Running in the Rain

The 16th Annual Habitat for Humanity DVL Run braved the rain to help give local needy a home

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
The Hemet High School chapter of Habitat for Humanity, sporting teal instead of their usual red.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

A rainy day might not seem like the perfect day to go for a run, but if it’s in the name of charity, any weather will do. The 16th Annual Habitat for Humanity Walk/Run at Diamond Valley Lake saw runners experiencing a rather soggy Saturday morning.
While this year saw one of its lower turnouts (three guesses as to why!), the 173 individuals who showed up for their Saturday morning run still had plenty of fun. If nothing else, they stayed cool thanks to temperatures in the 50s.
Vicki Kyriss, an assistant to the Hemet/San Jacinto chapter of Habitat for Humanity, had her hands full before and after the rain hit. “We’re so excited to have everybody here, it’s a wonderful cause,” said Kyriss. “We love Habitat for Humanity, and we love the opportunity to give back to the community.”
According to Kyriss, Habitat for Humanity provides homes to eligible families by meeting them halfway in costs. The families will pay back a loan, but Habitat does not charge interest. There’s no loan sharks in this lake!
This year marks Lakshman Koka’s tenth year leading the run, and Koka continues to take pride in it. “[The weather’s] put some dampers on the runners, but not the mood! So people who are staying at home should come over!” Present at this year’s run were Hemet High School seniors Krishna Koka, Koka’s son, and Maddie Smith, who represent Habitat’s student chapter at Hemet.
Krishna says this run has been a father-son ordeal. “When my dad started, I started, so we kind of got started around the same time,” he explained. “Even when it rains, it’s kind of fun to run too. Some people are afraid that they’ll get all muddy and stuff, but it’s actually fun to run in the rain.”
Smith cites Krishna’s family for her involvement in the run. “I was actually recruited my freshman year by his older sister, Anusha,” explained Smith. “We were pretty good friends and so I joined Habitat for Humanity with her. It’s been one of the best experiences in my high school career.”
If nothing else, neither of the high schoolers ended up bored Saturday morning.
Also stirring up the runners in this year’s run were San Jacinto Mayor Pro Tem Russ Utz and Hemet Mayor Pro Tem Karlee Meyer, among other valley officials.
Live entertainment was provided again this year by the Crossroads Band, who favored runners with a selection of ‘70s hits, including singles by The Doors.
Although the run was in the name of charity, the following runners deserve shoutouts as they finished first in their age group in these events:

MARATHON:
– Tom Hosner, 4:36:34, Male 60-69
– Eric Clifton, 3:43:15, Male 50-59
– Kevin Hopp, 3:21:33, Male 40-49
– Jesus Coronel, 4:26:13, Male 30-39
– Jordan Chavarin, 3:32:08, Male 20-29
– Elizabeth Bonin-Guzman, 4:24:37, Female 50-59
– Sarah Labass, 3:43:13, Female 40-49
– Alejandra Joseph, 4:08:56, Female 30-39
– Karen Serban, 4:29:07, Female 19+under (no Females 20-29 finished)

HALF MARATHON:
– William Carter, 3:29:28, Male 70-79
– Pete Gagne, 1:47:59, Male 60-69
– Randy Buecheler, 2:28:59, Male 50-59
– Miles Lindsay, 1:47:28, Male 40-49
– Geronimo Larios De La Mora, 1:21:00, Male 30-39
– Kendell Marquiss, 1:56:29, Male 20-29
– Pam Iyer, 2:06:24, Female 60-69
– Kristine Polanco, 2:00:28, Female 50-59
– Kari Strang, 1:37:20, Female 40-49
– Angla Stevens, 1:51:06, Female 30-39
– Esther Martinez,1:38:55, Female 20-29

5K:
– John Schroder, 0:49:48, Male 70-79
– Joe Carrillo, 1:03:40, Male 60-69
– Danny Munez, 0:26:17, Male 50-59
– Carlos Guzman, 0:22:24, Male 40-49
– Gilberto Collin, 0:26:29, Male 30-39
– Jesus Jaquez, 0:30:42, Male 20-29
– Eli Miller, 0:23:09, Male 19+under
– Kathie Kruidhof, 0:46:03, Female 60-69
– Kimberly Blair, 0:32:45, Female 50-59
– Hope Burns 0:28:30, Female 40-49
– Veronica Paz, 0:27:50, Female 30-39
– Andrea Reza, 0:30:29, Female 20-29
– Kiandra Retiz, 0:34:01, Female 19+under
1K:
– Arelie Gallegos, 0:05:30, Female Age 9
– Alden Cervantez, 0:05:44, Male Age 7
– Darlene Proano Gonzalez, 0:11:47, Female Age 42
– Eusebio Gonzalez, 0:11:49, Male Age 31

SENIOR WALK (not to be confused with Hemet High):
– Shary Harrison, 1:35:51, Female 60-69 was the only participant to finish this walk.
Sponsors for this year’s run include the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Soboba Casino, US Bank, Dr. Koka’s Exclusive Senior Clinic, HomeInstead, the City of Hemet, the Bank of Hemet, VIP Autos, Quality Inn, among many others.
To all this year’s top finishers goes a heartfelt congratulations from all of us at The Valley Chronicle. Thanks to your generosity and willingness to get wet in the rain, one more family in our valley will be able to have a place to stay warm and dry.

Runners line up to run in the rain.

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