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Families warming up for Run Rocklin

Event raises funds for Matt Redding Memorial Scholarship Foundation
By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Placer Herald Correspondent
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When Irene Orozco joined Rocklin’s Crunch gym 15 months ago she was on a mission to start a running program, get fit, and lose 100 pounds. Although Orozco had been a distance runner back in college, running in her 40s often meant running out of breath. “At that point, I decided to power walk out of breath at the beginning,” shared Orozco who sought out a healthier lifestyle to lower her risk of diabetes due to family history. “My goal was to complete a 30-minute gym class.” Orozco discovered by combining weight training, cardio exercises and core strengthening classes that she could breath easier. She also hired Crunch personal trainer Audrey Gould for eight months. “I incorporated running six months later,” added Orozco. “Not only did the pounds melt away, but I discovered just how much I enjoyed running. It is invigorating, not to mention a great stress reliever.” Today Orozco is 97 pounds lighter, thrilled to have tackled her first half-marathon and ready to lead Crunch Gym’s running team as captain for Run Rocklin on April 15. “I come from a social justice background and knowing that I will be contributing in a small way to the Matt Redding Memorial Scholarship Foundation brings me great joy,” she said. “For some we will be running and walking amongst our friends, family, neighbors, and peers. Sharing this experience will be exciting and fun!” Run Rocklin organizers are always looking beyond the big event for ways to support the active community throughout the year as residents build momentum for a successful run. Team Coordinator Julie Sharrah hears from all kinds of groups working towards race day, ready to come together and experience the spirit of the city as 3,000 runners and walkers take to the streets. “We have about 54 teams registered and they range from kids with schools to swim teams to running clubs and first-time moms that get together to run,” said Sharrah, an avid runner and cross country coach. “It’s really interesting to hear some of the team names such as The Milk Duds, Frozen Hogs and Synerjoggers. There are neighborhoods that run together. You can tell that since this is our ninth annual run, more and more people just gather up their friends and family and run together.” Sharrah said the youngest running enthusiasts enjoy the quarter-mile run, especially after pinning on their running bibs. She encourages everyone to attend the event whether it’s to walk, run, or cheer on participants. “My husband and boys don’t run on a regular basis, but Run Rocklin is a great family event we do every year together,” she added. Sharrah’s sons, Adam and Danny, will run their fourth Run Rocklin this year. “Running along people during the race hypes me up and gets me excited to fun faster,” said Danny Sharrah, 11. “Every year I set a new goal for myself and try to get a faster time – my personal best.” Adam Sharrah, 13, always looks forward to the social scene. “It’s nice to see all the people supporting this event and it’s fun to say hello to people that you know while running,” shared the seventh grader. “My favorite part of the race is at the end because I like to see what my pace and time is and catch up with friends. We visit the vendor booths while relaxing and chillin’ out.” As Run Rocklin has grown over the years, Race Director Larry Osborne has met participants of all ages who chose to spend the morning running their hearts out. “You see the younger runners and you see the older runners,” said Osborne. “We’ve had participants 75 years and older and the run is really important to them. We have increased our 5-year increments to include 79 years-plus. A lot of people may not expect runners in their 70s and 80s to be participating, but some of these runners are faster than the 40-year-olds.” That’s a fact that inspires Irene Orozco as this will be the first 5K for more than half of her team members. “A 5K run or walk is a great way to start a fitness program,” encouraged Orozco. “We all have to start somewhere, why not now! This is your life, your time. I say make the most of it. If anyone knows how difficult it is to start a fitness program and stick with it, it’s me!”