Smokey Bear Run/Walk

Jesus Campos and Maria Rivera win 10K at 25th Annual Smokey Bear Run/Walk at Bass Lake

By Nick Massarella / Special To Sierra StarSeptember 26, 2012 

Jesus Campos, 29, of Fresno won the 10K race at the 25th Annual Smokey Bear Run/Walk at Bass lake last Saturday in a time of 33:14.98. Recovering from a calf injury, Campos only started running eight days prior to the race.

"I am recovering from the injury," Campos said. "I normally run 26 mile marathons but decided that this 10K event would be a good distance for my recovery."

The first woman to cross the finish line in the 10K was Maria Rivera, 24, of Visalia with a time of 36:39.65.

Rivera said her training in the mountains helped prepare her for the Bass Lake event and she praised race organizers.

"I think the race was very well organized," Rivera said. "I'm already looking forward to next year's race."

The event has become a favorite to runners and walkers throughout the Central Valley and the 10K is one of the races in the Central Valley runner of the Year series.

The event was originally created to raise awareness of fire prevention and raise funds to benefit event partners Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service Fire Prevention Programs, Madera County Sheriff Explorer's Post 104, Madera County Search & Rescue and the Yosemite High School cross country teams. This year's event raised about $8,000.

But more than just money, the event promotes friendly competition, family participation and good health.

Ken Takeuchi served as this year's race director for the 24th time. He is running five miles a day after undergoing triple by-pass heart surgery in December 2009.

"My doctor accredits my strong comeback from heart surgery to an active recovery program including running, weight training, cycling and golf," Takeuchi said.

New to the event this year's event was electronic chip technology to record the runner's times. The timing system was made possible by Sole 2 Soul Sports.

More than 500 children and adults participated in six separate events including three children runs, a two-mile walk, two-mile run and the 10K.

The event featured 73 divisions based on age and gender and more than 100 trophies were presented by Race Chairman Sheriff John Anderson and Takeuchi.

Editor's Note: For complete event results and additional photos, see sierrastar.com and click on sports and also markhaymond.smugmug.com.

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