Participation in Veterans Memorial 5K Grows Again This Year

The top finishers in the men's and women's categories pose for the camera after the rac...

The top finishers in the men's and women's categories pose for the camera after the race.
By Jennifer Baker

About 70 runners took part in the third annual Menifee Veterans Day Memorial 5K run in and around Wheatfield Park today, with support from local businesses and community leaders that is increasing each year.

According to Allen Yun of the City of Menifee's community services department, the total of 70 runners and five vendors was an increase over last year and is reason for the event to expand even more in future years. A 1K companion race was run today and there is talk of adding a 10K race next year, he said.

Proceeds from registration fees for the event, plus donations collected, help to pay for maintenance of the Veteran's memorial at Wheatfield Park. A memorial service will be held there Monday at 11 a.m.

The top three 5K finishers in the male group were Braiden Chadd (18:38), Phil Dampier (18:54) and Christopher Eynon (22:14). The top three female racers were Sophia Cadenhead (22:02), Laurie Hardy (25:43) and Karin Cassidy (26:19).  Many others had fun competing as well. At left, Denise Bassett and her daughter Amy ran the 5K to accumulate miles for the 100-mile club at Ridgemoor Elementary School.

Paul David, owner of Elevate Fitness, has attended the event each year and helps with the planning of the race. He said he remembers when they were building the memorial. He said he wanted to help with the fundraising and would like to see the memorial get more recognition. He also feels that community events like this are very important.

Many adults and children from Yamashita Karate & Kobudo attended. It is a traditional Okinawan Karate school in Menifee. They teach and promote self awareness, self discipline, self confidence, empowerment, bully and stranger awareness, good citizenship and personal growth. The younger kids had a lot of fun running the 1K while the adults ran the 5K.

One of the vendors on hand was Old West Runs. The group is promoting a 5K/10K in Temecula on Nov. 17. For more information, visit the group's website. Proceeds from the race will benefit Community Connect, an organization for suicide and crisis prevention.

Another vendor in attendance was AquaVets, a program that brings aquaponics to veterans. Working with veterans, their families, and communities, they hope to es