Despite gray clouds and a little drizzle, several hundred runners and walkers showed up at Santa Margarita Lake Sunday morning for the The Running Chicken 2023 10K/5K Fun Run and Walk.
The run celebrates the memory of Bitty and Brynn Frace who ran for Atascadero High School and Chico State. The girls were killed in a traffic accident while driving back to Chico. The event raises money for scholarships and equipment for track athletes at Atascadero and Paso Robles High Schools. The Running Chicken logo was designed by Brittney years ago.
Over 400 registered for the event, although some stayed home because of the inclement weather. 109 women completed the 5K run. The first was Francis Perry of Atascadero High School in 22:01.95. She also won the CIF Cross Country Title in 2022. Frannie finished second overall. The next two women to finish were Quinn Dubrul in 23:38.08, and Colleen McCandless in 24:49.77.
75 men finished the 5K. The first across the line was Oliver Baker-Ballantyne in 22:01.7. He was followed by Bailey Aiello in 22:19.99, and Adrian Garcia in 23:35.27.
Another 43 women finished the 10K, which included some challenging mud running on steep hills at the lake. Annie Meeder finished first in 46:22.24, followed by Nora Pizzella, 47:08.02, and Ellie Nisbet, 52:04.61.
The men’s 10K also produced 43 finishers. Connor Fisher finished first in 35:46.99. He was followed by Anthony Perez in 43:51.61 and Jason Reed in 44:50.08.
Warren Frace said, “Conditions were perfect. These kind of runners like a challenge. With the proceeds, we give out two $1,000 scholarships at each high school. It’s really for runners. Another program donates shoes for younger runners.”