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Students run for health, school program funds in Yuba City
Saturday's top men's runner was 20-year-old Luis Zuniga, who finished the five-kilometer run in 17 minutes and 44 seconds. The top woman's runner was 30-year-old Kirsten McCarty-Evans, who finished the race in 24 minutes and 50 seconds.
In the young age group, the top girls were Lisa Garcia and Eva Scott, both 5, and Madelynn Jones, 6. For the boys, Argan Boparia and Saibien Hamilton, both 6, finished on top. The youngest reported runner was Ziggy Fischetti, whose listed age was 3, according to event organizers.
Ethan Harris didn't really mind running five kilometers on a windy Saturday morning, but there was "a little" part of him that would have rather been home watching cartoons.
"I'm (missing) a lot of SpongeBob," the 10-year-old admitted. "My mom made me come."
Ethan was one of more than 550 people who attended the third annual Have a Heart for Kids 5K Run/Walk at River Valley High School in Yuba City.
Despite his reluctance, Ethan said he didn't mind running because it helps him stay ready to play soccer, his favorite sport.
Ethan's classmate, Liberty Allen, was more enthusiastic.
"I feel like exercise is fun; jogging around at school is just fun," Liberty explained.
The race serves as a fundraiser for the Yuba City Education Foundation, which raises money for student programs that the Yuba City Unified School District can't afford, according to Garth Larrigan, foundation volunteer.
"It's for things like Rachel's Challenge, a very successful anti-bullying campaign that the district doesn't have the money to cover the whole amount," Larrigan said.
More than $10,000 was raised Saturday morning through registration fees and community business donations.
River Valley High student Quinta Pedraza woke up extra early Saturday to help serve a pancake and grilled sausage breakfast for the runners. The 15-year-old was helping the Early Risers Kiwanis Club.
"I love to help and to volunteer," Pedraza said.
The club's leftover food was donated to the River Bottoms Church in Yuba City, Larrigan said.
Kaden Taylor, 9, used the race to help him gear up for football. He hopes to be a receiver.
"I did it last year, too," Kaden said. "I just like to run."