The horn sounds as the 5K runners and walkers start their trek around the course on Saturday morning during Idyllwild’s 5K and 10K Run and Fitness Walk.
The horn sounds as the 5K runners and walkers start their trek around the course on Saturday morning during Idyllwild’s 5K and 10K Run and Fitness Walk.

Once again, it’s that summer kick-off event that celebrates everything that makes Idyllwild a tonic for the body and the soul. What could be better than mountain air, early in the morning, a 5,000-meter/10,000-meter race for young and old that raises money for a good cause, people from on and off the Hill, camaraderie, race cheerleaders with pom poms, an avuncular race announcer, prizes, recognition and a carbo feast afterward?

For 35 years, the Idyllwild Race Committee has staged the first Saturday in June 5k/10k Race and Fitness Walk to raise money for Idyllwild School’s physical education program. To date, the committee has donated more than $60,000 from race proceeds to purchase PE equipment, a scoreboard, grass for top field, athletic uniforms, a VCR and video camera for instructional feedback and other items for Idyllwild School’s PE program.

Race Committee Publicity Chair Bill Whitman said the basic components of the race — the course, the component elements, the start times, the pancake breakfast, the awards presentation — all remain the same.

Whitman, himself a competitive athlete — foot races, du- and triathlons — credits the Idyllwild 5k/10k with changing the course of his life, serving as his first introduction to Idyllwild in 1992. “I had such a positive impression of the town and became very intrigued with Idyllwild,” he remembered.

Whitman also touted the course as both beautiful and challenging. “There’s elevation gain, not just running on some flat blacktop, and the mountain air and beauty on the course make it a very memorable experience,” he said. “And it gives even the best athletes a challenge.”

Whitman said the community support staff (don’t forget the pom pom cheerleaders) and the long tradition of friendly association this race has established over its past 35 years will make this year, the 36th, the best ever.

Race organizers are hoping registrations this year will top the 2007 total of 430 participants, the largest ever.

Register online ( and from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 6, across from the town monument on the town square and also on race day, Saturday, June 7 from 6:15 to 7 a.m.

Here are the fees to enter the race:
5K/10K Adult Registration $30 with shirt (add $3 after 5/30/14)

5K/10K Adult Registration $23 without shirt (add $3 after 5/30/14)

Both Races 5K & 10K $36 with shirt (add $3 after 5/30/14)

Both Races 5K & 10K $32 without shirt (add $3 after 5/30/14)

Children (16 & younger) $20 with shirt

1/2 Mile Kids' Fun Run $ 5 without shirt

Top male and female finishers overall in the 5k and 10k runs will receive special awards and custom medallions as will the top male and female competitors in the Fitness Walk. Awards also are given to the top three male and female finishers in each age group for the runs, and for the top five overall male and female finishers in the 5k walk. All kids in the half-mile Fun Run will receive an award at the finish line.

The 5k Run and Fitness Walk kicks off at 7:15 a.m., and the 10k begins at 8 a.m., both from near the town monument. The Fun Run is at 9:15 a.m. at Town Hall.