Piedmont’s second annual FallFest 5K, held on September 29, attracted 450 runners and walkers from all corners of the community and raised thousands of dollars to benefit the Piedmont Unified School District’s Wellness Center. The Center supports counseling services, health education, and student leadership opportunities for middle and upper school students in the District.
According to Wellness Center Steering Committee members and race organizers Donna Willamson and Katie Korotzer, registration increased almost 25 percent over last year, up from 320 in 2011. This year, participants were encouraged to run as parent/child combos or to form teams of four or more by gathering together family, friends, or their school club or sport teams. Fourteen groups and 35 parent/child combos signed up. “It was gratifying to see so many school-age children participate with such enthusiasm in a community event,” said Korotzer. Over one hundred community members volunteered to help with race day logistics or serve as course monitors. “An event like this could never happen without volunteers. The team of volunteers for this event are a special group and we are very fortunate to have them,” said Korotzer. High school leadership advisors and Wellness Center staff led by director Dan Bonnin, who served as the event MC, also attended the race.
Last year the race generated more than $11,000 for the Wellness Center and organizers hope to match or exceed that amount this year, thanks to the support of local businesses who helped underwrite the costs of putting on the event. 2012 Sponsors include: Quantum Technology, The Men’s Wearhouse, Transpak, NorCal Rental Group, Virginia’s Live A Little, McMullen. Also: Body Temple Physical Therapy, Calm — A Salon, Daisy’s, MW Construction, Roger J. Ota – DDS, Pimlico Place, Righellis & Associates, Rolander Construction, Mindy Scott Realtor, David Thorne – Landscape Architect, Todd Yerondopoulos – DDS. Contributing in-kind donations were: Made to Order, OCHO Candy Bars, Cliff Bars, Village Market, and Kristen Malan Design.
Support from other local businesses and groups was high: Highland Partners provided coffee and donuts for volunteers, Police Explorer students Alex Krenitsky, Mitchell Peters, and Tristan D’Ambrosi, under the supervision of Officer Kristina Foster and direction from Interim Chief of Police Scott Wyatt, assisted with traffic logistics. Piedmont’s Public Works Department ensured the course had safety equipment, power supplies, and helped with clean-up. Jerry Miller, chairman of the Harvest Festival helped integrate the race into the Festival weekend.
PHS Senior Julian Frost, 17, was the overall male winner with a time of 17:04.
Steve Zirkelbach, 42, came in second with a time of 18:25. Graham Dean, 15, placed third at 18:33. Linn Schulte-Sasse, 35, was the overall female winner with a time of 20:27. Eileen White, 49, placed second at 21:11 and Wendi Lelke Wallway, 38, came in third at 22:07.
In the 9 to 11 age group, Mitchell Bloemker, 11, placed first for the boys, clocking in at 22:24. Henry Cooper, 10, placed second at 22:50, and Braydon Ellis, 9, came in at 25:32. For the girls, Erin Hong, 11, placed first with 23:20. Elie Cole, 11, placed second at 24:20 and Maria del Rosario Chan, 10, came third at 25:47. In the 12-14 age group, Blake Gruendl 13, placed first for the boys at 20:37. Second and third were Kyle Mortimer, 13, at 21:08 and Max Sivollela, 14, at 22:13. Ava Podell, 13, placed first for the girls at 24:25, followed by Dylan Miller,13, at 25:56, and Isa Harrison, 12, with 26:04.
In the 15-to-19-year-old male category, three members of the PHS Varsity Cross Country team placed in the top three: Julian Frost (also first male overall), 17, 17:04, followed by Graham Dean, 15, at 18:33, and Jules Korman, 16, at 20:25. Female winners were Katie St. Claire, 15, in first at 25:32, followed by Natalie Kucirek, 17, at 28:26 and Gabrielle Pehanick, 16, at 35:43.
The PHS Football placed first for the team category finishing at 28:04 (the average of all team members times). The father/son combo of Dan and Max Sivolella placed first in the parent/child category at 20:43. The best costume award went to the father/daughter team of Caroline and Brad Kraetzer, who ran in tutus. Full race results here.