Deemed a success for its inaugural run, the 1-mile Fun Run and 4-mile Panther Run hosted by the El Portal Parents Club went off smoothly on Sunday.
Runners braved overcast skies, a brisk wind and bone-chilling cold to head out on the running route at 8 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, starting from the school on First Street.
El Portal Principal Mark Vos welcomed the runners and thanked them for their participation, with funds raised helping support the general fund of the Parents Club, which helps provide for a variety of needs and programs at the middle school.
First place finisher in the 4-mile event was 12-year-old Elliott Mello of Escalon, who ran a 7:14 mile pace and finished in 28:53. Next came 15-year-old John Rivara of Escalon at 31:18 and third place went to 15-year-old Philip Tilbury, 32:50. Mike Pitassi of Escalon Community Ambulance was first in his division, fourth overall in 33:14 and fifth place overall went to Micah Shafter in 33:30. The first female finisher in the 4-mile was Erin Northcutt, running the event in 34:33, good for sixth place overall.
Thirteen-year-old Emily McPherrin of Escalon was first across the line in the 1-mile in 7:23, followed by Shelby McCune, 14, with a time of 7:31. Rounding out the top five were Emily Bavaro, 12, third in 7:45; Haylie Webster, 12, fourth in 8:25 and Sarah McPherrin, 12, fifth in 8:25. First male runner across the line in the 1-mile was Bryce McPherrin, 10, of Escalon who ran the course in 8:56. Wyatt McCune, 11, was the second male 1-mile finisher, followed by 6-year-old Ben Ferreira, Preston Berhorst and Bob McCune.
Runners received a special commemorative T-shirt as part of their registration fee, which included a number of sponsors on the back and the Panther logo with run information on the front.
Serving as timers and race officials were Craig Wilson and Bill Corbett of Red Cap Timing out of Roseville.
“We have 88, 89 total runners,” noted Wilson. “That’s really good for the first time ever putting it on.”