For those who are so inclined, start the day off with a brisk run or walk through the streets of Oakdale. Then you can enjoy sampling some tasty chocolate treats along Chocolate Avenue knowing you have already gotten your exercise for the day.
Runners will line up on G Street for a pair of events on Saturday, May 18 as part of the 21st Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival. Presented by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce with operational and timing assistance from the Modesto-based ShadowChase Running Club, the one-mile fun run and 5K kick start the downtown festival.
The one mile run starts at 8 a.m., followed shortly thereafter by the 5K.
“The 5K Fun Run is a fast out and back, starting and finishing near the Chocolate Festival,” ShadowChase officials noted. “The One Mile is a flat walk or run.”
Entry cost for either race is $25 for ages 12 and under, $30 for over 12 years old, with an additional $5 fee added if you want to do both events. Many runners warm up with the one mile, then race in the 5K and the races typically draw a couple hundred participants.
Entry fee includes a new Chocolate Festival Fun Run T-shirt, free entrance into the Chocolate Festival and refreshments following the race. Awards are presented to the overall first male and female for both runs and the top three runners in each of the nine age groups for both runs.
For those that plan to sign up the day of the event, race day registration will be offered beginning at 7 a.m., with the booth set up in William Meyer Park, corner of G Street and South Second Avenue. Proper size T-shirts are guaranteed to those that pre-register; you can download the application on the ShadowChase Running Club website.
The morning run has been part of the Oakdale Chocolate Festival since the second year of the fest, so this marks the 20th anniversary of the festival run. Age groups range from 12 and under on up to 80 and over, and organizers said they often have runners in every category, with many people returning each year to run the race.
For ShadowChase, this is just one of many runs they staff throughout the region, offering starting services, timing and the awards presentation, in addition to doing drawings for prizes.
The club is already on the schedule locally to staff the annual Escalon Park Fete Run in July and the annual Riverbank Cheese and Wine Exposition Run in October. The club also meets regularly for group runs and has a standing date in Escalon, Wednesdays at 5 a.m., meeting at the Starbucks there to leave on a group run.
After taking part in the morning run at the Chocolate Festival, many stay on to take in the fest, with its arts and crafts booths, food and merchandise vendors, music, a classic car show and more. The festival runs two days, Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19.