As Bryce Alber traveled the 13.1 miles across the 2017 Alaska Airlines Rock ’n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon course, he was hoping for one thing.
“I hope he’s looking down on me and he’s proud,” Alber said.
Alber was running the race to honor the memory of his father-in-law, Clifford Parker, a Vietnam veteran.
“We lost him and it’s Father’s Day,” he said. “It’s a special day, a gift for my wife.”
Not only did Alber compete to celebrate Parker’s memory, he made a noticeable statement out on the course, wearing a replica Alaska Airlines plane that hung around his waist from suspenders. Printed on the side of the airplane it read, “honoring those who serve.”
Alber was easy to spot. It was part of his plan.
“I grew up in Alaska and Alaska is my hometown airline,” Alber said. “Their commitment to veterans and the disabled is just amazing. I wanted to honor them with this airplane. The more it flies, the more pictures I can get out, the more awareness we can raise for those who serve our country and the thanks we have for them. They carry a big weight and this is my salute to them.”
Sunday’s tribute was special for both Alber and his wife, Judith.
“My wife is my rock,” he said. “She’s the center of my universe. I honor him (Parker) for being a father, serving our country and bringing her to me. It’s important we remember. I’m thankful to help do that.”