Perris High School athletes dominated the field at this year’s Perris Elementary School District 5-K Fun Run, one of three collaborative events as part of the City of Perris ongoing “live well” campaign emphasizing healthy eating and exercise.
The April 22 Fun Run kicked off the day’s activities after which many of the 1,200 participants made their way over to the City of Perris 5th annual health fair and the annual Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research and treatment.
The City partners with the American Cancer Society to sponsor the Relay for Life, which was held at Foss Field Park on the City Hall Campus.
Runners, strollers, walkers and Fun Run supporters began gathering shortly after dawn to prepare for the event, which began at City Hall and wound its way through several neighborhoods. The event featured hard-core runners but also parents and grandparents who supported their children and those who walked the course accompanied by their family pets.
Participants were greeted along the route by residents who cheered them on and shouted encouragement.
For the second consecutive year Perris High School junior Xavier Carranza, 16, crossed the finish line first with a time of 17-minutes 39-seconds. Carranza was happy to become a repeat winner.
“It was fun and nerve-wracking,” Carranza said. “I was happy to finish in first place.”
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas kicked off the day’s festivities, which included a “tot trot” for youngsters between the ages of 1 and 7. Dozens of children took part in the tot trot. Vargas was pleased that the smallest residents were able to join in the fun.
“Not every community can do this,” Vargas said. “I am excited as the mayor that we can put on such a good event for the community. At the end of the day it’s all about community engagement and bringing the community together.”
City Councilman Malcolm Corona, a former cross-country runner and coach of the Perris Panthers track team, took part in the Fun Run. Corona was the first person to complete the course while pushing a stroller, which held his son Malcolm. He finished in 27 minutes.
“It’s great to participate in these events,” Corona said. “We want our community to be inspired to live a healthy lifestyle and at the same time enjoy their city.”
Perris Elementary School District Superintendent Vince Ponce commended the collaboration between the City and education officials that ensured a great day of inspiring activities.
“By joining the Fun Run and the health fair, residents are enjoying a rich experience of learning and physical activity,” Ponce said. “Families have a fun activity and then have direct access to health opportunities.”