The temperature was in the single digits as four generations of Chris Barnes’ family waited Saturday morning for the start of the Lampson Cable Bridge Run.
They joined roughly 950 other brave souls who participated in the 38th annual run. Runners ranged from youngsters to octogenarians, and traveled from as far as Minnesota to participate.
Barnes, 63, a Kennewick resident, was joined by her mother, Diane Hoch, 81, of Kennewick, her daughter, Yvonne Blaxter, 41, of San Francisco, and two grandchildren, Adeline and Henry Blaxter, 12 and 9.
The plan to bring the family to the bridge started months before. Barnes had taken part in the event in recent years and saw other families and groups make the trip across the bridge. So she made a phone call to her daughter.
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Yvonne Blaxter and her two children were able to participate in the event because the kids went on break from school earlier than normal this year.
“It looked like so much fun,” Barnes said. “So I mentioned it to her earlier in the year and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if my mother could walk with us.’ ... Surprisingly, my mom said, ‘Of course I’ll walk it.’”
It looked like so much fun. So I mentioned it to her earlier in the year and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if my mother could walk with us.’ ... Surprisingly, my mom said, ‘Of course I’ll walk it.’
“I’ve always been very lucky to have a grandmother who is a very active part of my life,” Yvonne Blaxter said. “This is a family of hard-charging, driven women, so it’s a good example to my daughter and my son.”
Barnes, a graphic designer, prepared a T-shirt for each of the family members, commemorating the four-generation get-together. Each person was represented by a polar bear on the back.
Hoch trained for the event by running on her treadmill — but normally, she exercises at 71 degrees.
“Four generations, we don’t get together that often,” she said. “To make it remarkable, we’re doing this.”
They were not anticipating the temperature to drop below zero during the night. The fog from earlier in the day lifted, leaving a coating of ice across everything, but it didn’t stop the women from donning coats and hats and making a go of it.
“My father is really nervous about this,” Barnes said. “He thinks it’s a really bad idea.”
They did walk across the cable bridge to make sure no one slipped on the ice, she said.
“Yvonne got to carry the flag for the family,” Barnes said. “She ran competitively in college. ... Now she just started running again this year.”
Yvonne Blaxter, a member of the Impala Racing Team, ran the course and was the fastest woman with a time of roughly 20 minutes.
As they were heading back to the Benton County Fairgrounds, they were expecting to find that Hoch had won the 80- to 89-year-old division.
“It was a blast,” Barnes said. “The cold wasn’t bad. There are smiles all around.”