Runners and walkers who rose early to come out for the Fourth Annual Wildcat 5K on Sunday were treated to bright blue skies and sunshine.
And raised $4,000 to support its track and field team in the process.
“This is our biggest fundraiser for track and field,” said DVHS Team Mom Marla Nakaso, who explained that the money goes toward assistant coaches’ stipends, transportation, entry fees for invitationals and other related expenses.
Over 200 runners participated, including parents, teachers and students from , and elementary schools.
“We had a lot more younger kids this year,” said Stephanie Bambury, one of the head coaches at DVHS.
Twelve-year-old Ben Coulson, a student at Windemere Ranch Middle School, took first place after sprinting past 17-year-old Samay Mehta on the final bend of the track — finishing the course in 18.53 minutes (about a 6.05-mile pace).
“A VERY impressive time,” said Coach Bambury.
Ben’s mom Susan Coulson said that Ben — a year-round swimmer with San Ramon Valley Livermore Aquatics — has never participated in track before.
“Ben does plan to sign up for track at Windemere Ranch Middle School,” Coulson said. “He also plans to sign up for track when he goes to DVHS.”
Coach Bambury, who has been at DVHS since it opened five years ago, sets up the race course each year. Due to the recent rainfall, she had to adjust Sunday’s course because of all the mud.
“Instead of mud, they got an extra hill,” she said.
The race, which started and finished at the school’s track, wound around the neighborhood behind DVHS.
“Going up the hill was hard,” said Natalie Peete, a first grader and run club member at Neil Armstrong Elementary School. “I’d rather have mud than a hill.”
It was Natalie’s first 5K race. Her family — big sister Sadie (a fourth grader and run club member at Neil Armstrong) and parents Doug and Michelle — also participated. Natalie was so excited about the race she could hardly sleep the night before.
“I kept waking up in the middle of the night — it was taking so long for the race to get here!” she said.
DVHS Team Mom Nakaso, whose daughter was also participating in Sunday’s race, said that extracurricular activities like track and field provide kids with a good balance.
“It helps relieve stress and makes them more well-rounded,” Nakaso said. “It gives them the opportunity to experience being on a team and competing.”
For the complete Wildcat 5K results, visit DVHS’s website.