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HANFORD — Hundreds of local runners will hoof it around town this weekend during the fourth annual Hanford Cow Run.

The half marathon and 5K race are scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3. Proceeds from the event benefit Valley Children’s Hospital.

“It motivates you to try something different and better yourself as a person and to better your body, health and mind,” Cow Run co-founder Eunice Rosas said, adding that being around so many people that are motivated to complete a marathon for the first time or to beat their previous time can be quite inspirational.

In addition to owning AAA Mufflers and Radiators in Hanford, Rosas and her husband, Cesar Rodriguez, founded the nonprofit organization Run for All to promote healthy living and physical activity in the form of the Cow Run.

Registration for the Cow Run is $95 for the half marathon, $55 for the 5K and $20 for the children’s 5K, available to ages 5-12.

Speaking to the Sentinel before last year’s event, Rosas said that if 500 runners signed up, the race would be a success. That race outdid expectations, drawing around 650 runners, walkers and joggers into the foggy morning air for the good cause and the exercise.

This year’s registration looks a little thin compared to last year, Rosas said, but she’s hoping say-of sign-ups will boost the numbers.

“I think the shutdown has affected sign-ups.  Some of my runners work for the Federal government and I think everybody’s just watching their money because you just never know nowadays,” she said.

About 130 of the race’s participants are employees of Adventist Health, who have been sponsors of the event since the inaugural race

“We’re gaining recognition in the community, but some people still don’t know about us,” she said.

Going into its fourth year, the Cow Run draws in many return runners year after year, Rosas said.

“Every year, I get participants who come up to me saying they’re thankful that the Cow Run has opened them up to the opportunity for a healthier lifestyle,” she said. “I have a sponsor who has been participating since the first year and she has lost so much weight and has increased the activity in her life in so many ways. She’s very active now and has said that it started with the Cow Run.”

The participants, who hail from all over the Valley, will receive a post-run breakfast, prizes and gifts.

The 13.1-mile race begins on N. Mustang Dr., near Frontier Elementary School before making its way down 13th Ave., eventually looping back around the rural route.

Rosas said that in our digital age where many relationships and experiences exist solely on a computer screen, it’s good to experience a “real” community event like the Cow Run.

“Events like the Cow Run and other events in the area – they’re real, they’re not fake. When you come out here, it’s a different experience. You get to meet people, everyone is laughing and everyone is happy. That’s satisfaction,” she said.

Rosas regrets that she has yet to experience the Cow Run as a runner, being too busy with organizing to lace up her running shoes and joining the community herd.

“I’d love to run it. Hopefully I can one day,” she said, adding that the organization of the event is very hands-on and the majority of the volunteers who get the event past the finish line are family and friends. Other volunteers are always welcome, she said.

Even though the checkered flag hasn’t yet waved for the 2019 Cow Run, Rosas said she’s already looking into ways to make the 2020 event even bigger and better.

“We want to make the fifth year very memorable for everybody,” she said.

For more information, visit www.hanfordcowrun.com.

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