Cycle Eastlake & RUN Builds Community, Helps Schools

Michael Minjares

Fri March 27, 2015 11:48am

Good community events bring people together for a common cause. Great events not only offer entertaining and fun activities, but create an engaging environment focused on building community. Now in its 17th year, Cycle EastLake & Run, a benefit to assist local public schools supported by the EastLake Educational Foundation, has earned its place among the great annual community events offered in Chula Vista. This year’s community gathering is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at the Otay Ranch Town Center, 2015 Birch Road.
Over the years, Cycle EastLake has grown and now includes 100K and 25-mile road cycling courses, an 18-mile mountain bike and poker ride, a half-marathon run, a 10K trail run and the popular 4-mile Family Roll and Stroll road run and walk. In addition, an event expo will feature YMCA Healthy Kids Day and city of Chula Vista Go Green and Clean Family Day activities.
Events kick off with registration and check-in at 6:30 a.m., with the 100K road cycling riders leaving the starting line at 7:30 a.m. The riders will quickly be followed by runners participating in the half-marathon. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., participants and supporters alike will enjoy the Community Expo featuring youth fitness demos, a bounce house for the kids, entertainment, dancing, opportunity drawings and more than 75 information booths.
According to Nicole Graichen, executive director of the EastLake Educational Foundation, Cycle EastLake & Run continues to receive tremendous support from the community.
“The EEF is so grateful for the way the community embraces this event, it is really a community effort,” she said in a release. “Not only is this a fun family event that runners and riders of all levels can enjoy, but each participant is raising critical funds needed for technology in our schools, which allows our students to be better prepared for an ever-changing technological world.”
With its diversity of activities, Cycle EastLake & Run is the ideal event for experienced and novice riders and runners, as well as offering special events for the youngest members of the families. New this year will be an updated T-shirt design, kids medals for the Family Roll & Stroll participants, new half-marathon and 10K finisher medals and slightly different routes.
For east Chula Vista resident and fitness enthusiast Dennis Llavore, the event shines a positive light on the community he and his family call home.
“I feel that this event brings a sense of pride to our residents and businesses,” said Llavore, who has participated in both cycling and half-marathon events. “Because the proceeds benefit the EEF, the event brings out the locals to support our schools and kids. It allows us to showcase the great cycling (mountain and road) routes we have to offer. Since the half-marathon has been introduced to the event, it also shows off our running trails. The event tends to attract participants from outside our area and once they ‘discover’ our community and what it has to offer, they keep coming back.”
Registration for Cycle EastLake & Run is open online at www.eefkids.org/cycle. In addition, volunteers are welcomed and needed. Anyone interested in helping out, perhaps for community service hours, is encouraged to email Nicole Graichen at nicole@eefkids.org to find out more.