Early Saturday morning, a caravan of red Alaska Military Youth Academy buses rolled into Mountain View, depositing uniformed teen volunteers at intersections around the neighborhood. Police blocked street corners from Schodde to North Pine Street. An inflatable arch ballooned over the east end of Thompson Avenue, and around 9:30 a.m., the race began.
More than 300 competitors participated in this year’s Faster Than a Falcon 5k, an annual fundraiser for the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club. The course led them past Davis Park and Mountain View Elementary School, past boarded-up condominiums and neat rows of new duplexes. Neighbors came out to watch from front porches; confused drivers searched for routes around the race course. At the finish line, families gathered to cheer, and Boys and Girls Club volunteers handed out rubber race-day bracelets to the spectators milling around in the street.
In years past, the event has raised more than $10,000 for the neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, said clubhouse manager Dave Barney. Last year, he said, the fundraiser broke even. This year, there were even fewer runners. Sponsorship was down. But there’s more to it than money: There’s a different kind of benefit to the annual spring race, Barney said.
“We show off our neighborhood to the greater community,” he said, back at the clubhouse after the last runners cleared the streets Saturday. “We’re bringing folks from around the city to our wonderful neighborhood — to me, that’s a huge benefit.”