Bomhoff off and running again

Father of two students, relay teams prepare to take on 24-hour run again to raise money for Loomis schools
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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Greg Bomhoff is no stranger to long runs. Not your five and 10 mile variety, but the 100-plus ones. The veteran ultramarathoner has run in the Western States Endurance Run and won the Rio Del Lago Race of the Series. His latest race is a 24-hour run in which he will have no competition, just his thoughts and more than a thousand people rooting him on for a worthwhile cause. ?It seems that running is almost secondary this time,? Bomhoff said of his preparation for the race. Bomhoff?s 24-hour run on May 24 isn?t for fun or glory but for the benefit of physical education programs at Loomis elementary schools. His run will be paired with up to 25 teams and nearly 800 individuals to help raise money for the schools. Bomhoff ran the relay two years ago and racked up 128.75 miles in the process. His efforts netted Franklin Elementary school more than $25,000. The relay took last year off but Bomhoff raised more than $10,000 for the school when he competed in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley. With budget cuts looming statewide, Go the Distance was expanded this year to include all Loomis Union School District schools. ?We wanted to bring back the message and everything but I can?t just keep running around in circles for 24 hours year after year to do it,? said Bomhoff, whose two sons attend Franklin. ?So this year is more about me challenging the other parents and the other people in our community to kind of come out and go the distance themselves and see how far they?re willing to go for their kids.? This year?s race will have 25 teams of up to 10 runners in the 24-hour relay and about 800 in what is being dubbed as a 5k-ish Family Fun Run. The Fun Run, which will run twice to accommodate the large numbers of participants, is slightly short of the 3.1 miles to actually be called a 5k. Registration for the Fun Run is $20 per individual or $60 for families of three or more. The 24-hour relay will start at 8:50 a.m. Thursday and end at 8:50 a.m. Friday. The 5k starts at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Bomhoff will start his trek at Franklin along with nearly 1,000 students from Franklin and Loomis Basin Charter for the first lap before he makes the near-marathon distance trip to each of the seven elementary schools involved in the fundraiser. Each school will hold health and fitness events on campus that range from a jog-a-thon to a health fair. After Bomhoff, who will be accompanied by LUSD Superintendent Gordon Medd, completes his tour of the schools, he will go back to Franklin where he will run the track until morning. In 2010, he ran more than 500 laps on the track. In 2010, the group that caught the most attention outside of Bomhoff was the Placer County Sheriff?s Special Enforcement Team. The group ran the 5k in tactical gear and ballistic vests and will run in the 24-hour relay this year. The relay teams raised money to cover the $1,000 entry fee that will benefit the school of their choice or be split among all schools. Go the Distance?s goal was to have to at least two teams per school and up to 25 teams. As of Tuesday, 14 teams were signed up and more teams are expected to join the relay. ?I think it?s fabulous because we have people from all parts of the community,? said Gina Anixter, Go the Distance event director. ?By having the swat team on board that also then catches the eye of the other community leaders, maybe even the fire department, or just other areas of our community to say, ?Hmm, if we can get the swat team out there then what can we do? We do a lot for the community too.? ?I think maybe other community service organizations will kind of take note and have a little bit of a challenge for them to participate.? Bomhoff will have the biggest challenge. Despite running between seven schools and hosting a rally at each, where he will stop running for about five minutes apiece, he expects to run about 125 miles. He will eat a premixed gel periodically to keep his energy, have a team to help keep him hydrated and get the occasional bathroom break. But as the laps continue to pile up on the quarter-mile track, boredom and soreness are sure to set in. ?I think if boredom is my biggest problem I?ll be thrilled,? Bomhoff said.