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Second Wind 5K welcomes more than 400

Courtesy of Diego Barriga/Second Wind 5K

Matilda Torres High School runners lead the start of the ninth Second Wind 5K at the Madera Speedway on Saturday.


Madera District Fairgrounds Events Coordinator and Second Wind 5K Race Director Barbara Leach was overwhelmed by the number of people that participated in last week’s run that was held after a year off because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

More than 430 runners participated in the “Eighth Lap” of the nine-year event at the Madera Speedway, in addition to the Madera District Fairgrounds.

“It is very on track for what we normally do,” Leach said. “I was advised by my race industry peers that I should prepare for lower numbers. I have to order all of my supplies in October. I was setting a target for a lower number. Madera is extra special. They blew us away with the response. We sold out early this year. I could have invited quite a few more to the course.”

Leach had 382 runners signed up and 50 children in the mini-sprint race and maxed out on the Monday before the race.

“I wasn’t surprised with our numbers,” Leach said. “We do have a high response right before our event comes. As a race director, you look at the registrations and wonder where are all the people. As the race comes, historically, we take 75-100 participants on packet pick-up on the Friday before the race. We actually take registration race day. It’s not unusual to have people come and pay and race on the same day. We were not even in the capacity to offer that this year. We were basically done on Monday.”

In addition to having max capacity of runners, Leach also got a typical Second Wind 5K race day from Mother Nature.

“If anybody has been on our course, we usually have rain. If we didn’t have rain, I might have been offended,” she said. “We might change our name to the Second Wind and Rain 5K. We had a clearing at start time. We had a slight drizzle as we were preparing. It was a beautiful day.”

However, when the runners took off, Leach felt a sense of satisfaction seeing the many participants.

“There is a great sense of satisfaction as they go,” she said. “Knowing the elite field in our field, we have about 10 minutes to start welcoming runners back to the track.”

Leach said plans are already started for the 10th year, or Ninth Lap, of the Second Wind 5K.

“We’re set for next year, but not in concrete, but we’re set in the first week of March. That’s where we like to sit,” she said.


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