TULALIP — The annual Strawberry Festival Berry Run opened at its new location at the Tulalip Amphitheater June 14.
Despite the new location, the annual event returned some familiar runners to trek the 5-kilometer route.
One of those was 60-year-old Rafael Lamarca, who championed in his age group by setting a personal record of 26 minutes, 21 seconds.
But Lamarca wasn’t always a runner. He started running 12 years ago, mostly to stay fit but also to relieve stress.
“It keeps me from going crazy,” he said.
Lamarca works night shifts at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.
“It’s a way of compensating for the health risks of working night shifts,” he said. “I try to practice what I preach to my patients.”
And that is to “keep moving,” and “use it or lose it.”
Others included Jodi Jensen and her 5-year-old retriever, Izzy, who both clocked in at 23:20.It was a PR for Izzy, Jensen said.
Part of Izzy’s success this year was having Jodi’s family lead the way. Izzy wanted to keep up and pulled Jodi the entire way.
Arlington’s state distance runner Nathan Beamer championed the entire event in 16:28.9. Beamer was just happy to have ran the event after a week off from track and to begin getting into shape for cross country.
Beamer also liked the new location.
“It was fine because it was all flat,” he said.
Ever since the closing of the Plant Farm, coordinator Jeff Sowards sought to move the run closer to Marysville. He thought moving the course to the Tulalip Amphitheater was the best solution.