By Haley Chelemedos and Avery Robb, Staff Writers
// On a much-anticipated day in the Lafayette community, kids, parents, grandparents, and hundreds of runners hit the road: not in cars, but on foot.
On Oct. 23, the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lafayette hosted the annual Lafayette Reservoir Run for Education, which drew participants from all across the Bay Area. All proceeds, as usual, benefit Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) and Lafayette School District (LAFSD) schools.
This year, runners were able to choose from three distances: the 5k, 10k, and the two-mile race. The race organizers also chose to keep the virtual race option, which was sought-after in its debut two years ago during the pandemic. Instead of running with the group, participants are able to record their run during the week of the race, allowing them to complete the race on their own time. Although the Reservoir Run was disrupted by COVID-19, the Lafayette Chamber persevered, and The Reservoir Run is back by popular demand.
“The two previous years during COVID-19 there were virtual races where people signed up and they ran or walked on their own. Last year was the first time we could bring everyone back together downtown,” President of the Oakwood Athletic Club and Lafayette Chamber of Commerce member Dennis Garrison said.
The Lafayette Chamber achieved great success in 2021, with a new fundraising record of $42,568.75 directed to local schools. They hope to raise as much, or more this year to benefit the community.
“Being able to raise that money is awesome because it allows our schools to purchase more resources and materials to help elevate our education,” junior and varsity cross country runner Logan Farzan said.
A warm-up session from The Dailey Method complemented the run, along with the Healthy Lifestyles fair open to all athletes and visitors.
“I think it’s really cool that they include [booths from local businesses]. I like to go after the race and go up to all of them to see them,” sophomore Sadie Poole said.
As one of Lafayette’s most popular family events, the Reservoir Run offers a rare chance for the entire community to band together.
“[The Reservoir Run is] important for the city because it’s a public event, it brings people to downtown Lafayette…The Chamber does these kinds of events to bring people downtown to see the merchants, and it’s important for the schools because they can participate and raise money,” Garrison said.
Every year, a large number of people show up to the event, whether it is to support the cause, run, or check out the booths. The Reservoir Run has become an important part of Lafayette’s history that many community members look forward to every year.
“It was a great event. Today was the perfect weather … There were lots of families there with school aged children and some preschool aged children, so it was a good event,” Garrison said.
For Acalanes students, the Reservoir Run provides an opportunity for them to engage in city events, and simply have fun running with friends and family.
“[It is] not very often you get a big community [event] in Lafayette, and a lot of people come out whether they’re athletes or not, so it’s kind of cool just to see everyone come and hang out for a little bit,” Farzan said.
Graphic by Gabi Gruber, Online Editor-In-Chief