Hundreds lace up to raise education funds at MandaRun

By: Kim Palaferri Loomis News Correspondent
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After a chilly night of driving rain, more than 600 people braved the cold and threat of rain on Sunday morning to participate in MandaRun 2011, sponsored by the Loomis Basin Education Foundation. With more than 500 people pre-registered and 100 plus people registering on Sunday Nov. 20, 5K and 10K runners hit the streets of Loomis, dodging rain puddles as they went. Half marathon runners began their race at the Auburn Fairgrounds and finished in Loomis. Making an appearance at the MandaRun 10K was ultra-marathon runner Jacob Rydman, of Rocklin. Rydman ran 5.5 minutes per mile for a total time of 33:54.1 minutes. He said he runs about four to five ultra-marathons per year, but likes training on smaller event. “I really enjoy running local small-town races, especially since it raises funds to support the schools,” said Rydman. Rydman got moral support to keep a fast pace from his friend cyclist Oliver Bell peddling at his side. “It was nice to have Oliver pushing me today on his bike, making sure I keep a fast pace,” said Rydman. Bell is a sponsored rider on the Victory Velo team, of Auburn, and along with the rest of his teammates assisted in the race, guiding runners along bucolic country roads in the half marathon. The 5K and 10K races started and finished behind Christensen’s Saddle and Supply, with the 5K route leading up Taylor Road onto Rippey Road and back around. Some of the race participants were from Franklin Elementary School’s running club, called the Trojan Trackers. This was the Trojan Trackers fifth year participating in MandaRun. According to Michele Gray, of Loomis, a Trojan Tracker co-coach, there are 180 club members, 40 of whom participated in the MandaRun. “The club promotes a healthy lifestyle with running before school on Mondays and Wednesdays. We use the MandaRun as a training goal for the runners,” said Gray. The 5K and 10K runners ranged in age from the very young to older, seasoned athletes. A few of the youngest runners in the 5K were 3- to 5-year-olds. Some of the younger runners like Patrick Bailey, of Loomis, Ryan Graf, of Loomis, both five-year-old, crossed the finish line with ease, while Zachary Clay, of Loomis , and Jack Bailey, of Loomis, both 6, toasted their finish with a couple of waters. Crossing the finish line for the first overall youth runner was Jacqueline Armand, 9, from Penryn Elementary 21:49.5. Many seasoned athletes pounded the pavement, one stride at a time, to a successful race and finish. Tony Alvarez, 76, of Loomis, completed the half marathon, while his wife Mary Alvarez completed the 5K. Dilyn Romelle Radakovitz, 64 of Loomis, made a run for it as she completed the half marathon. Senior athletes like Jack Craig, 69, of Lincoln, finished the 5K, while Sandra Pegram, 70 of Auburn, also made a healthy showing in the 5K. Beyond the finish line, the festivities continued, as runners were treated to a continental breakfast outside Blue Goose Event Center, that included bagels, fresh fruit and, of course, mandarins. Then, the music kicked in and the awards ceremony was held inside the Blue Goose Event Center. The event benefited the students of the Loomis Union School District through the Loomis Basin Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization.