Dipsea Kidz Alum Anxious For Jingle Bells 5K Run

David Grijalba is now a sophomore varsity cross country and track runner at Terra Linda High School.

Now a sophomore varsity cross country and track runner at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, David Grijalba wants to pass on his impactful and rewarding experience in the Dipsea Kidz.

At 15 years old, he considers himself a mentor.

“Dipsea Kidz helped me improve as a runner because their coaching is great, the coaches have experience in coaching and running so it’s great advice and teaching,” says David, who joined Dipsea Kidz when he was a fifth grader at Venetia Valley School. “It has helped me learn leadership and self-control which have made me a better student.”

Founded by the Dipsea Race Foundation in 2011, the Dipsea Kidz is a youth development program available to students at Bayside MLK Academy in Sausalito and Venetia Valley School in San Rafael free of charge. It is fully coached by experienced dedicated coaches. Students learn about proper warm up, efficient running form and healthy nutritional options, as well as other training related specifics. Workouts challenge each student to his or her abilities. They meet two-days-a-week after school throughout the school calendar year. Students range from grades four through eight.

This Sunday, December 12, 20 members of the Dipsea Kidz are registered for the Jingle Bells 5K Run in Sausalito. The race, which benefits the DRF’s Dipsea Kidz program and Sausalito-on-the-Waterfront’s Child Education and Activity Fund program – both are nonprofit 501 C3 organizations -- starts at 8:30 a.m. on Spinnaker Drive and will be followed at approximately 9:30 a.m. by a pancake brunch in the Spinnaker Restaurant hosted by the Sausalito Lions Club.

The entry fee is $40 for adults and $25 for children 15 & under and includes a race T-shirt and admission to the post-race breakfast/brunch.

To register, follow this link: https://bit.ly/31fZkA7 or visit http://www.sausalito-on-the-waterfront.org/. Same day-of-race registration will be accepted.

David will be among Dipsea Kidz alumni who plan to attend and support the programs and its current crop of runners. He is an inspiration to all of them, having personally won the Jingle Bells 5K, the first time at the age of 12.

“I first entered the Jingle Bell 5K in sixth grade where I placed second. I entered because coach Ana (Levaggi) of Dipsea Kidz thought it would be a good competition, and I believe it helped me prepare for high school races,” David says. “I love the energy the race brings, the smiles on people’s faces, and all the fun there is before and after the race. It’s a fun and fairly easy course with great views.”