EDINBURG — Overcast skies Saturday morning didn’t deter more than 8,000 runners from participating in the 36th Annual All-America City 10K Run/Walk, Fun Run and Miracle Mile, breaking last year’s record of approximately 7,050.
Starting out on Palm Drive, the 10K race with 3,004 participants began at 9 a.m. sharp with a field of elite runners, including participants from Mexico, Kenya, Ethiopia and Israel at the front of the line with other runners following.
Once the gun was fired, the 36th annual race stretched through the streets of Edinburg, travelling down Closner Boulevard onto University Drive then passing by Edinburg City Hall, the Edinburg school district Administration Building, then the Hidalgo County Courthouse and wrapping up at Richard R. Flores Stadium.
Elsa resident Edna Rodriguez began her running journey nearly three years ago.
“I started running four years ago and this is one of the nicest events that the city of Edinburg puts together,” Rodriguez said about the race. “It’s something that I picked up in a later stage in life. It’s good for me. It keeps me healthy and I love it.”
Rodriguez said she likes to compete and has completed marathons in San Antonio, Las Vegas and California.
“I liked running when I was in high school, but (the) coach never took me seriously,” the 46-year-old said. “When I took it up later in life to do something for my health, I learned running was my thing.”
She also trains before beginning any type of event by using a phone application. She runs, walks, and does CrossFit training to prepare for each run and she decided to take on this year’s 10K to break a personal record.
Another runner was Jorge Arias from Mission, who decided to participate in his first 10K because of family.
“My father-in-law and sister-in-law, they like to run,” Arias said. “We did the (McAllen Marathon) relay and I liked it, so we did it all together again.”
Since Arias is new to distance running, he wanted to take it slow by jogging and walking throughout the 10K.
“My father-in-law does it to stay healthy and we all do it with him,” the 42-year-old said. “Me and my wife, we want to start running now for our health.”
Longtime Edinburg resident Joe Cantu said he has been running all his life and still enjoys doing so every day.
“I was like in my 30s when I started running and I enjoyed it and it helps health-wise. It’s very good for the heart with cardio,” Cantu said. “It takes a lot of dedication and it doesn’t come easy.”
Cantu likes the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a race.
“To run nonstop, six miles, to me I feel great,” the 69-year-old said. “I have been running for 40 years. I ran about the first mile to a mile and half slow, then I started picking it up.”
As a retiree, he likes running in the mornings and runs two laps at Doolittle Park to keep himself in shape.
>> Julius Koskei, 35, from Kenya, won the Top Overall Open Male of the race in 28 minutes, 36 seconds.
>> Iveen Chepkemoi, 20, from Kenya, won Top Overall Open Female in 32 minutes, 25 seconds.
>> Rolando Ramon, 19, from Edinburg, won First Edinburg Male in 34 minutes, 8 seconds.
>> Karla Hinojosa, 33, from Edinburg, won First Edinburg Female in 45 minutes, 15 seconds.
There was also $30,000 in prize money with trophies and medals for all the winners.