Runners, walkers, joggers and everyone in between leap to the start of the Willie Tate Memorial Run/Walk in 2016, with many looking to join in the fun at the upcoming event Sunday, Aug. 27, during the Portola Railroad Days. Photo by Lauren Westmoreland

Tate Memorial Run approaches

A time-honored tradition continues at the upcoming Portola Railroad Days celebration Aug. 25 through 27, the Willie Tate Memorial Run/Walk.

The 5k and 10k races have developed quite a following over the years, with runners, joggers and walkers attending from all around the Plumas area and beyond. While the run is a competitive event, avid walkers are just as welcome as serious runners, because the run is for a cause.

The marathon commemorates longtime local coach, teacher and mentor to many at Portola High School, Willie A. Tate, who passed away in 2000. The inscription on the award plaque commends the recipients, those “who embody the strengths of sportsmanship, motivation and dedication inspired by Mr. Tate.”

After his death, students and athletes from the Class of 2000 spearheaded the concept of a Willie A. Tate Heart and Soul Award and Scholarship, which is funded by the run. The 2017 student recipients of the award are Evelyn Vargas and Hunter Price.

The five-kilometer run/walk and the 10-kilometer run will be held Sunday, Aug. 27, beginning at 8 a.m., with the start and finish line in front of Portola City Hall.

There will be seven age divisions for the event: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and above. Prizes will be awarded for overall winners (men and women) in each race category, as well as for the first three finishers in each age group.

The most senior participant in the race will be awarded the “Rusty Spike” and the race will conclude with a bib number drawing, which has proven to be a popular part of the event year after year.

Registration forms can be obtained at Portola City Hall or online at PortolaRailroadDays.com.

The pre-registration deadline is Sunday, Aug. 20, and each entrant will receive a commemorative T-shirt included with the $25 entry fee. Race day registration will be held from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. at a cost of $30.