The freedom to run

Runners begin their 5K run at the Freedom Run as part of Morgan Hill’s Freedom Festival on July 4. The Freedom Run followed the parade route and was the first event of the day.

Nearly 700 of all ages participate in annual freedom 5K, 1 mile
Taking a leisurely walk from the start line to the finish line of the Freedom Run is a mere 500 meters along Peak Avenue.
In the time to lollygag down Peak Avenue is all it took for Will Geiken of Los Gatos to run the parade route, twice, for win the 5K by 27 seconds.
Geiken challenged the course record with a time of 14:29, defeating Darius Terry of San Jose who finished in 14:56, a pace of 4:49 per mile.
Geiken led a group of HOKA Aggies Running Club members out of San Louis Obispo who a solid win among the teams who entered.
Geiken said the course was a good one to open up on, especially because the second lap wasn’t quite as long as the first.
“It just feels nice to have it be just less than a two-lap course,” Geiken said.
He added he liked the gradual uphill because it wasn’t so big that it drained you but offered just enough of a challenge.
“Fortunately we did it on the warm ups, so I kind of knew what it would feel like,” Geiken said.
In total, 583 5K runners and walkers along with 92 kids in the children’s 1 mile race.
On the women’s side, Teresa McWalters of San Francisco captured the win with a time of 16:40.
She was well ahead of the second woman finisher—Kris Paaso of Menlo Park—who came in at 17:26.
Matthew Mullane, 11, won the children’s race with a time of 7:20, edging out Jorge Martinez by seven seconds followed closely of Hollister’s Salim Ford who finished in 7:29.
For the girls, 9 year old Morgan Hill’s Niamh McVey came in one second ahead of Katherine Mullane as of the gun time (the official “go” of the race).
However, Mullane completed the chipped mile one second ahead of McVey.
McVey finished the gun time in 8:37 to Mullane’s 8:38. Mullane completed the chip time (from sensor to sensor) in 8:35 to McVey’s 8:36.
Third place went to Morgan Hill’s Angelene Castro, who finished in 8:42. She was first among 11-year-old girls.
Morgan Hill’s Amber Murawsky took first among 10-year-old girls (fifth overall) with a time of 9:45.
The top local finisher went to Jose Cruz of Morgan Hill, who took 23rd overall and 10th among 20- to 29-year-old men. He finished with a time of 17:01.
Cruz finished in a tie with fellow Morgan Hill resident Mike van Herk who took the race in 17:01 as well. But Cruz edged him out in the gun time by a single second.
Jorn T. Jensen took 30th overall with a time of 17:18 for third among Morgan Hill residents.
The best local woman went to Morgan Hill’s Tiffany Pereira who placed 103rd overall and 8th in the women’s 40-49 division. She ran a 20:35.
Other top locals included Jeb Goldman of Gilroy, who took first among 16- to 19-year-olds and 70th overall with a time of 19:30.
From Hollister, Marcus Muro took 74th overall with a time of 19:33.
Maddie Eastus of Gilroy was the top finisher among Garlic City residents, taking first among 11- to 15-year-old women and 115th overall with a time of 21:22.

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