The Governor’s Run

After more than two decades this event is still going strong

It’s been a tradition since 1983, The Bob Merriman Memorial Washington Governor’s Run.

Every spring over 1,000 riders assemble at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds for two days of riding, food, prizes, motorcycle drill team performances, a bike show and general rider mingling. The event raises money for the Holly Ridge Center’s Infant Toddler program.

2007 Governor's Run Highlights

The event is this weekend - Saturday and Sunday May 5th - 6th.

It's the 25th Anniversary!  You can purchase the commemorative 25th anniversary coin while your at the event this weekend.

The Washington State Department of Licensing will be unveiling a TV campaign aimed at motorcyclists encouraging endorsement compliance and certified training courses.

Each year a bike is given away as the grand prize.  This year there will be TWO!  A new Honda Goldwing and a new Harley-Davidson Electra Glide.  There will also be a Bushtec trailer included in the prize lot.  You cannot win if you do not play.  Be there! 

Are you or someone you know riding without an endorsement?  The DOL will be on hand all weekend administering the riding test required for an endorsement.  All you'll need to do is take your certificate to DOL with one year, take the written test and you'll be legally endorsed to ride.

The vendor booths will be open both days.  In honor of the 25th anniversary here's a list of specials we'll have. Stop by the Sound RIDER! booth, say hello and SAVE 25% on the items listed here.   To get the discounts you must bring a print out of this with you to the Sound RIDER! booth:

  • PacSafe Retractasafe 100 - Regular $15.95, your price $11.96
  • Motorcycle Touring by Greg Fraser - Regular $24.95, your price $18.71
  • Bodyglide Sunscreen - Regular $6.99, your price $5.24
  • Ultimate Vision Kit - Regular $28.95, your price $21.95
  • NiteIze LED Maglite conversion- Regular $8.95, your price $6.71
  • Arrow Socks - Regular $14.50, your price $10.87
  • Sound RIDER! Kickstand pads - Regular $4.95, your price $3.71

Over the years the event has evolved from its humble beginnings. Just how did it get its extended name, and was Bob Merriman actually a governor at one time? Read on.

In 1983 it wasn’t called the Governor’s Run at all. It was called the Bremerton Run. The Run was started by GWRRA Bremerton chapter director, Bob Merriman. Merriman was set on giving back to the local community and chose the Holly Ridge Center as his recipient, a center that works with developmentally disabled infants and toddlers.

Today there are numerous charity events put on by motorcycle organizations, but back in 1983 taking money from a motorcycle club was something some organizations were uncomfortable with. Holly Ridge was no exception, feeling a bit queasy themselves about the idea of doing such.

The event caught on quick and it was a big success. Washington State’s Governor Booth Gardener saw what was happening and stepped in to support the cause, bringing even more profile and validity to the event. In 1985 the Bremerton Run was renamed "The Governor’s Run."

The Governor’s Run continued on and by 1995 the event had raised a total of $150,000 for Holly Ridge. Bob Merriman’s dream was indeed a reality. In 1997 Merriman passed away. It was at this point that the event was once again renamed, this time as The Bob Merriman Memorial Washington Governor’s Run.

The ride events include a Ride & Find on Saturday which is much like a scavenger hunt style ride.  Saturday evening rally goers are entertained with live entertainment and an extravagant two wheel light show. On Sunday is the official Governors Run, a scenic ride/poker run around the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas where additional prizes can be had for things like guessing the exact mileage and more.  During the late afternoon several drill teams perform.

The event is not exclusive to just GWRRA members. To the contrary, it’s open to all riders of all types of street machines. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see GWRRA, ABATE, CMA, WSBMWR and other club members sitting and chatting one another up at the fairgrounds. You’ll see all kinds of bikes at the event from Gold Wings to Harleys, Sportbikes to BMW’s, trikes and sidecars, and then someone always manages to show up with a one-of-a-kind whatchama-call-it.

For more information on the Holly Ridge Center visit

For more information, or to sign up to ride the run visit the official website at