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By Janis Mork

March 21, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)- This past Sunday was the first annual ‘East County Run’-also known as the ‘Hooleys to Hooleys Half Marathon.’ Over 1,000 people showed up and participated in the half marathon, 5K run/walk, and green mile for adults with developmental disabilities. Since it was St Patrick’s Day, many people came decked out in green from knee high green socks to green shamrock facial tattoos.

Each race began near Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill in Rancho San Diego. After the horn sounded and the runners and walkers took off, the Irish band played. CHP had to direct traffic and turn off traffic lights leading into the shopping area where Hooleys is. Before the half marathon began, the participants waved to the KUSI news camera and yelled, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

Debbie Williams and Julie McCray, who are friends and participating in the 5K, spoke with ECM. Williams decided to participate to support McCray, who is running her first 5K. Since it was on St Patrick’s Day, “It adds a whole other layer of fun”, added Williams.

Odie Goward from California Bank and Trust was one of those who spoke and thanked the sponsors and area residents. “By coming out, you support the community,” she said.

Goward encouraged everyone to go to Hooleys, which would be opened all day, and enjoy the food there. The finish line festival included a raffle, massage chairs, live bands, bounce houses, and a costume contest.

The run benefitted the East County Chamber of Commerce, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, Home of Guiding Hands, Stoney’s Kids, Partnership with Industry, and the East County Transitional Living Center.  The race was put on by Kathy Loper events and Munger and Company Marketing.

Goward told ECM that organizers picked these specific charities out of many applications for charities to receive grant funds.  When asked if she could estimate how many people showed up, she replied, “I want to say close to 1300, 1400, maybe even 1500.” Since it was the day of the race, she didn’t yet know how much money was raised for these charities.

Kathy Loper Events and Meredith Munger informed ECM that they should know by the end of the week how much money was raised.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the half marathon were: Kristopher Houghton, Meyer Friedman, and Jeffrey Rangan.

The winners of the 5K were Juan Mendoza, Erik Lemoine, and Bryan Wallbank.

View more results at: and photos at:, which will be up by next week.

Check back at our story soon for audio links, to be posted soon.

To learn more about this event, visit:

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