from the starting line, and were roundly booed.

“They get soundly ridiculed and teased,” said Brian Oster, an organizer and veteran of many 5K and 10K races. “We’ve got a lot of spectators and people out there urging them to slow down, take it easy, and not be so serious.”

“Fun was the number one priority,” said Peterson. “Number two was to get people out and active. But an equal priority I think was to benefit someone who can use it.”

The race is also a fundraiser for the University District Food Bank. Last year, walkers, and runners brought more than 2 tons of food.

But fun is the key. People dress up for the race, and when they hit the track they find out that, instead of water stations, there are donut stations.

The Lardbutt 1K is also expanding to San Francisco later this summer, and Peterson hopes to eventually expand around the country.

“The goal is just to finish the race, have fun, and enjoy some donuts.”

For more information or to register for the race, click here.