- This was printed in September of 2013 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 17th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.
Here goes a shameless plug for my running group’s race:
The Wascally Wabbit Half Mawothon begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday near the Japanese
Gardens at Woodward Park in Fresno.
If you’re a runner, I hope to see you out there. If you’re a walker, I hope to see you out
there. If you can’t or don’t want to run or walk 13.1, six, seven, or two miles, then I hope
to see you out there cheering for all the rest of us.
Spectators are very important to half marathons, or any race for that matter. Thirteen
miles is a very far distance to run, and it would be quite boring if there weren’t people
along the course ringing cow bells, whooping and hollering, and holding funny and
clever signs along the way.
We runners need motivation to climb hills and sprint to the finish line. We may make it
look easy, but it’s really not. We appreciate the support.
I realize I’m taking advantage of the generous space my editor gives me to write this
column each week to put in a free advertisement for a race that I’m running. But there are
two reasons why this is a “shameless” plug for the run. One, the main reason I write this
column is to encourage and motivate others to live a healthy, active lifestyle. This is my
invitation to you to run, walk or watch a healthy, active race.
Two, the race raises money for a magnificent cause that I believe in: helping former
foster children pursue higher education through scholarships.
My coach is the race director and also the CEO of Kids Kasa Foster Care Inc., a local
foster care agency that treats at-risk youth and finds homes for children who have been
removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect.
Kids from traditional homes typically receive financial and emotional support from
family as they transition into adult life and pursue college – I know I did. But foster kids
often don’t get the same support. In fact, nearly 40 percent of those who “age out” of the
system at 18 become homeless.
Kids Kasa has organized the Wascally Wabbit event to raise money for foster kids who
want to go to college but don’t have the money to get there. I believe in helping those
who want to help themselves. If a foster kid has dreams of becoming a successful adult,
you can bet I’m going to pay $65 to run a race and help them out.
Besides, it’s a tough-but-fun course, a family-friendly event, and there will be a bunny
costume contest and photos with our mascot.
The half marathon will take you around Woodward Park on some pretty challenging hills.
You’ll catch a majestic view of the entire park, the San Joaquin River, and much of North
Fresno and even Children’s Hospital from atop the highest point in the park. Then you’ll
run down to the lowest point in the park, along a trail just a few yards from the river, and
up along the Lewis Eaton Trail that parallels Friant Road. Then it’s back around the park
again to the finish line at the Japanese Gardens.
If you don’t want to complete the entire 13.1 by yourself, you can enlist a running buddy
to join you in a relay. One person runs the first six miles of the course with a carrot in
hand, then passes it to their teammate who will run the last 7.1 miles.
There is also the two-mile run/walk option, which starts at the same time and place as the
marathon but just takes you around Woodward Park’s road.
Online registration, found at thewascally.com, closes today. If you miss it, you can sign
up Saturday morning in person, but fees increase by $5 per event.
Registration will begin at 5:45 a.m. Saturday morning and will cost $65 for the half
marathon, $65 per runner for the half marathon relay (one person runs 6 miles and the
other runs 7.1 to complete the half marathon), and $30 for the two-mile run/walk. The
registration is near the starting line by the Japanese Gardens inside the park. Fees include
technical t-shirts for all events, and medals for half marathon finishers and relay
See you there!