Clovis keeps Memorial Day tradition running

Runners take off from the starting line during the 2018 Clovis Memorial Run held annually at Clovis Senior Center on Memorial Day weekend. (Billy Xiong/Clovis Roundup)

Clovis Senior Activity Center paid a special tribute to senior citizens, veterans and active military by honoring their legacy with the annual Memorial Run on Saturday, May 26. Part of the event was a resource fair and involved vendors from all kinds of different businesses in the community.

The run attracted both serious and casual athletes, as well as family and children. It consisted of a 5K run or walk, a non-timed 2 mile walk, and a non-timed half mile run in addition to a non-timed half mile senior walk and roll.

“The response [to the race] was overwhelming,” said event coordinator Amy Hance with the City of Clovis. “I believe it is because our community values service. We value our service members and I know people take it as an opportunity to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty who have worked and kept our nation free.”

Ollie Smith, 88, was the eldest competitor and has partaken in this event since its opening run in 2011. Smith walked in the half mile senior walk and roll to honor all of those in our community and. She said the race is important to her and holds a lot of significance.

“This is a tribute to the veterans,” Smith said. “I’ve had family generations from way back that have been in the military and God has been with us because every one of them has come back alive from the battlefields.”

This is the eighth year for the run and Hance said the success of it continues to grow. Cost for the tickets varied for the different runs but it was good for a pancake breakfast, an incentive bag and a nice medal to keep as a memento. Those that registered also received an event T-shirt that was designed with the Clovis Memorial Run logo on the front and gold level sponsors on the back. But that’s not it, participants got a chance to win selected prizes from contributing vendors.

All proceeds benefited activities provided at the Clovis Senior Center. Some of the community partners that helped put on the event included: Clovis Veterans Memorial District, Clovis Unified School District, Clovis East High School ROTC, Buchanan High School Pep & Cheer Squad and the Clovis Kiwanis Club.

“It is our whole community helping to make this event a success and we want to thank our community sponsors for it,” Hance said. “The success is an indicator of the flavor of our community and what we value.”

Clovis Senior Center, located at 850 Fourth Street in Clovis, will host a free health and wellness fair in its main hall on July 9 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.