By Ellen Moore
The seventh annual 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.
More than 2,500 runners participated in the event, organized by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA) and presented by California Family Fitness. At the end of the event, participants celebrated with a tailgate party featuring free food and beer, yard games, a portable video game truck featuring Madden 2015 and a bounce house for the kids, before the Denver Broncos-Carolina Panthers showdown.
In between, 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.
Chico’s Nicholas Spector and Rocklin’s Melissa Penwell captured 10k titles and Davis’ Chris Tyson and Oakland’s Tori Tyler took home 5k honors on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning.
Spector, a member of the Empire Runners, cruised to the men’s 10k title in 33:43. SRA Elite athlete Dominic D’Acquisto (33:54) and Jesuit junior Benjamin Holland (34:19) took home the next two spots.
“I really liked the new course,” said Spector. “This was my first race in awhile so it was pretty tough at the end but it was a really good day.”
“The drum line at the start was sweet,” added D’Acquisto.
The races were a good way to prepare for the rest of Super Bowl Sunday.
“I am just rooting for a good, entertaining Super Bowl,” said Spector.
Meanwhile, D’Acquisto was a little more decisive.
“I am headed to a party to watch the Broncos win,” he said.
Penwell, another SRA Elite athlete, delivered a strong performance for the win in the women’s 10k with a 38:33 effort. Fleet Feet Racing’s Carolyn Menard (38:53) and SRA Elite’s Jenny Hitchings (39:55) rounded out the top three.
Hitchings challenged the 10k course one day after capturing age-group honors at Saturday’s Jed Smith 30k.
“I loved the drum line and the track finish,” said Penwell. “It helped kick me into track mode for a strong finish.”
“I am training for Boston so this was a good, strong finish to my first 50-mile week.”
Tyson, of the Golden Valley Harriers, covered the 5k course through Sacramento State’s campus in 15 minutes and 21 seconds, just ahead of Fleet Feet Racing athlete Mike Styczynski (15:26). SRA Elite athlete Osama Tada was third (16:11).
Tyler delivered a strong performance in the 5k with a 16:35 finish. SRA Elite athlete Danielle Domenichelli of Sacramento (17:59) and Fleet Feet Racing’s Bridget Dawes of Antelope (18:21) finished second and third, respectively.
Tyler, a Skechers-sponsored athlete, is slated to run at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.
“This was something to turn over the legs a bit, a nice and quick run,” said Tyler.
“I felt good and tried to stay with a pack of guys.
And her Super Bowl plans?
“I plan to watch with friends, but I don’t know who I am rooting for – yet.”
The Super Sunday Run kicked off the 2016 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. 13.
Complete results are here.