Runners with a spring in their step


The road rose up to meet runners in Maxwell on Saturday. 

Sunshine – and the luck o’ the Irish – smiled on the Maxwell Park and Recreation District Auxiliary’s Leprechaun Run, as participants did not get drenched by Saturday’s rain. 

Contestants, decked out in green, stretched before the event under the guidance of local yoga instructor Allison Costa, before they took off for a 5K, one mile, or short walk. 

The event was to raise money to help Maxwell Park and Recreation District maintain the community pool. 

“This is way better than we expected,” said Tish Nerli, MPR Auxiliary member. “Every little bit helps, so we can try to keep the pool open.”

While MPR Auxiliary officials tallied up the times for the different divisions after the race, runners caught their breath and perused the vendor fair. 

After the award ceremonies, raffle prizes were called out. Participants also enjoyed refreshments and hammed it up for Fairfiew Foto Booth, who provided complimentary prints. 

A trophy for the short walk win was awarded to Laurie Costa, and another went to Michael T. Azevedo, 5, who came in first in the one-mile event. 

Winners of the 5K were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Walter Avery, 12, was champion in the youth division, and Ed Conrado, 70, was the winner in the 40+ division. 

Louis Guadarrama was champion in the adult division (18-39), the largest group to participate. 

“We’ll be back next year,” said Guadarrama, who won the gold medal. 

Although this was the first Maxwell Leprechaun Run, the event was considered by Nerli to be a success, with 29 participants (including a few children under age 6) in the inaugural run. 

In anticipation of it becoming a tradition, a perpetual plaque in the Maxwell Park and Recreation office will be going up to keep track of the winners over the years. 

“They’re really fun.” said Dalila Guadarrama, of Woodland, who won the prize for the greatest distance traveled. “I really enjoy the small community runs. I feel like it’s less pressure and it’s like everyone’s family that’s running with you.”

Janet Grimmer, of Arbuckle, won the prize for “most green” participant. ■