Heather Wick, with bib number 552, comes in flying as the first female to complete the 5k portion of the River Run. Wick ran with a finishing time of 21:01:87. Jeff Huxhold, runner number 585, comes in first on the men’s 5k, checking his watch for his final time as he crosses the finish line — 17:17:09.

Fun Run a perennial hit

Bright and early on Sunday, Aug. 26, attendees of the Willie A. Tate Memorial River Run 5k/10k warm up around the check-in booth near the start line at Portola City Park, with rows of gleaming awards laid out for all to work toward. Photos by Lauren Westmoreland

The 2018 Willie A. Tate Memorial River Run/Walk 5k/10k went off with a bang on the chilly, smoky morning in Portola on Aug. 26, with a final headcount of 65 on the starting line at 8 a.m.; 10 of those 65 runners, walkers and joggers were participating in the 10k.

One organizer, Pat Bridge, shrugged into her purple and black plaid jacket, joking about the cold, as she and others met runners with warm smiles and bib numbers for the run/walk. “We keep doing this just to keep the memory of Willie Tate alive,” Bridge smiled. “We so appreciate all that continue to participate each year.”

The event commemorates Willie A. Tate, a teacher, coach and mentor to many students at Portola Junior/Senior High School up until his death in 2000. The River Run was created to raise funds for the Willie A. Tate Heart and Soul Award and Scholarship.

Event organizers and volunteers work the Tate Run booth, getting bibs on athletes and collecting information while fighting the 39-degree chill amidst the smoke. From left, Heidi Streeter, Breanne Tate and Pat Bridge.