A team of 10 first responders will run alongside hundreds of “Moon” walkers on Jan. 24 as part of the 5th annual Mayor's Race and Wellness Festival in Palm Springs.
It's just one in a handful of events that members of the Palm Springs Police Department have been preparing for as they look toward representing the Coachella Valley for the first time in the prestigious Baker-to-Vegas relay race in March.
As part of the City of Palm Springs’ “Healthy Planet Healthy You” initiative, members of the Palm Springs' police will join runners and walkers of all ages led by Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon in the 10-kilometer, 5K or kids 1K fun run starting at 7:30 a.m. at Wellness Park, adjacent to Ruth Hardy Park.
Officer Joseph Cook says the 10-strong group will run as a team on Sunday. Schedules don’t often allow the team to run together, but individually some have already participated in the Red Carpet Run, Turkey Trot, the Tram Run and the Desert Triathlon to prepare.
“This is another training run to build camaraderie, think about fitness, stay in shape and get motivated and ready for the Baker-to-Vegas,” says Cook whose team is among the 270-team limit qualified for the 120-mile, 20-stage, all-law enforcement race in March. “Our chief and command staff have really supported us in doing that.”
Cook adds that team members prepared for the road race season starting in October with swimming and biking, focusing on overall fitness goals. Participating in the Mayor's 10K run is Sgt. Erik Larson, Sgt. Matt Beard, Officers Joe Cook, Alex Doherty, Baron Lane, Jose Arellano, Jeff Burton, Detective Miguel Torres, and Transport Officers Elder Ortiz
and John Ingram.
“To be accepted (as a 20-person team into the Baker to Vegas) is quite an honor, so we'll continue to do all the runs,” Cook says. “It's where we can get together more. And this Mayor's Race and Wellness Festival has built up so much, it's become quite an event with all the local support and vendors. This is another training run and we're training hard.”
Mayor Moon will lead the “moon-walking” contingent in the 5K as an active member of the Palm Springs Frontrunners and Walkers. The event benefits United Way of the Desert and the Desert Healthcare Foundation.
Runners can participate as an individual or in the team category and receive a discounted entry by entering the code (TEAMPS) when registering online. Fees are $45 (10k) and $35 (5K). Every registrant receives breakfast from the Palm Springs Lions Club, a T-shirt, and finisher's medal.
The course runs through all of the uptown and downtown areas of Palm Springs. The 10K begins at 7:30 a.m., the 5K at 8 a.m. and the 1K fun run at 9:30 a.m. More than 80 health, wellness and sustainability booths with interactive displays, food samples ,and giveaways are available free to the public.
Stars of the Bravo series Newlyweds The First Year, Craig Ramsay and Brandon Liberati, will be joined by Wellness Festival Master of Ceremonies Sean Bergara, owner of ECORE Fitness for active presentations and live demonstrations. 4Count, a boy band that appeared on America's Got Talent, will be the featured musical group.
Other upcoming road races:
Jan. 30: Golden Eagle 5K in Desert Hot Springs; St. Theresa School 5K Color Run in Palm Springs
Jan. 31: Palm Desert Panther 5K on El Paseo
Feb. 6: Heroes in Recovery 6K, N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs
Feb. 20: Date Fest 5K, Riverside County Fairgrounds, Indio
Feb. 27: Running from the Law for Good Cause 5K, Ruth Hardy Park, Palm Springs (benefits SafeHouse and the PS Police Officer's Assoc. Baker to Vegas Team)
Mayor's Race and Wellness Festival, 7 a.m. Jan 24, Ruth Hardy Park, 700 Tamarisk Lane, Palm Springs, www.healthyplanethealthyyoups.com