DANVILLE -- The Devil Mountain Run will once again fill downtown with runners the first Sunday in May.
Event organizer Chris McCrary said the plan is to make that the standing date for at least the next 20 years. The popular 5k and 10k race that began downtown and followed the Iron Horse Trail was founded in 1978 as a fundraiser for Children's Hospital Oakland. It typically attracted up to 2,000 runners.
Last year, for the first time in more than three decades the event was not held, to the disappointment of many longtime participants. The hospital canceled the race, citing escalating production costs and declining numbers of runners.
But Forward Motion Sports owner Marty Breen was determined to bring the race back.
"We love healthy activities for families and kids," Breen said. "It's good for people in the town. It's good for business. In today's world we need all the business we can get, especially small businesses in a small town."
Breen's store was a sponsor of the race for 21 years. When the race was canceled, he held an alternative run and 200 runners showed up.
The demand was there to bring the race back, he said. "I really wanted to have it come back," he said.
Breen teamed up with McCrary and Kevin Magna who run Danville-based Katalyst Events, which managed the Fast and Furious race in Pleasanton.
McCrary and Magna agreed to manage the run.
Last month, the Town Council voted to approve street
"It's exciting, particularly because it has local leadership now," Mayor Newell Arnerich said.
McCrary said that, despite new management, runners who participated in past races will recognize it as the same event. The major change is that it has been renamed the Danville Devil Mountain Run and will be given more of a local flavor.
"What we want to promote is that this is a community event, and we want the money raised to go to nonprofits in Danville," McCrary said.
This year, money raised by the run will be donated to the nonprofit Danville Discovery Counseling Center, which provides low-cost counseling services. The race will be dedicated to the memory of San Ramon Valley sophomore Allison Bayliss, who took her life in May 2011.
The Danville Devil Mountain Run is May 5. The entry fee is $35 and goes up to $40 on race day. For more information and to register online, visit www.devilmountainrun.com. The first 1,000 people to register will receive a free T-shirt.
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.