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Fun Runners Hit the Street Saturday for a Good Cause

People gathered for the annual 5k Anytime Fitness Fun Run to celebrate fitness and the community.

Many fun runs emphasize the fun before the run. But at Saturday’s annual Anytime Fitness 5k Fun Run, the fitness came first.

Hundreds arrived at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center in a show of support for the Fountain Valley community. Whether they walked, ran or did a little of both, all registered participants contributed to their choice of one of 30 local nonprofits.

The event, put on by the Fountain Valley Community Foundation and the Fountain Valley Recreation and Community Services Division, brought in people of all ages and fitness levels.  

Local resident Arlene Bulucianu found out about the event through her daughter, Jazmyn Buendia, a sophomore soccer player at Fountain Valley High School. 

“Most of the sports teams come out to support the event,” said Bulucianu.  “I figured I’d do it this year and support Jazmyn and support the teams.”

Though it was her daughter’s second year in attendance, it was Bulucianu’s first 5k.

“I’m excited, but I’m a little nervous,” said Bulucianu. “I’m more of a sprinter.”

To relax the crowd’s nerves and muscles, the Anytime Fitness team held a quick warm-up session. 

“Let’s do some jumping jacks,” yelled trainer Joshua Curry over the air horn. “Great job everybody!”

Warm, stretched and ready to run, the crowd of runners lined up behind the starting line. At 8 a.m., they were off.

Lined up along the finish line to receive the runners were the Fountain Valley High School cheerleaders and the Fountain Valley School District marching band. For each wave of runners and walkers finishing the course, bandleader Randy Arevalos could be heard conducting his band of middle school students, “OK, here we go, B-flat, major chord!”

The first to finish, with a time of 16 minutes and 47 seconds, was Hunter Gulino. No long-distance novice, the 17-year-old junior from Fountain Valley High School runs on his school’s cross-county and track teams. Averaging at about 5 1/2 minutes per mile, the run didn’t seem to faze him. 

“It’s just a good workout,” said Gulino after the run. 

Equally impressive was Mary Lou Nickles, winner of the female 40 and over age group.

“Yay for the 50-year-olds!” laughed Nickles after the run.

Her daughter Marissa was on the Fountain Valley High School cross country team last year, and that’s how Nickles found out about the event. 

“They didn’t really have cross-country for girls when I was in school,” said Nickles.  “So, I like coming out and supporting the teams.” 

There may not have been cross-country teams for girls when Nickles was growing up, but she certainly made up for that with her win Saturday.  

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