Brenneman, Domenichelli win 10k races; Mallory, Artis top 5k runs

The California Family Fitness Super Sunday Run started with live music, footballs tossed around and a pair of kids’ races to set the tone for a fun, festive day.

At the end of the eighth annual event, participants celebrated the day with a tailgate party featuring free food and beer, yard games, and a bounce house for the kids before the New England Patriots-Atlanta Falcons showdown.

In between, athletes from the Sacramento Running Association’s Elite Team dominated the competition, winning all four individual races.

Outside of the winner’s circle, athletes of all shapes, sizes and affiliations covered the 10k and 5k courses before descending on Sacramento State University’s Hornet Stadium for the end zone finish.

Rockin’s Charlie Brenneman and Sacramento’s Danielle Domenichelli captured 10k titles and Sacramento’s Tony Mallory and Roseville’s Stephanie Artis took home 5k honors on a beautiful, clear Sunday morning.

More than 2,500 runners participated in the event, organized by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA) and presented by California Family Fitness.

The SRA added a $1,000 prize purse in the 10k, which resulted in deeper fields in both the men’s and women’s races.

Brenneman, the 2014 runner-up, captured the men’s 10k title in 32:23. Fleet Feet Racing athlete Mike Styczynski (32:33) and SRA Elite’s Christian Gonzales (33:14) took home the next two spots.

“I really liked the course,” said Brenneman. “Plus the added bonus of the prize money is nice.”

“Mike (Styczynski) and I had a back-and-forth thing going around the 6k mark and I know he has a kick so I decided I needed to go.”

“Charlie is so strong,” said Styczynski. “He was really good out there.”

“And the weather was just perfect.”

The races were a good way to prepare for the rest of Super Bowl Sunday.

“I am a Ravens fan but pulling for the Patriots today because that is who my son likes,” said Styczynski.

Domenichelli, 2016 5k runner-up and 2015 5k champion, delivered a strong performance for the win in the women’s 10k with a 36:51 effort. Fellow SRA Elite athletes Kelly Booth (37:20) and Melissa Penwell (37:39) rounded out the top three.

“I guess I feel better than I thought,” joked Domenichelli. “I started off conservative but caught a group of guys and put out a hard effort early in the season.”

“It feels good.”

“It was a great day,” added Booth. “I am coming off of CIM and running Way Too Cool 50k in four weeks, so it was nice to come out today for the 10k.”

“I was just trying to keep Danielle in my sight.”

“She ran great today.”

As for the game, Booth is pulling for the Patriots to clinch their fifth Super Bowl title.

“It is all about Tom Brady,” she said.

Mallory covered the 5k course through Sacramento State’s campus in 15 minutes and 58 seconds, over a minute ahead of runner-up and Golden Valley Harrier Brendan Ward (17:14). Fleet Feet Racing athlete Michael Shubert was third (17:21).

“I had to work for that win,” said Mallory. “I loved the support of all the racers.”

“And I am all for the Falcons,” he added. “Always for the underdog.”

Artis delivered a strong performance in the 5k with a 19:15 finish. Australian Olympian and triathlon silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Games Michellie Jones (19:47) and Inderkum High School senior Jordan Stefani of Sacramento (19:50) finished second and third, respectively.

Jones, a two-time ITU Triathlon World Champion and 2016 Ironman World Champion, resides in Carlsbad but was in Sacramento and decided to put her triathlon short course training to the test.

“I always try to find an event in the city when traveling,” said Jones. “It was a great day.”

And her Super Bowl plans?

“My husband is rooting for the Patriots, so naturally I am pulling for the Falcons.”

The Super Sunday Run kicked off the 2017 Buzz Oates Run Sac Series, a yearlong competition for area runners of all ages and abilities. Next up in the series is the four-mile Valentine Run on Feb. 11.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding new 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 Credit Union SACTOWN Run on April 2, 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.