BASS LAKE — It’s that time of year again — fall is in the air and the Smokey Bear Run / Walk returns to the shores of beautiful Bass Lake.
Saturday, Sept. 24, runners and walkers of all ages will gather at Recreation Point on the south shore for one of the year’s most anticipated events.
Organizers have been working overtime to ensure that everything goes off smoothly and that both participants and those cheering from the sidelines have a wonderful experience at the 29th annual event.
The Smokey Bear Run / Walk is a fundraiser that has healthful benefits not only in the race itself, but in the practice leading up to each year’s event, say organizers. Race day features all types of activities that will fit everyone’s fitness level. There is a 2-mile walk, a 2-mile run, a 10K run (6.2 mi.), and races for kids.
This year’s proceeds will benefit Cal Fire and USFS Fire Prevention Programs, and and Madera County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Programs.
“If you are considering joining us for the upcoming event, we know you will feel the personal gratification that comes from contributing to your community,” say organizers. “That is one of the purposes of our event; the other is your good health.
“We are proud Smokey Bear has lent his name to our race and we will continue to stress fire safety at every event. As representatives of our mountain community, and because we have the benefit of using the good name and outstanding reputation of Smokey Bear, we stay committed to stressing fire safety and awareness.”
For serious runners, this is a 30-point race in the Valley Runner of the Year Series.
Participants can register online or print out an application and mail to P.O. Box 483, North Fork, CA, 93643. Deadline for mail-in registrations is Sept. 18; for online registrations the deadline is Sept 22. Please make checks payable to Smokey Bear Run. Click here for registration information.
Registration packets can also be picked up at Sierra Tel or the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau in Oakhurst, or at the Visitors Center in Mariposa. They can also be picked up on Friday, Sept. 23, between 3 and 7 p.m. at CLASS, The Body Pastiche, located at 40034 Highway 49, Suite A-9, in Oakhurst. They are in the Vons Shopping Center below Round Table Pizza. 559-641-5656.
Participants who don’t get their registration completed by the deadline can still participate by showing up on race day between 6:45 — 7:45 a.m. at Recreation Point at Bass Lake. All racers will need to arrive during this time frame to check in.
Adult entry fee: $35 pre-registration, $40 on race day.
Kids entry fee: $7 pre-registration, $10 on race day.
Everyone is urged to please come early, as Road 222 will close from 7:15 – 9:40 a.m. towards the Forks and Millers. If you must leave the race early (soccer season!) please park on the north end; this will allow you a means to exit prior to the road reopening.
The first race of the day is in honor of Clancy Aiden Shea, who passed away in 2014, just two days shy of his 11th birthday.
Clancy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months of age, and lived a full and joyous life as an inspiration to all who knew him. He loved participating in the race and a supportive team rose around him.
Clancy’s sister Casey ran with him until her pregnancy prevented her participating one year. That’s when School Resources Deputy Jack Williamson heard Casey was saving money to purchase a special lightweight wheelchair designed to accommodate Clancy in the race, and took over as both designated runner and fundraiser.
The Smokey Bear Run/Walk continues to have a special event-wheelchair race in honor of Clancy, and Jack says there will be about 15 kids participating this year.
All participating children will receive a ribbon, and awards will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in all age divisions.
Schedule for Race Day:
7:40 a.m. Special Event – Clancy’s Run – In memory of Clancy Shea-Schweikert 2003–2014
- 7:45 a.m. Kids’ Race 1/2 mile (Ages 9-12)
- 7:55 a.m. Kids’ Race 1/4 mile (Ages 5-8)
- 8:05 a.m. Kids’ Race 1/8 mile (Ages 2-4), parents allowed
- 8:30 a.m. 10K Run (NO WALKERS)
- 8:35 a.m. 2 Mile Run / Walk
Wheelchairs starts one minute ahead of runners.
Photos taken will be available for viewing and purchase at Ploen Photo.
(Photo above: Mountain Area Runners Race Committee — Steven Madosky, Fire Apparatus Engineer at Madera County Fire Station 12; Sgt. Joseph Wilder, Madera County Sheriff’s Office; Eva Busto, Committee Member; Joann Evans, Committee President and Community Service Officer Madera County Sheriff’s Office; Smokey Bear; Laura Norman, Mt. Area Runners Treasurer and SierraTel PR Supervisor; Barbara Thormann, USFS Lookout and “Smokey’s Mom;” Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney, Race Chairman; Jack Williamson, School Resources Deputy in charge of Clancy’s Run; Esteban Vasquez, U.S. Forest Service.)