The race was called Rad Dad and it was “rad”.
About 30 runners showed up early at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma. People warmed up in the parking lot as onlookers lined up at the start line. The participants in the race collected their bibs. The divisions included a 1-mile kids’ run, 5-mile, and 10-mile races.
The event, designed by Casa Grande High School cross-country coach Carl Triola, took place on a course in Shollenberger Park to give runners the chance to compete in a race with real people on a real track. Nothing virtual there.
“It’s not a very demanding course; it’s not hilly, ”said Triola. “I think for some people it’s a good race to get back into the game and give them a sense of normalcy.”
After Saturday’s race he said “it was nice to see people running and having a good time even though it was hot.”
It was for a good cause: the Casa Grande High cross country team. All money raised will be used to purchase equipment, entrance fees and team equipment.
“I know how to do a race,” Triola said. “And I don’t want to have to sell things.”
The races were originally scheduled to take place at Shollenberger and Ellis Park, but Ellis was closed for mosquito control, unbeknownst to Triola. He said the runners picked him up in stride and completed several laps at Shollenberger.
Former Casa Grande cross-country racer Aaron Beaube, who graduated this year, said he was competing to help the team.
“I did it for four years and really liked it,” he said. It would be nice, he said, to participate in a race in person. He tried a virtual race and “it was weird,” he said.
“There was no one else there. I actually ran where the competition would normally be, but you can do it anywhere. There would be different conditions for everyone. ”
The kids’ run started at 8:15 a.m., so all the waves of runners could pass before significant heat set in. People had to bring and transport their own water due to COVID-19 protocols, and there was no water shutdown.
The idea of hosting the race as a fundraiser came to Triola in March when he learned that the state could open around mid-June. He chose Father’s Day to draw attention to the event and even asked someone if it was only for men, he said.
Normally the team competes in races like the Clocow Half Marathon and receives donations from the race organizers. This year, Clocow and other members of the running team who normally help have been canceled due to the pandemic.
“We had to make up for lost time,” he said. “It would be nice to have at least some starting money.”
Ribbons were awarded for first, second and third place in each division for both men and women. There was a special price for the first sire finisher. Anyone wishing to donate to the team is kindly requested to contact Triola at [email protected]
You can reach editor Kathleen Coates at [email protected]