The annual 5K & 10K Fitness Run and Walk is again scheduled for the first Saturday in June and the course, through Idyllwild County Park, is unchanged. And the race will continue to help the Idyllwild School’s physical education program.
However, the people organizing and producing the 30-year-old race have been changing over the past year and the popular race T-shirt also sports changes.
“There’s lots changing behind the scenes,” says the race media officer Bill Whitman. “We’re in a transition and it’s nearly complete.”
Jim Taylor has ceded his public relations responsibility to Whitman. Bill Sanborn, who with Steve Erler, lines the course, will be working his last 5K and 10K.
One of the race founders Holly Guntermann is still involved, but Darren McKay, her successor as Idyllwild School physical education teacher, will be assuming a greater role in 2014, she said. Principal Matt Kraemer is also involved in the race’s organization this year.
“It’s time to bring in new people over the past year,” Guntermann said. “They’ve been trained and shown how we’ve done it with check lists and something to do every month.”
The race T-shirts, which are very popular and proudly worn throughout the year, will also serve a larger mission — to help inform the community of the threat to local oaks.
This year, a new design with a greater purpose than just the race, is being used. Doris Jean Lombard, a former Idyllwild School teacher and an active member of the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council, has produced a design which highlights the California Black Oak. The tree species, indigenous to the San Jacinto mountain range, has encountered a serious threat — the Goldspotted oak borer.
The primary purpose of the race has always been to help the school’s physical education program, Guntermann said. “But the secondary goal was to bring people to Idyllwild.”
More than half of the race’s participants are from off the Hill, according to Guntermann. “Hopefully, they will visit the town and businesses. The community supports us and we want to give back to the community,” she added.
With more than 33 years of organizing this race, the Idyllwild Race Committee (a 501(c)(3) entity) has raised more than $60,000 for the Idyllwild School physical education program. These funds have enabled the school to purchase a scoreboard, as well as a climbing wall, athletic uniforms and equipment, a VCR and video camera (for instructional feedback) and other necessary equipment.
Registration can be completed online or by mail. The 5K run and walk will start at 7:15 a.m., Saturday, June 1.