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Chicoans trot for Jesus Center's Run for Food

Chico Enterprise-Record logo Chico Enterprise-Record 11/24/2022 Michael Weber, Chico Enterprise-Record, Calif.

Nov. 24—CHICO — More than 4,000 gathered Thursday at One-Mile Recreation Area to trot along in the 17th annual Run for Food, a fundraiser by the Jesus Center.

Dressed in turkey hats, costumes and sponsor T-shirts, participants paraded the 5K through lower Bidwell Park.

Rick Satava, a neighbor to the park, stood by to watch the race begin and said he was glad to see people together again.

"This is pretty awesome that they have this again. Great turnout and good fundraiser," Satava said.

Participant Chase Tracy said he'd be keeping a brisk walk moving through the whole process, and afterwards, spend Thanksgiving time with his grandmother.

"We gotta do the community first, then you zoom in a little bit, then you go spend time with your family," Tracy said. "That's the whole point of this thing."

The race began at 9 a.m. and timed runners blitzed through the course so quickly that participants were still beginning at the starting line as they finished.

Zane Kowalkowski and Ariana Smedley ran together on a timed run through the park.

"It was great to be out of here. The running conditions were awesome — nice and cool; beautiful out," Kowalkowski said.

"Running through the park makes it feel really nice and beautiful," Smedley said. "We're cross country runners so we've ran tougher courses, but this course is so nice; so pretty."

Sophia Andrea said her only goal was to beat her parents in the race, and she was successful.

Jesus Center Executive Director Amber Abney-Bass said the Run for Food is the nonprofit's biggest fundraiser of the year.

"As in years past, it continues to provide much needed support for our programs and services. There is not a decline in need over the years," Abney-Bass said. "We're so grateful to the initial families that put this concept together and invested in this run for so many years so we can be here on a morning like this celebrating Thanksgiving together."

(c)2022 Chico Enterprise-Record, Calif Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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