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EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland brings color and bikes to town on Memorial Day

Bicyclists register and prepare for the ride at the 7 Hills of Kirkland during last year
Bicyclists register and prepare for the ride at the 7 Hills of Kirkland during last year's event.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

The 2014 EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland annual ride will bring a show of color and almost 2,000 bicycles to Kirkland between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 26. The event will start and end at Kirkland's Marina Park. Known for 14 years as Seven Hills of Kirkland, this premier regional cycling event has gained its first title sponsor.

EvergreenHealth, dedicated to helping King and Snohomish County residents to live their “healthiest best,” has stepped up for a five year commitment to help grow the event. EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte will ride with a team of EvergreenHealth employees and encourages all health-seeking, community-minded cyclists to register and invite their friends to create a team.

“We’re proud to sponsor the 2014 EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland,” Malte said. “The men and women who participate become stronger and create a healthier community for all with each mile, as the proceeds support KITH.” KITH is a local 501(c)(3) celebrating 25 years of serving homeless families from King County, stabilizing them in housing and supporting them with services while they work to attain housing and self-sufficiency.

Since its inception in 1996, the event attracts riders from all over the Seattle/King County Metro area, Pierce and Snohomish counties, British Columbia, California and throughout the west coast, and as far away as France and the United Kingdom. The first registered rider in 2014 is coming from Wisconsin for the event.

Renowned for its scenic and challenging routes, delicious food, community support, and Bagpiper for All Memorable Occasions Neil Hubbard, the EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland is a challenge not to be missed. Registration fees range from $30 to $60 and teams are welcome and encouraged. The volunteer 2014 7 Hills Event Committee, chaired by Bill Fores, predicts a sell-out, as registrations are tracking ahead of previous years. Riders are encouraged to preregister online at www.7hillskirkland.org.

KITH’s Executive Director Jennifer Barron joins staff and more than 80 volunteers to work at the event from set up, at 5 a.m., through registration at 7 a.m., food stops along the route, greeting the last century riders returning to Marina Park by 4:30 p.m., and clean up afterwards.

“We are always amazed and appreciative of our community’s support all year and especially on Memorial Day,” Barron said.

Barron, Fores and all the volunteers on the event committee strongly encourage cyclists participating in this event to observe all traffic regulations and thank motorists for watching out for bikes and sharing the road on Memorial Day, ensuring safety and health for everyone.

Platinum sponsors are HomeStreet Bank and Kirkland Kiwanis, while titanium sponsors are King County District 6 representative Jane Hague and ExploreKirkland. In-kind sponsors include Starbucks, Kirkland Bicycle, Gregg’s Cycles, Gerk’s Ski & Cycle, KIND and other local businesses and non-profits also support the 2014 EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland. The 7 Hills Ride Village of gold sponsors at Marina Park on Memorial Day adds to the festivities, bringing health information to participants, friends who meet them at the finish line and community members who visit Marina Park. Strawberry shortcake is served to riders who cross the finish line wearing EvergreenHealth 7 Hills of Kirkland bracelets.

The Kirkland Kiwanis is putting on its 5th Annual “Pancaking to End Homelessness” Pancake Breakfast at Peter Kirk Center from 7 a.m. to noon on May 24. This popular event is open to all, with ticket sales benefiting KITH.

Volunteer opportunities remain, from serving on the event committee to cheering cyclists on the route May 26, serving food at a number of food stops or driving Road Assistance Team Support (RATS) vehicles.

Go to www.7hillskirkland.org to register for the ride, volunteer, or learn more about the event. Find out more about KITH at www.kithcares.org.

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