By Nick Sestanovich
This Sunday, Benicians will once again come together for a run to raise money for Benicia’s schools as part of the Benicia Education Foundation’s Run for Education. This year is a little more special than most: it is the event’s 10th year.
The run had humble beginnings in 2008 when some BEF board members came up with the idea of a marathon fundraiser. The initial event drew only 200 runners and five sponsors: Raley’s, Courtyard Customs, Valero Benicia Refinery, Umpqua Bank and Benicia Magazine, then known as Inside Benicia. The latter three companies have continually sponsored the run for 10 years, Race Director Lisa Koenen said.
By 2010, the event had blossomed to more than 1,000 runners and more than 20 sponsors. Eventually, the foundation had to install more portable bathrooms, more volunteers and new systems to accommodate the growing crowds. The event has only become more successful. Last year saw 700 runners turn up despite rainy weather for the first time in the run’s history. Organizers say the forecast is looking sunny and registration numbers so far are actually higher than last year.