Runners of all ages gathered at San Marcos High School (SMHS) starting line Aug. 22 to take part in the 2nd annual RattleSnake Run 5K.
The race served as a fundraiser for its sponsor, the SMHS Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
Anthony Williams, Lieutenant Colonel, said the race is designed to bring the community together before the beginning of a new school year.
“It’s a great community service event,” Williams said. “We get a lot of participation from the local community, families, kids and young people.”
Williams said organizers decided to open the race to all ages in an effort to encourage kids to be more active.
“Outside of the people in San Marcos who do athletics, the rest of the students didn’t really do a lot of physical activity,” Williams said. “We made a conscious decision in the beginning to make divisions for the young people so it can be a complete family activity.”
Williams said he used his experience as a runner to ensure each division of the race was fair.
“There was conscious thought that went into this,” Williams said. “Being a runner, I know what runners like, but a lot of times you go with your family and kids don’t do anything.”
Julia Vasquez, San Marcos resident, said being able to finish the race with her family was a major selling point.
“We came to support last year, but this year I wanted all of us to do it,” Vasquez said. “You just feel so accomplished, but to finish as a family feels even better.”
Williams said SMHS was able to obtain URunTexas, Phoenix Fitness, Yogurt in Love, Ibex Global and Athlete Guild as sponsors after the success of the first race.
“There are several businesses who have stepped up because they like what we’re doing,” Williams said. “They like the kids. So, it’s a win-win situation for everybody involved.”
Jose Torres, Cadet Colonel senior, said cadets oversaw the majority of the race.
“When we had our first race, everyone was really motivated even if it was over the summer,” Torres said. “It’s great seeing how everyone can contribute to what they are doing and how their ideas can make the race even better.”
Williams said first-place finishers in each division received a hand-painted RattleSnake Trophy, which was used to help bring attention to the race.
“The draw that we use is that if you win your division, no matter the age, you will win a rattler trophy,” Williams said. “And people will ask, ‘What’s the deal with the rattlesnake trophy?’”
Williams said he hopes the success and rapid growth of the race will make it a staple in the San Marcos community.
“Ultimately I hope that our race is not only a community event,” Williams said. “Not only is it a fun race for ROTC, but our race will become a destination event for San Marcos.”
Follow Denise Cervantes on Twitter at @cervantesdenise.