11th Annual Shell/MEF Run For Education Raises $50,000 for Martinez Schools

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Sunday’s 11th Annual Shell/MEF 5k/10k Run for Education was a huge success, raising $50,000 for the Martinez Education Foundation. At the grandstand at Martinez’s Main Street Plaza, Shell Martinez Refinery General Manager Paul Gabbard presented Martinez Unified School District Superintendent Rami Muth with a ceremonial check for $50,000.

More than 560 runners and walkers competed in the event, with 63 runners in the event’s second 10k with a route that spun off from the 5k and went up the hills to Carquinez Scenic Drive.

Kevin Selby of Martinez repeated as the first place winner in the men’s 5k category, and Lisa Allan of Martinez came in first in the women’s category. Joe Ridout of San Rafael won the men’s 10k competition, and Stacy Welcome of Martinez won the women’s 10k.

More than 100 people volunteered to make the event a success, including dozens of students from Martinez Junior High School and Alhambra High School and many Shell refinery workers.

“The 10k is fantastic,” said Ridout, whose father, Jack, also competed. “The temperature was perfect, and the view of the Carquinez Strait was beautiful.”

The run began in 2003 with the goal of rallying the community in support of Martinez schools and promoting health and wellness. It is the hallmark community event of the Shell Martinez Refinery, which devotes staff time to organizing the event and matches all contributions. The Martinez Education Foundation (MEF) uses the Run proceeds to give grants to Martinez schoolteachers for needed technology and other equipment in classrooms.

“It’s a beautiful day, and everybody had a great time,” said Jack Funk, a member of the MEF board of directors and chair of the run committee. “The Martinez schoolchildren are the big winners of this event.”

Gabbard agreed. “The run is a fun event for Martinez, and we are proud to support the good work of the MEF. It’s wonderful to see so many families participating in the run together and having such a great time,” Gabbard said.

“This event really shows how Martinez supports its schools,” said Rami Muth, “and we all are grateful to Shell for being a terrific sponsor.”

In addition to the major sponsorship provided by the Shell Martinez Refinery, sponsors for the 11th Annual Run for Education included Benicia Fabrication, Mistras Air Science Tech., C. Overaa & Co., McJunkins, Van De Pol Enterprises, Cat-Spec LTD, Certified Safety Specialists, Solvay, Ecomulch, AZZ, Pacific Coast Chemicals, Air Products, Romans Tree Service, JT Thorpe and the Martinez Chamber of Commerce.

The Run was preceded on Saturday evening by a fundraising pasta feed and silent auction, sponsored by the Martinez Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, at the Martinez Senior Center.

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