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Chocolate Runs Draw Participants From Across The State
Running the 5k in full uniform were Modesto Police Department Detective Sean Dodge, left, and San Joaquin County Sheriffs Deputy Juan Mendez.

The 25th annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival began with a pair of runs early Saturday morning, with a one mile fun run/walk and a 5k event both offered.

Runners laced up their shoes, hydrated and braced themselves for the mile fun run/walk and followed up with the five kilometer race that started and ended on East G Street. With temperatures reaching near 80 degrees by 8 a.m., a total of 32 runners competed in the one mile run. Oakdale resident Dennis Schmidt took first place overall and in the male 40-49 age group with a time of 6:35.9. Crossing the line second overall was Fremont’s Rudy Van Pelt at 6:43.4, placing first in the 50-59 year old male age group. JR Mintz of Santa Clara was the overall third place finisher at 6:50.8, taking second place in the male 50 to 59 group.

First female across the line, fourth overall, was Christina Quitasol of San Diego, running the course in 7:17.7.

Other age group first place finishers included:

12 and under male: Griffen Howell, Modesto, 8:06.8; 12 and under female, Lucy Myers-Pecci, Modesto, 13:07.

Female 19 to 29, Angela Quitasol, Modesto, 15:40.2.

Male 30 to 39: John Williams, Atwater, 12:15.

Female 40 to 49: Danielle Myers, Modesto, 8:26.

Female 50 to 59: Gretchen Kummer, 10:05.

Male 60 to 69 – Mike Araiza, Modesto, 13:07.6; Female 60 to 69 – Kathleen Bordi, Manteca, 17:53.

Male 70 to 79: Bob Tennent, Modesto, 8:30.6.

Female 80 and over: Dolores Botelho, San Lorenzo, 32:39.

After the mile event was completed, a total of 117 runners packed the starting line for the 5k race. Taking first place overall honors in the 5k was Oakdale resident Matt Fitzgerald, finishing the race in 17:41.0, a pace time of 5:42 per mile for the course.

First place honors in the various age categories also went to the following:

Male 12 and under: Mike Chen of Modesto 26:51.2; 13-18: Oakdale’s James Forkner 18:46.63 (second place overall); 19-29: Darin Lugo, Modesto, 20:51.2; 30-39: James Franey of Valley Springs 19:01.7; 50-59: John Orcutt, Ripon, 21:37.4; 60-69: Larry Johnson, Murphys, 25:07.5; 70-79: Bob Tennent, Modesto, 29:51.4.

On the women’s side, the top overall finisher was Christina Quitasol of San Diego, taking first place honors in the Female 30 to 39 age group at 23:59.8, good enough for a 12th place finish among all 5k runners.

Also taking the first place medals, by age category, were: Female 12 and under Brooke Mullikin, Tracy, 27:04.4; 13-18: Yulissa Penaloza, Turlock, 30:53.9; 19-29: Cynthia Altamirano, Modesto 25:45.4; 40-49: Samantha Cresswell, Modesto, 27:44.7; 50-59: Debbie Kleinfelder, Modesto, 27:33.4; 70-79: Barbra Miller, Modesto, 27:52.3; and Hughson’s Violet Wesner finished in 1:04:23.9 in the 80 and over division.

Names, times and places were provided through On Your Mark events.