Dust off your running (or walking) shoes—Benicia Education Foundation is gearing up for the 11th annual Run for Education in April, the organization’s biggest fundraiser. BEF is a volunteer-run, community-centered nonprofit supporting all seven of Benicia’s public schools. This year, according to BEF’s new president Neeley Silberman, the bulk of the proceeds from the foot race will go towards the elementary school STEAM Wheel Enrichment elective program, in addition to BMS and BHS college and career support, counseling office support, and speakers.
The run, which has garnered participants of all age and ability-levels, features beautiful USATF Certified 5K and 10K courses that wind through downtown, the waterfront and the Benicia State Recreation Area. The race usually draws a mix of serious and recreational runners, walkers, and supporters who are both residents and non-residents of Benicia. People coming from out of town are encouraged to stay, eat and shop downtown after the race. Courses are professionally chip timed and exact course maps can be downloaded online. The Kids’ Fun Run (for ages 12 and under) goes from First and B Streets, past the marina, to the First Street Pier and back. The 10K run starts at 8:00am and the 5K starts at 8:10am. The Fun Run begins at 10am.
The awards ceremony after the race includes metals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place female and male winners from each age group, $100 Downtown Dollars for overall female and male in each race, and $50 Downtown Dollars for female and male Masters winners. All participants in the Fun Run will receive ribbons.
This year, Race Director Sara Randolph is hosting a free 5K group training program at Benicia Community Park, beginning March 21. “We are working very closely with each school site to build teams to help us reach our goal of increasing participation by 25% this year. It would be amazing if we could get 1,000 people signed up, I just know we can do it!” says Silberman. Each training participant will also receive a week-by-week guide for non group-training days. This training is perfect for new runners wishing to challenge themselves, or runners who have not run in a race before. The race takes place Sunday, April 22, and registration costs between $20-30 online. For registration, details and maps, visit Beniciarunforeducation.org.