Half-marathon raises $4K for cancer research
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Apr 17, 2013 | 1365 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
More than 80 runners embarked on a half-marathon run through the western hills of Stanislaus County on Sunday, April 14, in honor of a local running coach who died from cancer in 2011.

Athletes from around the region were united to support Randy’s Run, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society inspired by Randy Baysinger, a runner and society benefactor who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 and died at the age of 56.

His wife, Karen Baysinger, organized the half-marathon in 2012 and 2013.

“Everything went spectacular,” she said by phone Monday . “From everything I’m hearing from both volunteers and participants, people are already looking forward to next year’s run.”

In its second year, Randy’s Run raised more than $4,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which funds blood cancer research and provides free information and support services for patients and their families.

Runners began their 13.1-mile course at Villa Del Lago, 2959 Speno Drive, before heading up Diablo Grande Parkway and Oak Flat Road.

“It was a little windier than we expected,” Karen Baysinger said. “But most of the runners were happy that the weather favored cooler temperatures rather than hot weather.”

Prizes were awarded to the three fastest male and female runners.

Richard Johnson, of Turlock, won the men’s race, finishing the course in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 55 seconds.

Margarito Gutierrez (1:30:28), of Ceres, was second, and Sean Topping (1:38:37), of Tracy, placed third.

In the women’s race, Betty Topping (1:43:13), Sean’s wife, pulled away from runner-up Leticia Dominguez (1:52:38), of Patterson, and third-place finisher Marybeth Williams (1:52:55), of Fresno.

First-place winners each received a $150 gift certificate from Best Western Plus Villa Del Lago.

Second- and third-place finishers received Sports Authority gift cards.

“I thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and participants,” Karen Baysinger said. “Without all of them, we wouldn’t be able to have this event, which donates all of its proceeds to cancer research.”

Prior to his diagnosis, Randy Baysinger ran numerous marathons raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He also mentored and coached other runners in Modesto and Stockton.

“Randy was a runner before he got involved with charity,” Karen Baysinger said. “He wanted to find a way to incorporate running with helping other people.”

He served as a running and walking coach for Memorial Medical Center’s Team Challenge, which he helped create in 2009 before his diagnosis .

Born in Stockton, he earned an electrical engineering degree from University of California, Davis, and worked for General Electric and Turlock Irrigation District. He managed most of the district’s major projects during his 28-year career.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.

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