Dozens of athletes competed Sunday in an event so narrowly decided that it came down to more than one tie, but there wasn't any trash talking to be heard.
"Even though we're all competing, we're all helping each other," Elk Grove resident Darrell Bacani said. "Everybody cheers everybody else on."
The athletes brought hundreds of spectators to Hal Bartholomew Sports Complex for the finals of this year's Fittest of Elk Grove competition, a benefit that earned $12,500 for the Elk Grove Police Activities League.
"It's substantial," Police Activities League Executive Director Kendra Lewis said. "Our budget is just over $100,000. What this does is helps us brand our organization, helps us get more volunteers."
The group provides low-cost and free sports and activities for about 500 Elk Grove kids each year.
"In this economy, so many of our families can't afford recreation," she said. "They can't afford anything."
The Fittest of Elk Grove, now in its third year, raised $12,000 for the Elk Grove Youth Sports Foundation last year. Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick, whose son Brian was the event's director, said more money was spent this year on marketing and growing the competition. He said a $10,000 contribution from the city went directly to the activities league, with the rest of the funding coming from fees and sponsorships.
Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper said he was excited the city was supporting an event that promoted health and helped to provide activities for kids.
"The PAL [and our] youth–that's the No. 1 thing," Cooper told the competitors.
Throughout the course of the day, dozens of athletes lifted weights, sprinted, and performed bodyweight exercises like burpees and pushups; many collapsed onto the turf in exhaustion as soon as their workouts were over.
"You feel like you're in pain and almost want to quit, [and] 10 minutes later it's not that bad," Elk Grove resident Christina Sencil said.
The event also included a demonstration by Byers Gymnastics and an elite crossfit competition, the Warriorz Throwdown (click here for a recap of that event).
Dana Perryman competed in the Fittest of Elk Grove along with her 17 and 15-year-old sons, and said the event both gave her a goal to train toward and something to do with her teens.
"It's great for the Elk Grove community to come out and attend a free, family event to see what health and fitness is all about," Perryman said. "To be healthy and fit you don't have to look a certain way or be a certain age."
The winners of the event were:
Female 17 & Under
1st – Alexis Sakaris
2nd – Liliana Higuera
Male 17 & Under
1st – Aaron Bernatchy
2nd – Brandon Perryman
3rd – Joseph Esparza
Female 18 - 34
1st – Lissa Zamola
2nd – Danice Discipulo
3rd – Kasey Beckman
Male 18 - 34
1st – Derick Daniels
2nd – Darrell Taylor
3rd – Joe Glover
Female 35 - 49
1st – Debbie Rodriguez
2nd – Theresa Jones
3rd – Kathy Bowling
Male 35 - 49
1st – Erik Madden
2nd – Alex James
3rd – Sehyon Kim
1st – Lorraine Blance
2nd – Pam Broussard
3rd – Janer Gross
1st – Dallas Broussard
2nd – Robbie Folkes
3rd – Mitch Lopez
1st – WarriorZ Health & Fitness – Charlie Zamora, Jen Wilcox, Tyler Zehnder, Micha Zamora
2nd – Team Bacon – CF EG – Brennan Rector, Brad Soto, Christina Sencil, Tara Lopez
3rd (tie) – Stache-Tastic – CF 916 – Josh Eisenhut, Erica Cano, Rique Fortes, Rosanna Martinez
3rd (tie) – CF 916 – Brooke Parrish, Mel Dopson, Seth Tosta, Darrel Bacani
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the nonprofit that received the proceeds from last year's event. Elk Grove Patch regrets the error.