The scenery is spectacular and is the primary reason that the venue hasn’t been changed to accommodate a larger pool of runners, according to Scott Canfield of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, who also serves as a foundation officer.
Canfield added that the run has grown each year since its inception. Entry fees, sponsorships, and raffle tickets generated $50,000 for the foundation in what serves as its largest annual fundraiser.
The event kicked off with a spirited rendition of the national anthem sung by 11-year-old Hannah Canfield (Scott’s daughter) of Livermore. Runners and walkers took off through the starting gate in a sea of smiles.
Exactly 16 minutes and 49 seconds later, the first winning male entry of the 5k, William Mullins of Livermore, ran through the finish line, followed a few minutes later by the first female 5k runner, Emily Bonato of Pleasant Hill.
Shortly afterward, the first 10k competitors arrived, with Scott Trummer of Livermore taking first place male with a time of 34.54 and Jenny Kadavy of Clayton as the first woman, clocking in at 38:32.
A health-and-safety-focused expo wrapped up this perfect morning in the vineyards. Enjoying the sun and camaraderie were Corey Hamlin and family from Pleasanton, with Shannon Hamlin, Travis Popp, and 3-year-old Mitch Hamlin in a stroller. Joining them were Amy Martin of Brentwood and Fremont Fire Explorer Daniel Martin in a group that has attended every Hook and Ladder Run for the past nine years.
LIVERMORE — One might not think that a local Tri-Valley 5K and 10K race that is limited to 1,500 participants would attract entrants from all points in California, from Arcata under the redwood canopy of northern Humboldt County to La Palma in the palm-tree shrouded Orange County.
But the 9th Annual Hook and Ladder Run hosted by the Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation did exactly that — and more — with runners registered from global destinations such as Holland and Budapest, and as far away nationwide as Anchorage, Alaska.
This small but spirited group and their fans assembled at Wente Vineyards in Livermore on June 4 for an 8 a.m. start. Participants had their choice of a 5k run/walk, a 10k run, and a kid’s one-mile fun run. The stroller friendly 5k featured a 50/50 paved and dirt road course that meandered through shady Sycamore Grove Park. A longer and slightly more challenging 10k run followed a mostly dirt course through the park and the adjacent Crohare property and Olivina olive tree groves.
Also participating was Livermore City Councilman and nationally recognized outdoor enthusiast and hiker Bob Coomber who was chatting with Gold Star Dad Kevin Graves of Discovery Bay, who was running in honor of his son, Specialist Joey Graves, who was killed in Iraq.
Public safety was well represented with plenty of on and off duty firefighters and police participating in the run or volunteering their time, including LPFD Deputy Chief Joe Testa, and firefighters Chris Bruns and David Bardsley, who were manning engine 99.
Established in 2006, the Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation is a nonprofit that supports injured and fallen firefighters, police officers, and their families, along with other local charities. The foundation has a membership of more than 100, including retirees and all of the LPFD active firefighters.
This all-volunteer group has raised more than $285,000 in its first eight years, and while the Hook and Ladder Run is its largest fundraiser, there are others, too.
In observance of national Fire Prevention Month in October, the foundation hosts a family-friendly fire safety expo at the fire training tower in Pleasanton, along with a popular pancake breakfast. The foundation also put the LPFD barbecue trailer to use at last month’s Downtown Street Fest in Livermore, selling more than 800 pulled pork sandwiches.
To learn more about the Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Foundation, visit lpfirefoundation.com.
Written by Joanne Hall of the East Bay Times: