A race meant to be fun, promote physical fitness, and raise money for Oakdale schools is the goal of the Support Oakdale Schools (SOS) Run/Walk committee.
The SOS Run/Walk is set for March 26 at Cloverland Elementary School and begins at 8:30 a.m. There will be two races encompassing both a one-mile event as well as a 5K. Participants may run or walk in either or both if they wish.
“It’s a really good fundraiser and it’s a fun event for the community,” said SOS committee member David Kindred.
He added that they like to see a lot of kids and families participate, but there are also a number of intermediate- to high-level runners, and also walkers.
Kindred said that the inaugural SOS Run/Walk last year raised nearly $10,000 to support teacher grants for Oakdale classrooms through the Oakdale Educational Foundation. The money raised was not earmarked for particular programs, it was donated to the OEF to distribute through its grant process. With nearly 400 participants the event proved to be a huge success for the school district as well as the community. The event had participants ranging from parents, students, teachers, administrators, elected officials, and a wide array of community members to name a few.
Last year, they had a large number of registrants in the final week, which nearly doubled from the number they were expecting, Kindred said. So far this year, they have higher registration numbers compared to the same time last year. This year, the SOS Committee has increased its goal.
“We are expecting 500 participants and anticipate raising $15,000 for Oakdale schools,” said committee member Frank Clark. “This run is intended to bring out as many young people as possible in a family-oriented environment. We have over 100 sponsors who have put up $2,500 for young people who cannot afford the entry fee.”
Kindred added that there are 21 sponsors featured on the run T-shirts this year, a significant increase from last year’s number of sponsors. There has been support from outside the community as well, he said.
New to the event this year is a team competition. Teams will consist of two or three runners and their times will be averaged together for a team time.
“It’s competitive; good for businesses who want to put teams together,” Kindred said.
Team runners must register as a team on race day. Three lucky runners age 18 and under will also win iPods in a drawing of race bib numbers.
Early registration is encouraged and information is available at all school sites as well as the Oakdale Joint Unified School District office. Registration is also available online at www.active.com/running/oakdale-ca/sos-run-2011.
Packets will be available for pick up on March 25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cloverland Elementary School. Race day packet pick up and check in will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. on March 26.
For anyone interested in supporting the event financially or sponsoring students in the race, please contact or visit Cloverland Elementary School for information. Participation in this event directly supports teacher’s grants and goes back into the classroom.