There were many reasons to run this year’s edition of the Cross the River Run on Sunday morning.
First, this was a Valley Runner of the Year race, meaning some of the top runners could pad their leads or move up the leader board with a strong showing.
Secondly, the 10-kilometer participants had the opportunity to run over the Fresno River, head into Cobb Ranch and return to Woodward Park.
Those reasons dried up faster than a snowball in July.
The 10k field totaled 35, perhaps because of spring break. Some runners were also holding back on running in preparation for the April 17 Boston Marathon. Male points leader Jesús Campos, for example, is training for a 2-hour, 30-minute performance at the country’s oldest marathon.
Also, the race course was switched, said race director Ken Takeguchi, because the bridge on the Highway 41 frontage road is being refurbished.
As it turned out, it probably mattered little in the women’s race when Dinuba’s María Rodríguez raced to fourth place overall with a time of 42 minutes, 59.58 seconds.
The series points leader finished 6 minutes ahead of Amanda Whitten (48:59.67). Rodríguez, who will be competing in the Boston Marathon, had a 60-55 advantage over Whitten in the series race.
The Over the River run is a 20-point race, which means Rodríguez increased her lead by 4 points over Whitten.
J.K. Lundberg, fourth in the men’s standings, won the race in 36:51.9 and had more than a 3½-minute advantage over runnerup Daniel Meyer (40:37.35).
Lundberg, who ran in a black cape and magic wand, also moved into third place in the series standings with the 20 points he earned for winning the race. He has 49 points, while Alex Sosin, who finished third in the race, drops to fourth with 47 points.
The next points race is the Shinzen Run & Walk, a 5-mile race that is worth 30 points, on April 30.