As part of Santa Clara’s Countdown to Kickoff, Levi’s Stadium hosted “Run the Road to Super Bowl 50” on January 10. Three-time Super Bowl Champion Roger Craig served as the official race ambassador and also completed the run himself. Craig spent eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, from 1983-1990, where he won three Super Bowl Championships. In his free time, Craig “has completed 13 marathons, 16 half marathons and numerous 5K and 10K running events.”
For Craig, “It is an honor to be a part of the ‘Run the Road to Super Bowl 50′ 10K, 5K and Kids Fun Run. I look forward to taking the field once again with fans and friends in both the football and running communities as we celebrate Super Bowl 50 in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Santa Clara is a small town with warm-hearted values and has long resisted influences to change from the ever-growing Silicon Valley that surrounds it. Many residents of the city have remained vocal in their opposition to the Super Bowl and the events leading up to the big day from occurring here. However, Run the Road displayed the type of community values that Santa Clara has proudly raised over its long history.
Not one runner finished alone. The level of cheering from the audience was firmly consistent whether you finished first or dead last. Local events, like this run, have a way of creating a melting pot of people that is rarely seen elsewhere. Mothers and fathers ran with their children, friends cheered and even strangers motivated each other to reach the finish line. By the end of the day, every runner who participated felt like a winner and finished the same, accomplished and proud.
Every event is a blank canvas for a community to paint and the City of Santa Clara certainly created a masterpiece with Run the Road. Every runner left an original mark and at the end of the day, the canvas became a work of art.
Runners received a collector’s race shirt and a commemorative finisher’s medal. A “golden” football was given to the runner who finished first in the 10K run and with a time of 33:50, Sunnyvale runner, Mitch Vanbruggen, 30, took home the coveted prize. Santa Clarans Karen Shemwell, 50, and Denise Jodoin-Gaidis, 48, finished the 10K race in 6th and 16th place, respectively.
Entertaining the audience and runners, were two announcers that read out each runners’ name aloud as they crossed the finish line, keeping the event lively. Volunteers of the event lined up at several different points along the race to cheer on and motivate each passing runner. Food and refreshments given to runners after the race were healthy and fresh, consisting of fruits, granola bars and water. Every police officer and volunteer who worked the run helped the entire event run smoothly and safely.
Easy Day Sports, the City of Santa Clara, the San Francisco 49ers,and the NFL put on the event as part of the yearlong celebration of Super Bowl 50, which will occur on February 7th at Levi’s Stadium.
“The City of Santa Clara looks forward to hosting ‘Run the Road to Super Bowl 50′ to bring out community together to run, walk and cheer with each other. This run is a wonderful and exciting addition to our ‘Countdown to Kickoff events’,” said Mayor of Santa Clara, Jamie Matthews.
Headquartered in Coronado, California, Easy Day Sports is an event production agency that places emphasis on “creating memorable life experiences through premier, professionally managed endurance sports events.” The name of the company takes inspiration from the Navy SEAL motto “The only easy day was yesterday.” For more information regarding the company or upcoming events visit their website at easydaysports.com.
The next Countdown to Kickoff event will be the STEM Innovation Bowl on January 30, held in the Central Park Library. The Innovation Bowl will display “the future of immersive technology and highlight virtual reality, augmented reality, telescope robots, computer vision, 3D video, gaming and Santa Clara’s interactive map tool, MapSantaClara. For more information visit santaclaraca.gov.