On your mark for Rocklin”s third annual ‘Run for the Gold’, a 5k and 12k running and walking event coursing residential streets in Rocklin”s Sunset Whitney and Clover Valley neighborhoods.
The City of Rocklin and The Elephant Ideas Foundation are preparing the event as a fund raiser for Rocklin Police, Fire and Parks and Recreation projects and for the Rocklin High School track team. Last year’s event raised $11,000 for the soon-to-be-built Rocklin Library. The 2004 version raised more than $8,000 to save the 120 year old Saint Mary’s of the Assumption Church from demolition.
Dozens of Rocklin businesses are providing financial support. California Family Fitness is this year’s title sponsor.
5k contestants will toe the line at 8:30am on March 26 at Johnson Springview Park. The 12k group will go at 8:45 to allow time for the 5kers to clear Sunset Boulevard. The top three finishers at each distance, both men and women, will see cash prizes.
‘Run for the Gold is already a tradition in Rocklin’ said race Co-Director Larry Osborne. ‘Runners from all over the Sacramento area love it because it is so well organized and has great support from Rocklin’s neighborhoods and City staff’ Osborne, 58, and raceCo-Director Giuseppe Petrillo are both marathoners ‘Running is part of my life and has been for 28-plus years,’ said Osborne. ‘It’s a physical sport, a mental exercise and every run is a new adventure. It is something that I can do anywhere.’ Last year’s event saw 1050 participants, almost a hundred more than the 2004 version.
Quail Elementary School 5th Grade teacher Jerry Dodge of Rocklin won the 5k in 2005 with his 17:37, a minute off the course record. ‘I’m accustomed to race events of this magnitude being only in Sacramento,’ said Dodge. ‘But I’d say that Rocklin Run for the Gold is at least as impressive as any of the Sacramento racing events. Everything is so well prepared. It’s as if it has a 20 year tradition.’
The US Track and Field Association certified the course prior to the 2004 race.
Rocklin City Council Member Brett Storey supports the event enthusiastically and intends to compete as a 5k runner. He will be out to catch up with his son this year. ‘After running in the Run for the Gold event this past year, I now see the amount of volunteerism, dedication and commitment to making this the best road race in the Sacramento area’ he said. ‘All facets of the race were organized, easily interpreted and the neighbors were fantastic. The fact that this organization will raise money for worthy causes just puts it over the top in my mind. This is an asset to our community.’
Post- race activities will include food and entertainment, including food and drinks from Venita Rhea’s, Cool River Pizza and Jamba Juice. ‘We are still in the planning stage’ said Petrillo. ‘But we are considering a costume contest for the 5k event’.
‘The event seems to be growing year-by-year’ said Osborne. ‘Run for the Gold is becoming a hub of social interaction through volunteering, family involvement and contestant participation. Rocklin needed a major sporting event and has found one’
Rocklin High ceramics teacher Chris Knorzer of Rocklin won last year’s 12k in a course record 38:48. This year he will be running on behalf of the West Valley Track Club. ‘The race is well organized and runners appreciate the support from a large number of volunteers’ said Knorzer. ‘The course is fast and flat with gently rolling hills and offers a good opportunity for a personal best.’
Joan Lewis was the fastest 12k female last year in 47:42.