Kevin Searles is preparing for his 5th time as Official Meet Director for the 47th annual Martinez to Port Costa “Brickyard Race” on Sunday, April 10.
Searles, a former Humboldt State distance runner and the current College Park 3200 meter record holder, first ran the Brickyard 8-mile in 1972 as a freshman at College Park. He has run nearly every year since then until he became the Brickyard Director in 2012.
Brickyard participants challenge themselves by completing either the tough 8-mile distance (from Rankin Park along the winding roads of Carquinez Scenic Drive, and eventually to the remains of the old Brickyard Factory at Port Costa and back to Rankin Park), or the 4-mile distance (where competitors turn around halfway to Port Costa).
The Brickyard Run is most known for its unique brick awards with engraved gold plaques for each division. In the past the Brickyard Factory manufactured bricks specifically for the Martinez race.
Martinez’s longtime Brickyard tradition originally started from legendary former Alhambra track coach and woodshop teacher Luka Sekulich.
As the first meet director, Coach Sekulich first successfully brought the Martinez community together for the Run in 1968. Sekulich personally carved wooden trophies every year and awarded them to the top 3 finishers in each age category.
Over the years Sekulich continued directing the race until the Diablo Roadrunners took over for him in the early 1990’s, who in turn hosted the race until 2007 and brought along with them the trademark brick awards.
In 2008 former Alhambra track Coach Tim Bruder hosted the race with the help of Alhambra High School athletes. Bruder directed the race a second time in 2009 before passing away in November of that year.
The remodeling of Rankin Park and renovation of Carquinez Scenic Drive in 2011 was the only interruption to years of consecutive Brickyard Runs.
Searles then became the meet director in 2012. With sponsorships from Asics and the Aggies Running Club and volunteer help from Alhambra Track athletes, all proceeds from the Brickyard are donated to the Alhambra High School track and cross country teams.
Everyone is welcome to run, walk, or jog the 4-mile or 8-mile distance. Pre-registration can be completed at Eventbrite.com for $35 or on race day. Results will be posted upon completion of the race. The top 3 in each age group will receive a customized Brick award.
We’ll see you at the Brickyard!