Race raises $250,000 for Children’s Miracle Network

After setting event records for money raised and runners registered for Sunday’s Credit Union SACTOWN Run, American Aaron Braun and returning champion Jane Kibii kept the momentum going by besting strong elite fields to win 10-mile individual titles and claim the $2,000 first prizes.

The SACTOWN event, organized by the Sacramento Running Association and sponsored by credit unions from California and Nevada, raised more than $250,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which includes UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

The race, which emulates the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run held in Washington, D.C. on the same day, has raised more than $1.1 million in the last five years.

Nearly 2,000 runners lined Capitol Mall on a gorgeous morning for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Miracle Mile, the 5k and the 10-mile race.

Braun, a 29-year old who trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., led from the start and ran near-even splits to win in 49 minutes and 7 seconds.

“My plan was to run relaxed through five miles and I saw I created a little gap around the four-mile mark,” said Braun. “I ran without a watch today and really didn’t know what my splits were.”

“It was nice to be out here and just run based on feel.”

“I enjoyed the day.”

Braun is eyeing a fall marathon on his 2017 race calendar and hopes to be back in Sacramento for the US Marathon Championships that will be held at the 35th annual California International Marathon in December.

“I am a fan of Sacramento and it is so great to be a part of a race that is so involved in the community.”

“I felt inspired.”

Phillip Reid of San Luis Obispo finished second for the second consecutive year in 49:35. Briton Andrew Lemoncello, who trains in Flagstaff, Ariz. placed third in 49:56.

Kibii, a 32-year old former Auburn resident who is originally from Kenya, built a big lead early and held on to finish over two minutes ahead of the women’s field in 55:49 to capture her third consecutive SACTOWN title.

“I tried to open it up in the first half of the race and build enough of a gap that I could relax a bit in the second half,” said Kibii.

“I am feeling good fitness-wise, but my calves are a problem.”

Kibii placed second at the LA Marathon on March 19.

“Sacramento has been home to me.”

“I will always come back to run this race.”

El Dorado Hills native Lauren Totten grabbed second in 58:04 and Amy Schnittger of Santa Cruz, Calif. finished third in 58:29.

The event served as the 10-mile championship for USA Track & Field’s Pacific Association.

The 2017 edition of the SACTOWN Run featured an area of intrigue, as three married couples were included in the elite field. Lindsay and Tim Tollefson, Lauren and Seth Totten, and Brendan Gregg and Jonah Weeks competed for the fastest combined couples time. The Tottens ran away with the unofficial title behind the strength of Lauren’s runner-up performance and Seth’s ninth place time of 51:53.

The double loop course allowed spectators, as well as the 5k and one-mile finishers, a chance to watch the elite field approach the halfway mark before the runners made their way back over the Tower Bridge and to the finish in the shadow of the State Capitol.

Sacramento’s Chriss Grimble won the men’s 5k race in 15:23. Sienna Espinoza from Salida, Calif. claimed the women’s 5k title in 20:26.

This year’s Credit Union patient champion Reese Baker, a 7-year old leukemia patient, completed the one-mile course and Angela House, a 15-year-old leukemia patient, sang Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” before the awards ceremony, reminding everyone of the cause behind the event.

Credit Unions for Kids is the brand under which America’s credit unions and affiliated organizations fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. To date, credit unions have raised more than $150 million since the introduction of the CU4Kids program back in 1996.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an affiliation of children’s hospitals throughout the country. Each year these non-profit hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, cutting edge research and preventative health education.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat more than 17 million patients each year, including 98 percent of all children needing heart or lung transplants and 88 percent of all children with cancer.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the recently completed Super Sunday Run, the Gold Rush 50k on May 14, the inaugural Gold Country Half on June 11, the Capital Cross Challenge on October 7, the Run the Parkway on November 4 and the 35th annual California International Marathon on December 3.