Runners ready to sprint before cattle drive

Teams tether together to run mile for charity
By: Eileen Wilson Telegraph Correspondent
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Pamplona may have the Running of the Bulls each July, but Folsom has something to call its own — the Running of the Bullipedes. Back for a second year, the Sacramento Running Association’s Running of the Bullipedes event will precede the long-horn steer cattle drive and pre-Folsom Pro Rodeo festivities at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1. For those who aren’t familiar with the Running of the Bullipedes, the event consists of teams of 5 runners, who complete a mile-long race, tethered together at the waist. The fun-for-the-whole-family event was inspired by the centipede-style runners who participate in San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers race every year. Event organizer, Kevin Pool, knows how much fun the runners have. “Part of the fun is thinking of costumes or a theme,” he said. Costumes are encouraged, particularly costumes with a Western theme. Last year’s 40 teams sported themes like “International Marathon or bust,” prison garb, and Happy Heifers, just to name a few. This year’s costumes are sure to offer even more entertainment. Pool acknowledges that tethered running is difficult, but hilarious to watch. “You’re only as good as your slowest runner,” he said. Lucy Eidam, an event participant last year, found the tethered run difficult for another reason. “I was laughing so hard while I ran, I could hardly stand it,” she said. The race begins near Folsom Community Center and heads down Sutter Street. “The race is only a mile — it is on our parade route,” Pool said. “The event adds even more entertainment to the evening. We think this is a great way to bolster an already-strong event.” While running one mile, roped to teammates isn’t easy, the race draws runners and non-runners alike. “A lot of high school teams participated last year. The top team was comprised of Oakridge High School students,” Pool said. “But a lot of people are just looking for a good time — they’re not serious runners. Some teams are really competitive, but mostly not.” Pool said several teams include walk breaks in their run, or just walk altogether. “Most of the route is downhill,” he said. Proceeds from the event will go to Sacramento Running Association’s favorite charities, like Youth Fitness, and to the American River Parkway, and for running-course development. “I like the atmosphere. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people along the street watching. It’s a great, family oriented environment,” Pool said. Eidam suggests making the race a family event. “Come up with a team name, costumes, and practice as a unit,” she said. “The crowds, the killer costumes, the laughter.”