Lions set to host diabetes run


Courtesy of Diego Barriga

Benny Madrigal crosses the finish line to win the Second Wind 5K earlier this month in record time. He won’t be running, but he will be directing the Running With the Lions, Stride for Diabetes 5K run/walk on April 2 at Lions Town and Country Park. The goal of the Evening Lion’s sponsored race is to help with awareness about diabetes.

 

The Madera Evening Lions are celebrating the club’s 100th anniversary. It is also the 100th anniversary of the first person to receive an insulin shot, and so the club is celebrating with a run to benefit local diabetes organizations.


The Madera Evening Lions will host the Running With the Lions, Stride for Diabetes 5K run/walk on April 2 at Town and Country Park. Adults are $35 and K-12 students are $20. Sign-ups are being taken at runsignup.com and search for Running With the Lions (runsignup.com/race/ca/maderarunningwiththelions). Sign-ups are being taken until Friday.


“The Lions is the largest club around the world and one of the oldest,” said race director Benny Madrigal. “The heart of Lions Club message and duties is to help their communities. They wanted to reach out to the community and celebrate with it. We’re doing a 5K fundraiser where the funds will go back into the community to the local diabetes groups so they can get the right information in people’s hands. This is also to celebrate the Lions’ Club’s 100 years in existence and give people awareness of what they do in the community.”


Madrigal, who is also on track to become a Lions member, has a hand in the race. Not only is he the race director, and he also has diabetes, but has made himself to be an elite long-distance runner.


“They reached out to me with the connection with diabetes,” Madrigal said. “I live it. I want to get the word out there what’s possible regardless of getting a diabetes diagnosis.”


Usually, Madrigal can be seen running the course or riding his bicycle as the “rabbit,” or leader to make sure the runners stay on the course. This time, as race director, he will have to take a back seat to those duties.


“I will be doing the timing,” he said. “I will be really busy during the race. I will be doing the chalking. I’m there to help support the race. I’m the race director. I will be cheering from the start and make sure everyone gets off safely.”


The race will be held in and around Town and Country Park, a place Madrigal is very familiar with with his years at Madera High School and years coaching the Madera and Madera South cross country teams.


“It will be held in Town ad Country Park, starting at the amphitheater,” he said. “It’s going to be two one-and-a-half mile loops throughout the park. We will have plenty of volunteers around the course to make sure the participants stay hydrated. We will have lots of goodies at the finish line. I have had experience running around the park. I’ve probably put in countless miles at Town and Country Park. I’ve had plenty of workouts there since I was 13. I know the park pretty well.”


Madrigal is passionate about this race because it is something that is a part of him. He is a member of Team Novo Nordisk, a company that is driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. Novo Nordisk sponsors a running team and runners like Madrigal to spread the word that diabetes isn’t an excuse not to do anything.


“Part of Team Novo Nordisk, which I compete for, is recommending people to exercise and move and this is one day to do it,” he said. “We want to give information about local clubs and what they are doing in the community. We want to get the out the door to get out and move around. This is another local run. It’s a fun run. We want people to go run, walk or jog. No matter how they do it, we want them to come and join us.’


Madrigal hopes that the momentum created by the more than 400 people that ran at the Second Wind 5K will drive more people to sign up for the Running With the Lions event next weekend.


“I would really hope to get close to what the Second Wind does, we would be happy,” he said. “We need people to come out, sign up and not think twice. We want them to do it now and join us. We’re in a safe zone. People are there to support and cheer. Whether they run, walk or job, they are doing more than sitting at home. Come out and join us.”