The event drew runners of all ages, including some as young as 9 and the eldest at 83, to the race, which started and ended on Eaton Avenue in front of Tracy Public Library. They navigated the 5K and 10K course through some of the city’s older neighborhoods, and along MacArthur Drive if they ran the 10K, early Saturday morning. It was already hot enough already to remind people to seek out shade and cold drinks for the rest of the day.
“It feels hotter than last year, but the nice thing is they had a lot of water this year,” Betty Topping, winner of the women’s 10K race, said. She’s a regular at distance running events, and said that while she was happy with her pace on Saturday, finishing the 10K in 36:36, she recalls last year’s route as a faster course.
Theron Carmichael, overall winner of the 5K race, said his time of 16:13 is his fastest yet on a 5K run outside of school-related races. Carmichael is a freshman at U.C. Santa Cruz, and was a member of Tracy High’s cross-country and track and field teams until he graduated this past summer.
It’s his first time at the Bean Run, and he figures the more intensive training of a college team helped him get a good time.
“I think the most notable thing is the terrain and the weather. It’s much colder in Santa Cruz, and we train on hiking trails, so there are a lot more hills than in Tracy,” he said. The Bean Run turned out to be a fun event in a visit home.
“I like the course. I just like running in my home town.”
Elena Costa, a nurse practitioner who lives and works in Tracy, was the winner of the women’s 5K and ninth-place overall with a time of 19:59. She also enjoyed the course through Tracy neighborhoods, starting and ending at Lincoln Park, even if the park is under construction.
“It’s nice running through less congested streets than last year,” she said. She participated last year as well, and said one of her personal fitness goals is to compete in at least one race every month. They include 10K and half marathons, and this was one race she wouldn’t miss.
“I love it, because I live here and work here, so it’s nice to have something local,” she said.
Many of the younger racers came from Discovery Charter School, which has its campus about a block away from the start and finish line. P.E. teacher Stevi Balsamo said it was easy to get students involved after many of the kids ran it last year. Some even got their parents to join the race.
“We don’t have to convince them. Last year we had 18 students that ran with us, and we just put it out there to get our kids involved with the community,” she said. “We sent out e-mails to all of our parents at Discovery. We had 30 confirmed and 36 ended up showing up today.”
They all finished the 5K ahead of Balsamo, who ran the race in 33:53, except for a few who decided to go for the 10K race.
Noah Morrison of Walnut Creek is the repeat champion of the 10K race with a time of 33:48. He’s one of the contestants who came for the race and stayed for the beans.
“That’s one of the big reasons I come to this race, because of the festival,” he said, adding that he brought some beans home last year and gave them to his father, who made a couple batches of chili, one with venison, another with mushrooms instead of meat, to share with his friends.
“They held up fine. He used them in soup and he brought them to a potluck and people devoured it,” he said.
Full race results are at www.onyourmarkevents.com/2011results.