People holding the cheque
Shell Martinez Refinery GM Tom Rizzo (red shirt) presents a $100,000 check to members of the Martinez Unified School District board, the Martinez Education Foundation board and the Martinez schools superintendent. (l-r): Bobbi Horack, Deidre Siguenza, Rizzo, John Fuller, Cheryl Verschagin, Colin Barnard and Rami Muth.

MARTINEZ — Sunday’s 13th Annual Shell/MEF 5k/10k Run for Education shattered previous records in fundraising and participation, bringing in $100,000 for the Martinez Education Foundation(MEF) and drawing about 900 people who registered for the 5k or 10k events.

Shell Martinez Refinery GM Tom Rizzo noted that this is a special year for the refinery, making the Run even more meaningful for both Shell and the Martinez community.

“We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary here in Martinez,” Rizzo said. “We have achieved our goal of raising a record-breaking amount to the Martinez Education Foundation to use to help teachers and students in the Martinez Unified School District.”

“We’re thrilled with the Run,” said MEF board chair Colin Barnard. “It’s great to see so many families out having a good time and raising money for a great cause.”

Martinez Schools Superintendent Rami Muth said the school district is the big winner in the event.

“We love to see the community come out to support our schools,” Muth said. “We have a lot of students and teachers participating and volunteering this year, and we really appreciate their team spirit.”

On a beautiful sunny fall morning, the 900 participants either ran or walked the 5k route through downtown Martinez, while a good portion ran a 10k route that also went up to the hills on Carquinez Scenic Drive.

Joel Timbrell of Martinez came in first in the men’s 10k category, and Rebecca Patrick of Martinez came in first in the women’s category. Will Allan of Martinez won the men’s 5k competition, and his wife, Lisa Allan, won the women’s event.

The complete results are posted at

More than 100 people volunteered to make the event a success, including dozens of students from Martinez Junior High School and Alhambra High School and many Shell refinery workers. The Alhambra High marching band performed in the downtown plaza before the race started.

The Run began in 2003 with the goal of rallying the community in support of Martinez schools and promoting health and wellness. It is the hallmark community event of the Shell Martinez Refinery, which devotes staff time to organizing the event and matches all contributions. The Run also was supported by a record number of companies that donated money and gave in-kind contributions.

The Run was preceded on Saturday evening by a fundraising Family Fun Night sponsored by the Martinez Rotary and Kiwanis clubs at the Shell Clubhouse.

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