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Madera run-walk-sprint draws hundreds to benefit 2 charities

Donald A. Promnitz/The Madera Tribune

Runners start off during the Second Wind 5k at the Madera Speedway on Saturday. More than 460 people participated in the run, which benefited the Madera County Food Bank and the Madera Rescue Mission.


Despite cold and damp weather, hundreds of people from the San Joaquin Valley came to take part in the Second Wind 5k run. Benjamin Madrigal, 29, of Madera, came in first. Coming in 24th, Sophia Napier, 14, was the first woman to cross the finish line.

The run, which started at the Madera Speedway on Saturday morning, benefits Madera Rescue Mission and Madera County Food Bank.

“All proceeds go to those two organizations,” said Mike Unger, the executive director of the Madera Rescue Mission. “We split it 50-50, and of course the purpose would be to have a little fun as well.”

It had rained heavily the previous night and in the early morning, and by 8 a.m., when the run began, there was a steady drizzle. Nonetheless, the 5K attracted at least 460 people, a number that came as a surprise according to Unger.

“We’re shocked, actually. Typically the rain will keep some people back,” Unger said before the run. “We got more people than I thought, so it’s going to be a good day.”

“You can see the heart of the community is behind the food bank and the rescue mission,” said Madera County Supervisor Robert Poythress, District 3. “And it’s like they just don’t care” about the weather.

Poythress, an avid runner, has participated in the marathon all four years that it has been held. “I run 30 miles a week,” Poythress said, “and so this will just be kind of a short run for me today.”


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