August of 2013 is when Bernardo Tapia and Sarah Meyer Tapia found love beneath the redwoods. They had been friends for a while, but both competed in the Race Thru the Redwoods that day, and after each of them won in their division, Meyer Tapia’s mom wanted to take a picture of them together. Tapia wrapped his hand around Meyer’s waist, and they each felt the zing of electricity between them.
“That was it,” Tapia said. “The next weekend, we went wine tasting, and we’ve been together ever since.”
This month, they will be celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary right where it all started, at the Race Thru the Redwoods: he as race director, and she as a participant.
Harry Berggren, president of the Felton Business and Community Association (FBCA), said he is thrilled to have Tapia at the helm of the event, which is set for Aug. 15.
“This all came together pretty late in the year,” Berggren said. “We usually start planning in January, but we got a late start thanks to Covid.”
In addition to needing volunteers to help manage the day, Berggren is also searching for sponsors.
“FBCA is the primary sponsor, and we have the help of the San Lorenzo Valley Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “They are giving us a huge hand.”
Berggren says the last iteration of the race was in 2018 when it celebrated its 50th anniversary, so the folks putting this event together are all brand new.
“We’re picking up the pieces and hoping to build up the race again,” he said.
The race features an adult 10k course starting at Roaring Camp and running through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. It also boasts a one-mile kids’ course inside Roaring Camp.
Entry fees ($45 for adults, $25 for kids 12 and under) include a T-shirt, a pancake breakfast (sponsored by Zayante Fire Department) and snacks and water for runners. Any non-runners who want to partake in the pancakes can do so for $10.
For Berggren, planning the race is a game of numbers: the number of participants, the number of volunteers and the Covid-19 infection rates that are slowly creeping up in Santa Cruz County.
“We have 60 registrants, and we’d like to have 2-3 times as many. Word only got out about two weeks ago, so we’re really trying to reach the racing community,” he said. “A lot of our runners come from out of the area, and we hope to see them here.”
In terms of Covid, “We’ll be following all the safety rules and regulations set by the county and state … and proceeding with all due precautions,” he said.
Right now, the drive is for volunteers, runners and sponsors to sign up. Interested folks can visit racethrutheredwoods.com, or send an email to [email protected] to volunteer or sponsor the event. Sponsors will have their company logo on the race’s website and banner.