A total of 44 runners participated in this year’s Almond Fun Run, an annual Arbuckle fundraising event that has been around for six years now.
Organizers were happy to report that the Almond Fun Run, which took place on Saturday morning, raised just over $425. This year, the recipient of that money will fittingly be the Pierce Bears Cross Country team.
While billed as a ‘fun run,’ a competitive group of runners (many of them members of Pierce’s cross country team) was on hand for this year’s event – as five new record times were recorded in various age groups and distances. Connor Richins set a new Almond Fun Run record in the 15-19 age group for boys, with a one-mile time of 6 minutes,12 seconds. Cindy Corona, competing in the 11-14 age group, set a new benchmark in the 5K, with a time of 26:02, and Ari Sanchez also set a new course record in the 15-19-year-old girls age group with a time of 24:38.
Jose Juan Huerta’s time of 21:15 was a new record in the boys’ 15-19 age group, while Ron Rector’s time of 21:10 set an Almond Run record in the men’s 41-59 age group. Rector’s was also the fastest 5K time of the day.
The Almond Fun Run wasn’t just for Arbuckle residents – it also drew a few runners from outside the county.
Myra Byard, a Woodland resident who was invited to participate in the Fun Run by her friend, Melissa Chesini, said she came out just for fun and ended up surprising herself.
“I ran an 8:15 mile and actually beat the record for the 41-50 age division for women,” Byard said.
While the number of runners this year was less than organizers were hoping for, Merced Corona – who is the head coach of Bears’ cross country team and co-organized the Almond Fun Run with Mary Grimmer this year – said the event was one worth keeping around.
“I think we had a low turnout,” said Corona. “We’d like to have a better turnout, but you can’t get everyone out here every year. I still think it’s good for the community to have things like this.”■