The Results Are In! Find Out Where You Placed:
Jesse Sapolu, GHR '23 Official Race Starter
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WHAT DOES THE GOLDEN HEART FUND MEAN TO YOU?
2023 Golden Heart Run Winner
Anthony Cortes won the 2023 Golden Heart Run in 16:08 on a sunny Saturday morning lapping around Levi’s Stadium and ending at the 50-yard line. Hall of Fame 49ers linemen Jesse Sapolu was the official race starter at the start line.
Cortes looked like he was used to the winner’s circle in his post race interview on account of him having won both of the previous two races.
Cortes revealed the secret to his race-winning training regiment. “I do uphill training two days a week and long runs for about an hour to know my pace. I just know that there’s a certain time and pace I have to be at in order to break the record, so I train to be at that place.”
Ferrari remarked that he couldn’t have been happier seeing a familiar face on the podium once again. “We’re happy to have our veteran come back and continue to win. He’s encouraging, enthusiastic and gets everyone pumped, especially at the starting line,” said Ferrari. “I’m sure he [Anthony] will win the next one, there was nobody near him.”
Cortes explained that he was already making plans for next year’s Golden Heart Run. “I have my goal strategy to win the next one, and to do it for the Golden Heart Fund and to support this race.”
WHAT DOES THE GOLDEN HEART FUND MEAN TO YOU?
2023 Golden Heart Run, 1st woman to cross the finish line
Caroline Zahnow was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 21:17, and Dan Brown of The Athletic was the first media member to finish the 2023 Golden Heart Run.
Zahnow only signed up for the race because of her work colleagues, and was happily surprised. “I haven’t run a 5k in a really long time, it was weird. “Like, ‘oh man I should’ve been running hills,” she said.
Contrary to Zahnow, Brown was used to the bright lights of Levi’s Stadium. “I was at the very first one with Roger Craig, who was the honorary first starter so of course I came out,” he said.
Zahnow was not quite as prepared for the trials and tribulations of a 4.9k race. Still, the race winner on the women’s side was able to find a moment of reflection in the winner’s circle.
“It was really special to come out and to see the passion that everyone has for this team, so I’d love to come back and do it again,” said Zahnow.
Brown, an avid Bay Area sports writer, did not share the same sentiments on being crowned the first media member to finish.
“It’s a pretty low bar, first media member across the finish line, but I’ll take it. Ann Killion and Eric Branch of the Chronicle are pretty fast, but that’s it. It’s a short list,” said Brown.
Zahnow also learned that she had some major competition from her male counterpart, Anthony Cortes, winning each of the previous two races. “It was really special to come out and to see the passion that everyone has for this team, so I’d love to come back and do it again.”
2023 Kids Run
11-year-old Isabella Martin crossed the finish line as the first place youth contestant of the Golden Heart Run with her time of 22:52, and her sister, Vicki, following close behind.
Isabella explained that she had actually lost to her 9-year-old sister in the youth category of the previous year’s race but that this year she was unable to defend her title due to a cold.
“Last year, I had just gotten off of a cold so I went a little slower, but this year she [Vicki] had just got off a cold, so we switched,” she said.
“Anybody with kids knows, you’re lucky if they’re not sick,” said the father of Isabella and Vicki.
Both sisters run cross country regularly throughout the year, but the lead up to this race was more important than others
“Yes, a lot of training,” said Vicki. “We love this race.”
Their explained that he was able to get his daughters into running in order to get them outside and keep them active.
“I’ve run my whole life, and got the girls into it when the pandemic hit. Quarantine happened and it was like ‘what can you do?’” he said. “We still wanted to get outside, so we started them on running and hiking and they fell in love with it.”
More importantly, the Martin family uses charity runs as a way to teach the values of compassion and community while still having fun.
“We talked about it last night at dinner and discussed how there was a really good charity behind this run, so they both know what they’re running for,” said their father. “You look at sports nowadays and you think pro athletes are super privileged and make a lot of money, but you know that 20 or 30 years ago that wasn’t the case.”
“We’re gonna do this every year,” said Isabella.
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