The Bay Breeze Half Marathon in San Leandro was held earlier this month where several Riverbank Unified School District office staff and personnel from other school sites gathered to participate. The day of the Half Marathon, which is 13.1 miles (21.1 kilometers), was a bit cloudy and chilly but there was a rainbow that shined that day along with the RUSD participants that crossed the finish line. The race is held rain or shine with roughly a four-and-a-half hour time limit.
“We invited all Riverbank Unified (RUSD) staff and families to run or walk and make it an RUSD event,” explained Marcus Wirowek, RUSD Senior Director of Human Resources. “I put together training dates for all staff to train together. We would train based off a set half marathon training schedule.”
The training schedule included a run schedule and a walking schedule that began in December and continued through January up until race day. The training began with four miles, then seven miles, nine miles the next week, and 12 miles in the final training session before the race itself.
Wirowek added that the idea to run the marathon began at a district office luncheon in November where some friendly competition ensued with a wager between Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp and Chief Business Officer, Robert (Rob) Perez.
“Dr. Camp recently completed the Riverbank Wine and Cheese 10k and was talking about his experience,” stated Wirowek. “Rob mentioned that he used to run Track and Cross County in high school. I asked the question as to who would win a half marathon between the two of them. Rob and Dr. Camp are both very competitive, the race was on. In fact, several of the District office staff who were present during the luncheon signed up for the race”
With 27 people traveling to the event including staff and family members on race day, only 17 competed in the marathon. The people that walked the race began at 7:30 a.m. and the runners began at 8 a.m. The race begins and ends at the San Leandro Marina Park that stays close to the water throughout the course. There were water stations throughout the course that offered water, pretzels and candy.
“We did have two staff members who cramped up pretty bad, but everyone else finished the whole 13.1 miles,” expressed Wirowek. “The weather was a concern. The day started out overcast with rain predicted. However, once the race started, the light drizzle stopped and we did get some sun. I believe there were about 1000 participants.”
Unfortunately what began as a friendly wager never materialized since Perez’s vehicle was broken into and his race gear was stolen, according to Wirowek. Perez did not run the race and Dr. Camp crossed the finish line knowing that a steak dinner awaited him in the near future.
The runners that completed the race received custom medals and shirts.