FAIRFIELD — Mayors from two cities will shoot starter guns to mark the beginning of respective races Saturday for the Fairfield-Suisun Running Festival.
Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez starts off runners at 7:45 a.m. for the 10-kilometer event while 15 minutes later Fairfield Mayor Harry Price marks the start of the 5k run.
Both events begin along Texas Street near the Solano County Government Center.
“It’s fantastic that we have both civic leaders,” said Jon Ramirez, who has helped organize the event.
Timothy Tenne, 44, a pilot and active duty officer at Travis Air Force Base, when he organized the running festival that first took place seven years ago, said it has raised more than $130,000 for the Matt Garcia Youth Center and hopes to break $150,000 in proceeds this year when the event will also donate funds to the Kroc Center in Suisun City.
Tenne, who traveled from Baltimore to work with the festival, praised NorthBay Healthcare as among organizations that make the running festival possible.
Preregistration was Friday. Runners picked up race packets, T-shirts and bibs with their numbers.
“It’s actually a badge of honor,” Tenne said of the term “bib.”
Some runners cover walls with bibs from races, he said.
Runner Syliva Miller, 57, of Suisun City, in line Friday, said the Fairfield-Suisun Running Festival is demanding but when it’s over, like other races, “you feel ‘where’s the other one?’ ” and are ready to run again.
Raymond Courtemanche, chief operations officer at Mission Solano, was at the preregistration Friday to help with the event organization and said he hopes to run Saturday “if everything is going good” with the race.
Noting the support the race gets, he said, “We just have a great community.”
Steven Bettis, 40, flew in from Baltimore to help with the run and said it’s his first time in the Bay Area.
“The food is amazing,” he said of the region.
So are Fairfield and Suisun City, he said.
“It’s great what they’re doing for the youth here,” Bettis said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.