By Jeb Bing
Heat that scorched Pleasanton also hurt early fair attendance, Rotary Spirit Run revenuesUploaded: Jun 30, 2017
Last week's scorching heat is now a distant memory as temperatures dip back into the mid-50s at nightime as the long four-day Independence Day weekend begins.
Even so, the hot days left their mark both financially and in terms of outdoor activity. Fewer people walked downtown streets, the Saturday morning crowds at the farmers market were thinner, and even the county fair got off to a paltry start after a robust opening day marked by a cattle drive down Main Street.
While I don't yet have a tally of gate receipts, a walk down the fair's midway the afternoons of June 21 and 22 showed near-empty counters at the carnival games, empty seats on many of the rides and more interest than usual at the exhibits in the air conditioned pavilions.
By early evening, as temperatures dropped from triple digits to the cooler 80s, the crowds were back, much to the relief of the fair's administration, which counts on the fair for a significant part of its annual revenue. Also back after an unprecedented one-day heat delay was horse racing, a revenue and crowd generator.
Also hurt financially by June's record temperatures was the Rotary Club of Pleasanton's 24th annual Father's Day Spirit Run. The club raised a little over $40,000 in this year's event, with some 700 runners participating -- both well under previous years.
The biggest drop came with the fewer number of runners registering on the day of the race. Many stayed home as the thermometer started rising early that Sunday morning. But the heat wasn't the only factor.
Pleasanton schools closed for summer vacation two weeks earlier this year because of a schedule change, with classes now to resume in mid-August. A number of families that are Spirit Run regulars missed this year to start their summer vacation trips. This new shorter summer-break schedule has many of us in Rotary concerned because the Spirit Run provides funds for high school scholarships and wheelchairs for those in need.
Even so, hats off to the 127 men and 45 women who ran in the 10K Father's Day race and the 426 men and 201 women who finished in the 5K.
Patrick Leary of Livermore ran the 10K in 34 minutes, 11 seconds, trailed by Zack Holtz of San Ramon at 36:39 and Ben Deland at 38:23. Top finishers among the women were Nancy Eubanks of Turlock, who ran the 10K in 45:23; Joyce Lee of Fremont, 48:12, and Jenna Zack of Pleasant Hill, 49:41.
In the men's 5K, Scott Peterson of Livermore finished first in 17 minutes and 55 seconds. He was followed by Kevin Alcosiba of Newark at 18:54 and Dwayne Spencer of San Jose, 19:38. Kristen O'Connor led the women's 5K, finishing in 19:46. She was followed by Stephanie Bambury of Danville, 20:37, and Kelly Parsons of Pleasanton, 20:39.