Mild temperatures, beautiful scenery, race T-shirts and medals awaited those who took part in A Run Through Redlands on Sunday, April 18.
This was the 38th such race, but first that was virtual.
Meaning that due to coronavirus concerns people could run when they wanted and receive the race swag, assuming they registered on time.
Several hundred did, down from a few thousand in previous years.
One of them was Maria Snavely of Rialto, a truck driver for Stater Bros. who finished the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run in 31 minutes, 17seconds.
She ran with her sister Katy Carlton of Highland and Steve Harford of Moreno Valley.
“I brought up the rear,” Harford said. “I never did one of these before. I ran and then walked and then ran some more. When I heard it was only 5K I said, ‘No problem.’ And then it was like ‘Oh man.’”
Since there was no official starting time, there were no winners.
That is, except for those who enjoyed the sunshine and picturesque views that included Smiley Heights, Prospect Park, the Redlands Country Club Area and the Redlands Bowl, depending upon which course they ran – 5K, 10K or half-marathon.
“I’ve wanted to get out more after the quarantine,” said Monica Bailey of Beaumont, a 2001 Redlands High graduate. “I’m doing it with some family and friends. It’s nice to walk and enjoy my hometown.”
Another former Redlands resident who participated was Jared Wright of Riverside. The Mesa Grande Academy grad competed in the 10K.
“I missed the camaraderie (of a regular race) and there’s no way to replicate that, but it motivated me to train and have a specific goal,” Wright said. “It got me out of my Covid funk.”
For some participants such as Teresa Warren of Moreno Valley the event was a celebration.
She marked being two years free of rectal cancer by walking and was all smiles near the end. One of her cohorts was Michelle Ford of Yucaipa.
“I exercise, but I’ve never participated in one of these,” Ford said. “It’s kind of cool. You’re exercising, but with a purpose.”
Brock Brimhall of Calimesa strolled with his wife Tristen and their friend Bhavani Ganeshalingam of Moreno Valley and her daughter Maya.
“It’s a beautiful walk and a nice day,” Brimhall said. “I like the trees and the houses are nice. And there aren’t a bunch of lights, so you don’t have to stop all the time. No complaints.”
While most participated for the health of it, some viewed the annual event as a chance to give back, such as Mary Newton, a Redlands hairdresser who lives in Beaumont.
“I did the 5K,” Newton said. “I wanted to support the Kiwanis and the town, even through the Covid. Why shouldn’t we?”
Money from the race is given to local charities and is used to provide scholarships for youth in the community.