Why Racing Events, a race management company that produces events throughout the Pacific Northwest, has announced that 100% ownership has transitioned to Karissa Schoene, a long-time employee who has been managing and involved in the production of many of the races for the last 15 years.
Sherri McMillan, founder of Why Racing Events, said “I’ve worked with Karissa Schoene producing events for the last 15 years and her attention to detail and community relationships will enable her to take Why Racing Events to another level. I knew I wanted the legacy we’ve created to continue and Karissa was part of it all right from the beginning and I was confident she would be the one to take the torch and run with it!”
Schoene concurs “I’ve known Sherri for over 21 years and we’ve been able to build something very special. I love our athletes and our community and it’s all about relationships for me. I want to continue to be able to provide the opportunity for our community to focus on their health and fitness, to train to cross the finish line, to challenge themselves, and do it all while helping raise funds for important community causes.”
During the pandemic, Why Racing Events resorted to virtual events to continue offering racing opportunities to athletes. “We made a decision in March 2020 that even though live races were canceled, we could still fulfill our mission by helping our athletes focus on their physical strength, mental health, stress release, immune system and continue to foster friendships and community, all so critical when everyone was feeling a sense of isolation. We could still take care of our athletes but the finish line just had to be virtual” says McMillan. “We were able to keep over 13,000 athletes healthy and active during our 2020 virtual races. We helped our athletes stay fit and they helped us survive. We couldn’t have done it without them and the support of our sponsors and partners who believed in our mission” adds Schoene.
McMillan owns Northwest Personal Training, a fitness and training studio in downtown Vancouver. When asked what the future holds for her now that she no longer owns Why Racing Events, she responds “I will still be involved in events to support the Kids Run Free initiative to help combat childhood obesity and inspire kids to get off their electronic devices. A few years ago I founded Why Community, a non-profit with a mission to allow at-risk groups the opportunity to train and race for free. I believe so much in the power of crossing the finish line that I want everyone to be able to experience it and how much it positively impacts your life. During the pandemic we gifted over 2000 complimentary registrations to at-risk groups and we helped raise funds for many local causes so I feel very good about continuing with that mission. In addition, I will now have the time to focus on Northwest Personal Training, which has taken a big hit over the last year and a half during the pandemic.”
Schoene continues “We are excited to grow our events and create a world-class racing experience for our athletes. We survived the pandemic, learned a ton, and are positioned to attract many more athletes back to live racing. We remain committed to safety, well-organized events, and a fun, friendly, non-intimidating experience that our athletes have come to expect from us.”