Back for its 39th year, the Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run & Walk drew runners, walkers and canines to the Palo Alto Baylands Friday night, Sept. 29.
With the full moon making only occasional appearances during the cloudy evening, athletes by the hundreds took to the trails for a 5K walk or run, a 10K or the half marathon, striding past wildlife and pickleweed.
The annual event was organized by the Palo Alto Weekly and city of Palo Alto. Medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each run.
Toward the end of the night, as the medal ceremony was getting underway, a runner who was participating in the 10K collapsed on the route and stopped breathing, prompting police and paramedics to respond, according to event organizers. It was unknown Friday night what the status of the individual was, but a police officer reported that he was alive and had regained his pulse and his breathing.
The situation might have been worse if not for quick intervention by alert volunteers who were manning the water station in the middle of the race course. Graham Sine, 16, was stationed in the Baylands when he heard someone say that a man collapsed, Sine told this publication. He and another volunteer ran to the man, who was placed in the recovery position, with one arm extended and the other arm folded and supporting his head. The man was vomiting and at one point stopped breathing and his heart stopped, Sine said.
Sine, a Palo Alto High student, began to perform CPR while someone called 9-1-1. Police arrived several minutes later and used an automatic external defibrillator, Sine said.
Fire Department personnel and park rangers also quickly got to the scene to try to resuscitate the man, Battalion Chief Ryan Stoddard said. He said they were able to restore the man’s pulse before transporting him to the hospital. The man came out of a medically induced coma on Monday and was responsive and communicating, according to his family.
Sine, who learned first aid training with with Boy Scout Troop 57, said he had also completed a lifeguarding training course just two weeks ago and was able to apply those skills during the medical emergency.
"In training, we basically did this situation over and over again. Lifeguard training is specifically in the water, but chest compressions and AEDs is what we did over and over again in training," Sine said.
The annual race, which raises money for local nonprofits, had more than 2,000 participants in four events: 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run and half marathon. The complete race results can be found at results.changeofpace.com.
Daniel Aminzade finished in first place in the half-marathon, completing his race in 1:28:59.90.
He was followed 12 seconds later by Ricardo Cardenas, who finished in 1:29:11.79, and Froylan Roldan, who completed the course in 1:31:46.43.
Tiffany Jin took first place out of the female half-marathoners, finishing in 1:38:55.21. Kristin Haskell and Maria Bautista took second and third place, completing the race in 1:48:39.82 and 1:54:07.68, respectively.
In the 10K race, Kaeden Brinkman finished in first place, completing the course in 33:37.72.
Brinkman was followed by Ruben Krueger, who crossed the finish line at 36:36.93, and Dillon Hu, who finished in 37:37.45.
Out of the female 10K runners, Rebecca Tisdale finished first at 43:50.35. Stephanie Loseille took second place, finishing in 44:56.26, and Amanda Mancino took third, completing the race in 45:25.03.
In the men's 5K race, Martin Moshfeghi took first place, finishing in 16:25.18.
Benjamin Huang took second place, completing the course in 17:04.90, just 2 seconds before Paul Leblond, who finished third with a time of 17:07.01.
Out of the female 5K runners, Honey Gholami finished first at 19:44.22. Megan Tarbell followed, completing the race in 21:57.89, and Ethel Yang finished third, completing the course in 23:05.28.
The Moonlight Run & Walk marks the kick off to the Weekly's 2023 Holiday Fund campaign, which raises support for nonprofits that assist children, families and individuals in need in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Last year, the fund raised and granted $793,000 to the agencies, with 100% of donations going to the nonprofits and zero going to administrative costs.
This year, the Moonlight Run's lead sponsor was Stanford Health Care. Corporate sponsors were City of Palo Alto, AGILE Physical Therapy, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, DeLeon Realty, Kaiser Permanente, The Six Fifty, Stanford Federal Credit Union, Wealth Architects, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati Foundation, and the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online.
As a special surprise for the first-place finisher of the 10K in the 70+ age bracket, a cash prize, the Ramanujam Parthasarathy Running Free Award, was given out, the third distribution of what is now an annual honor. The recipient, Phil Mast, finished with a time of 57:52:33. The award is a donation from a local family in honor and memory of the wife's father, who ran until he was 83 for the joy and freedom it gave him. The Moonlight Run was the sole purpose for his visits to Palo Alto, according to the family.