Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris 5k Fun Run Raises Money for Education

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch chats with Ray Cisneros prior to the star of the Third Annual Fun Run, which attracted about 1,200 participants. Cisneros took part to raise awareness for the May 19-20 Relay for Life in Perris
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch chats with Ray Cisneros prior to the star of the Third Annual Fun Run, which attracted about 1,200 participants. Cisneros took part to raise awareness for the May 19-20 Relay for Life in Perris.

More than 1,200 people turned out early Saturday to take part in a five-kilometer “fun run” in Perris to raise money for Rotary Club youth scholarships as well as for classroom equipment like microscopes.

The Third Annual Fun Run coincided with the City of Perris’ Fourth Annual Day of the Child, an event meant to bring families together for a fun activity and a good cause. The run brought out plenty of hard-core athletes who completed the 3.1-mile distance in under 20 minutes but just as many kids, parents and grandparents intent on having a great time.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch welcomed all the participants, who took off from near Railway Elementary School on A Street. The mayor addressed the crowd before the run began, stood at the finish line to encourage participants to compete hard to the end and later handed out medals to the top competitors.

Dozens of runners take off at the start of the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) Fun Run
Dozens of runners take off at the start of the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) Fun Run.

The mayor worked with HanesBrands Inc. to provide 2,000 t-shirts in a rainbow of colors to all participants. After the run, boxes of new socks also were distributed.

“This is a wonderful day for a fun run,” Busch told the sun-drenched crowd. “It’s bigger and better than ever. Take your time and have fun!”

Vince Ponce, superintendent of the Perris Elementary School District, said the fun run is the largest district activity of the year. In addition to supporting scholarships given out by the Perris Rotary Club, the run also supports the March of Dimes in its efforts to battle premature births and their associated defects. The City of Perris and Prevent Child Abuse Riverside County also helped sponsor the run.

“We really value our partnership with the City of Perris,” Ponce said. “It’s awesome. We enjoy their support and cooperation.”

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch presents a first-place medal to Alfonso Navarrete, 16, who finished the race in 19-minutes 51.12 seconds
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch presents a first-place medal to Alfonso Navarrete, 16, who finished the race in 19-minutes 51.12 seconds.

Railway Elementary School principal Rob French said the 2011 fun run raised enough money for the school to purchase two microscopes used in science labs. Money raised from this year’s event will go toward similar purchases, he said.

“This event promotes an active lifestyle and it helps bring the community together,” French said.

Alfonso Navarrete, 16, a Perris High School junior, was the first of the runners to finish the race, completing the course in 19-minutes and 51.12 seconds. As a member of the school’s cross-country team, he said he found the flat course easy to navigate but said the run proved “kind of a challenge to keep up the pace for the whole course.”

“I tried my best and I am happy because I came out to support a good cause,” Navarrete said.

Perris teacher Paige Roth gives a fist-pump as she crosses the finish line with daughter Morgan along for the ride
Perris teacher Paige Roth gives a fist-pump as she crosses the finish line with daughter Morgan along for the ride.

Paige Roth, a teacher at Innovative Horizons Charter School in Perris, pushed a 60-pound load the entire course but still came home in 27-minutes. Her burden: a 25-pound stroller carrying her 3-year-old, 35-pound daughter Morgan. But for a dedicated runner who puts in five to 10 miles on the typical Saturday, a jaunt of just over three miles proved more like a stroll in the park, Roth said.

“I enjoyed it,” she said. “The run is aimed at keeping kids healthy. It’s nice to give something back to the community.”

Ray Cisneros and his team of about 10 family members and friends were out for some exercise while supporting the various beneficiaries of the fun run and getting the word out about their own cause: this weekend’s Relay for Life at Foss Field Park in Perris to support the American Cancer Society.

Geovanni Godinez, 10, and Ruby Rangel, 17, said they took part in the Fun Run to promote healthy lifestyles and exercise
Geovanni Godinez, 10, and Ruby Rangel, 17, said they took part in the Fun Run to promote healthy lifestyles and exercise.

“We’re out here to have a good time and support the community,” Cisneros said.