The fifth annual event, which included an inaugural half marathon and one-mile kids’ run, was organized by the Riverside Road Runners, a running and walking club.
Participants begin the one-mile kids’ race at the fifth annual Citrus Heritage Run in Riverside Saturday, Jan. 11. The event featured 800 runners and walkers competing in a half marathon, 5K and kids’ run. Proceeds from the event help high school students pay training costs and entry fees for marathons in Huntington Beach and Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: STEPHEN WALL/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER
The addition of the half marathon – the most popular distance in running – made the event more attractive to people from outside the area, said club President Ed Ettinghausen.
“It makes it more of a Southern California race because people are willing to travel further than the typical 5 or 10K event,” said Ettinghausen, 51, of Murrieta.
He said the club imposed a limit of 800 participants to guarantee a quality run for each person. The event quickly reached capacity through online registration, he said.
Runners cross the finish line of the 5K race at the fifth annual Citrus Heritage Run in Riverside Saturday, Jan. 11. The race featured 800 runners and walkers competing in a half marathon, 5K and one-mile kids’ run. Proceeds from the event help high school students pay training costs and entry fees for marathons in Huntington Beach and Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: STEPHEN WALL/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER)
Proceeds from the race help area high school students pay training costs and entry fees for the Surf City Marathon Feb. 2 in Huntington Beach and the LA Marathon March 9. In the past, the club has raised enough money to sponsor 10 to 12 students each year, Ettinghausen said.
Runners who finished the race received a medal. Participants who took part in the Nov. 10 Mission Inn Run and Oct. 12 Riverside Hometown Heroes Honor Run received an additional medal celebrating their completion of the three events.
John Story said he participated in the 5K to support his 9-year-old daughter, Renee, who belongs to the 100-mile club at Promenade Elementary School in Corona. She has logged 290 miles since Aug. 19, running 30 minutes every day before school.
“I love this course,” said Story, a Riverside resident. “There’s a lot of challenge to it. Running through the orange groves is relaxing to me, even though the hills are taxing.”
The race started on Victoria Avenue next to Arlington Heights Sports Park. Runners passed through California Citrus State Historic Park, then returned to finish near the starting line.
Story, 50, said running helps burn off some of his daughter’s excess energy.
“I got tired, but I kept running on and on until I was done,” Renee said. “I’m proud of myself.”
Michael John Stanley, 42, said he enjoyed the race but didn’t like that the 5K and half marathon shared the same route.
“It slows you way down,” he said. “You had to pass a lot of people who were in the way.”
Stanley’s 12-year-old daughter, Michaela May Stanley, said she was impressed with her performance.
“It was very difficult, but I did better than I thought I would do,” said Michaela, a member of the cross-country team at Woodcrest Christian Middle School near Riverside.
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