FAIRFIELD — An event that started as a way to raise some cash for the Matt Garcia Youth Center has turned into an annual gathering that has brought in more than $100,000 in just four years.
The 5th Annual Fairfield Running Festival will take place April 13, offering a 10k, 5k and a kids fun run. Streets around Fairfield will be closed for the event created by Timothy Tenne, when he was stationed at Travis Air Force Base.
Tenne, who lives in Baltimore now, said he was approached by then-City Councilman Chuck Timm, who said the youth center was looking for ways to raise money. Tenne said supporting the youth of the community was important to him and they rushed to put on the inaugural event.
“I’m usually the one winning the races, but I wanted to put one on,” said Tenne, president of Run For Good 5K and T3 Run. “Sure enough, the city came together and we put it on in 86 days.”
It’s grown since then. Tenne said he hopes the race gives people exposure to Fairfield.
“This is an incredible event. It’s a positive event. Some people who have never seen Fairfield can see the street for a day,” he said. “We hope we can make Fairfield a destination for running events.”
Raymond Courtemanche, Garcia’s stepfather, said the race is yet one more example of someone sharing the desire to improve the lives of the area’s children. He said Tenne’s commitment is important and that the event provides a steady donation the center relies upon heavily.
“It affords other people the chance to succeed. That’s the only way it works in life,” Courtemanche said. “It’s a tremendous addition to keeping the dream alive.”
Matt Garcia was a member of the Fairfield City Council who was shot and killed in 2008 in a case of mistaken identity. He was 22.
Tenne said many events can become impersonal and runners aren’t given much attention. Tenne said the Fairfield event is just the opposite.
“I put on races all around the country, but this is one near and dear to my heart. This is a race by runners, for runners,” he said. “The more we turn this into a hometown event, the bigger it will be.”
In-person registration and packet pick-up will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. April 12 at the Solano County Event Center at 601 Texas St. Those items will also be available from 6 to 7:20 a.m. on the day of the race.
The 10k race begins at 7:45 a.m., the 5k at 8 a.m. and the kids fun run at 9 a.m.
For more information, visit www.runfairfield.com.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.