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Berry Run kicks off Marysville Strawberry Festival
MARYSVILLE — Under cloudy skies, a field of nearly 200 runners and walkers competed in the Strawberry Festival Berry Run, Saturday, June 11, at the Plant Farm at Smokey Point.
Participants took part in either the 1-Mile Run or the 5k Run, and some competed in both. Winners came from different age groups, beginning with the 8 and under group, all the way to 60 and over.
For Pat Taylor, the Berry Run was a family event. Four of Taylor’s grandchildren participated, and if that wasn’t good enough, the Marysville resident strolled away with first place in the 5k’s 60 and over group, finishing the event in 46 minutes and 24 seconds.
“We’ve been training since April,” said Taylor, who crossed the finish line with granddaughter Mallory Newport. “I have to thank our trainer next time I see her. We learned how to run, stretch and cool down, and then, we went for ice cream.”
The proceeds from the Berry Run will go to the Lakewood High School Cross Country team, led by coach Jeff Sowards.
“This is the second year we’ve organized this event,” Sowards said. “We have a great group of volunteers and all the people involved are super.”
The funds that are generated from the event will help to send 14 of Lakewood’s boys and girls cross country team members on their annual road trip. For the past two seasons, the team has participated in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. In previous years, the Cougars went to Boise, Idaho and Oahu, Hawaii. Nearly 60 Lakewood High School cross country team members volunteered for the event.
“This event really benefits our boys and girls,” Sowards said. “And we take great pride in putting together a well-organized event. I have a ton of people helping and we also have a great parent group who have helped. We have a great culture for serving other people.”
The Run, however, drew a lower number of participants than it had in previous years.
“We had about almost 200 people participating today, which is a little lower than our 298 participants from last year,” Sowards said. “I am not sure why, it could be the economy or maybe there are a lot of graduation parties going on. I just don’t know, it’s hard to tell.”
For the men, Jon Murray won the overall 5k event with a time of 16 minutes and 4 seconds and Steve Brown won the overall mile run with a time of 6:20.00. For the women, Sara Flynn won the overall mile with a time of 8:21.00 and Lian Jessey won the women’s 5k with a time of 20:11.00.