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11.28.07

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Alex Hinshaw


ERACERS: Run, jog or walk this weekend at the E-Race Racism Marathon.

E-Race Racism Returns

By Felipe Buitrago


WHAT STARTED as a casual visit to the doctor for Rick Callender became a South Bay event. The president of the Silicon Valley NAACP was diagnosed with high blood pressure and told to work on his cardio. He talked about it with the group's treasurer, Gail Batista, a seasoned marathon runner. Batista, it turned out, had been thinking about the idea of a marathon as a fundraiser. Suddenly, a way to fulfill the doctor's prescription while furthering the cause seemed obvious. The result was the E-Race Racism Marathon, which is now in its third year. A 5,000 or 10,000 walk, jog or run starting at Lake Cunningham Park, the event will once again take participants through the East Side of San Jose this Saturday. "We're expecting 1,000 people this year," says Callender proudly. "They told me I'd never succeed with a race on the East Side." And yet, since it's first run the race has doubled its number of participants each year. And what would a marathon be without an honorable cause? Although the name implies fighting racism and reaffirming racial equality, Callender says "it's about all isms." Proceeds of the race will go to youth leadership development programs in San Jose "to create better citizens." You've got to hand it to any event that can lower your blood pressure and build a better South Bay community.

E-RACE RACISM RUN happens Saturday, Dec. 1, at 9am. $20–$30. Lake Cunningham, White and Tully roads, San Jose. Visit www.active.com to register. (408.745.8205; www.eraceracism.org)


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