On the Move at Burnett

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November 26  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . Mentors Matter.

This morning, at Burnett Middle School in downtown San Jose, Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo joined two world-class runners to meet with 300 students.

London 2012 Olympian Diego Estrada, who grew up in Salinas, CA, along with Texan running sensation Tia Martinez, are in town for our 10th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” but both of these poised professionals took time the day before their race to share their passion with students in the heart of San Jose.

Burnett Middle School students do not hail from wealthy homes. In fact, 8 of every 10 students qualify for the federal government’s free or reduced lunch program. The school has a rich history of serving poor students. I know, because my father – a first generation American born to a working class family of ten from Sicily – was also a student at Burnett Middle School in the 1940’s.

Yet what impressed me most about the morning was the enthusiasm of the kids. Eager and energized, they listened intently to Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo and two world-class athletes, then interacted directly with questions of their own. But the best was saved for last, when Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo, Diego Estrada and Tia Martinez led 300 students for a run around the school yard. These kids were “on the move with Mayor-Elect Sam,” and what a wonderful way to start their day.

Whether running professionally or running for office, these 300 kids directly experienced what can be achieved through hard-work, determination and passion. Yes, role models matter. But what mattered most was this simple lesson – “running” is great, but “serving” is better.

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The Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot”- Combining the Best With the Rest!

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July 30  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food for Thought . . . “turkey” will be well-represented at the London Olympics. Not the country, per se, but our own “turkey,” as in the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.

In just our first seven years, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot – held each Thanksgiving morning – has already served up at least 24 past and present Olympians participating in our elite race, with five athletes participating in this year’s London Olympics, several with bay area ties:

* Ryan Hall: the former Stanford stand-out, and 2nd place finisher in our 2006 Turkey Trot, will represent Team USA in the marathon.

* Shannon Rowberry: Born and raised in San Francisco, and 2nd place finisher in our 2007 Turkey Trot, will represent Team USA in the 1,500 meters.

* Diego Estrada: From Salinas, finished 3rd in last year’s Turkey Trot, and will race for his birth nation Mexico in the 10,000 meters.  Diego is now an American citizen, but USA Olympic rules require two years of citizenship before racing for his new country.

As we watch athletes from around the globe race in London this week, don’t forget that you can watch them even closer to home – or better yet, run or walk yourself – in downtown San Jose this Thanksgiving morning – at our own Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.  Register today at svturkeytrot.com.

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