Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beecroft 5K Memorial Run

The Beecroft 5K Memorial Day Run got started when dad (Carl J Beecroft, Jr.) was Stake President of Ventura Stake from 1978-1988. One of his counselors was a big runner, Dr. Robert Skankey from Ojai. My dad always wanted to run a marathon... he was very athletic most of his life and enjoyed running, tennis, softball and golf, but never got to do a marathon as his Ataxia Disease started to have its affect in his early '50s.
But in 1981 they had the first Stake 5K Run held at different venues, the first ones were at the Ventura County Government Center, Ventura State Beach up to Surfers Point and back and the last number of years it has been held starting at Foster Park on the way up to Ojai off Highway 33.
Back in those early days, my dad also had an interest in Beekeeping, as did my husband John. Dad would bottle up some of his honey and put labels on them for the 1st place prizes in the different age categories. The race began to be called the "Beecroft 5K Run" and the honey seemed an appropriate prize because of his last name..."Bee" croft. The Stake kept records of everyone's times and gave out certificates in the early years. It is highly organized and run by a married couple in Ventura Stake each year who are avid runners themselves. The race has always accommodated members of the Stake of every age, gender, shape and size! They even have a stroller category and walkers category. It makes it a lot of fun to bring the whole family to. Today the 1st place price in each category is still a bottle of honey and 2nd and 3rd place prizes are awarded "bit-o-honey" candies. My dad died of cancer in February 2004 at the young age of 67. My mom followed him at the end of 2007. This year marks the 28th year of the Beecroft 5K Memorial Day Run.

My siblings and I are having our first Beecroft Family Reunion without our parents with the Run as the main event of our reunion this year. My parents would be so humbled to know that this race continues to happen after all these years. Bro. Robert Skankey, who came up with the idea all those years ago, still comes to the race and much credit goes to him for seeing that it has been such a success. Some participants have been coming all these 28 years! It's become quite the tradition.

The race is free to participate in and the sign-in and registration tables begin around 8:00 am and the race starts at 9:00 am. There is a parking fee to park in Foster Park. Some people choose to park outside the park and walk into the gathering place down by the restrooms. We hope you will come out on Monday and join us!


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