Two university professors with master’s degrees - Stephen Waite and Katie Burns - won the men’s and women’s 10K at Saturday’s 29th Annual Smokey Bear Run / Walk at Bass Lake.
Waite, 26, of Fresno, and a professor of kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University, finished the course in 37:43.2. Burns, 31, of Bass Lake, is a professor with a master’s degree in education, and teaches at the High Sierra Campus of Azusa Pacific University.
For Waite, who only took up running seriously about three years ago, it was his first time to run in the event.
“This is a great course with a lot of great volunteers,” Waite said after the race.
A member of the newly formed “Bandoleros Running Club,” Waite graduated from Clovis East High School in 2008 and was the goal keeper on the Fresno Pacific soccer team prior to graduation.
J.K. Lundberg, 36, last year’s winner and four-time Valley Runner of the Year, placed second with a time of 37:43.2, and James Frazer, 43, of Ahwahnee, placed third in 38:24.4.
Carmen Pedraza, 43, of Kingsburg placed second in the women’s 10K in 44.23.3 and third place went to Amanda Whitten, 34, of Fresno in 46:30.3.
The Mountain Area was well represented in the race with nine of the top 20 finishers from Ahwahnee, Coarsegold, Oakhurst, Bass Lake and North Fork.
In the 2-mile race, Justin Beaumont, 12, of Coarsegold, outran the field in 13:33. Second place went to Justus Shaw, 15, of Oakhurst in 14.16, and third place went to Yosemite High School alum Matt Sebastian, 39, in a time of 14.24.
Hannah Beaumont, 12, of Coarsegold won the 2-mile women’s division (8th overall) with a time of 15:39.9, edging her mother Nanette, 42, who came in second (9th overall) in 15:40.2.
Kids 1/2 Mile Race (9-12 years-old)
Double-entry Justin Beaumont, won the event in 2:45.7, with sister Hannah (also a double event participant) placing second in 3:05.9. Anthony (AJ) Ruiz, of Coarsegold, placed third in 3:06.4.
Kids 1/4 Mile Race (5-8 years-old)
Jack Botterill, 7, of Fresno won the race in 1:23.3 with Peter Shaw of Oakhurst placing second with a time of 1:23.6. Brooke Miller, 8, of Ahwahnee, placed third in 1:24.6. Clarisse Beaumont of Team Beaumont, 7, placed fourth in 1:26.4.
Kids 1/8 Mile Race (2-4 years-old)
Kurt Foster, 4, of Clovis won the event in 0:54.9, with Josie Schoeneman, 4, of Hidden Valley Lake and Carter Tichter-Vint of North Fork placing second and third in 1:04 and 1:15.1 respectively.
About 400 participated in the event.
Major sponsors for the event are Sierra Tel, Cal Fire and the US Forest Service.
Proceeds from the race benefit Cal Fire, USFS Fire Prevention Programs, Madera County Search & Rescue, Madera County Sheriff Explorer’s Post 104, and the Yosemite High School cross country teams.