The event saw 375 runners coming out to support the anti-drug organization

ATASCADERO — The 10th annual LIGHTHOUSE 5K Fun Run was back and bigger than ever this year. The race took off on Sunday, June 2, at 8 a.m., and this year, the runners and walkers had a new track to kick dirt up on. Oyster Ridge Event Venue kindly offered up their space in Santa Margarita, and participants who have joined the race for years commented that this was the best one yet. For the last two years, the 5K took place at the Santa Margarita Ranch Education Center.

“The Santa Margarita Ranch Education Center is very rural and rugged. The beauty of that property was that people got to run on property that you don’t ever usually get to access. But this other property is all groomed, ready for events, and they offered it to us,” said Race Director and LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero Board Member Lori Bagby.

This year, the Fun Run saw more runners than ever, with over 100 more registering than last year. The grand total of participants was 375, which included the kid races. Everyone who came out was there to support LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero, which is made up of a merger of LIGHTHOUSE and The Atascadero Greyhound Foundation that took place earlier this year. LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero’s mission is to help prevent Atascadero’s youth from getting into drug use and lend a hand to families with members who are already using.


“They [the participants] ran through the vineyards with nice wide trails. It was great. We had 18 teams that came out,” stated Bagby.

Every year, teams of runners come out to honor community members who lost their battles due to drug use. Like in years past, the biggest team to show up ran in honor of Rick Johansen.

“We (also) have a banner that people sign. If they’re running in memory of somebody or they know somebodystruggling they can sign it. Anybody can sign it,” Bagby added.

On top of the 5K, the Fun Run also includes a half-mile run for kids, and for the super littles, there’s even a Kid’s Dash. The winner of the male 5K was Gregory Scott, with a time of 17:56. The winner of the female 5K was Selena Trejo, with a time of 22:38. The male winner of the kid’s half-mile was Seth Warren; Sawyer Culp came in second. The female half-mile winner was Josie Dye, with Reya Hall taking second place.

In addition to the huge success of the new location of Oyster Ridge, it also has a special meaning behind it. One of the property’s owners, Doug Filipponi, was actually one of the people who got LIGHTHOUSE started with the help of Donn Clickard after losing his son Jeff.  

“During the run, so the 5K, we announced this before we started, as you run a quarter mile of the way up, there’s a memorial to his [Doug’s] son [Jeff]. A cross and a little memorial, and so we got to announce that,” said Bagby. “So we told the story about Doug’s son and to keep an eye out a quarter mile up. It just felt full circle. That’s how we got started and then here we are there at that venue raising money.”

Though the exact amount of money raised by this year’s Fun Run isn’t known, it’s estimated that they raised over $41,000 this year.

The LIGHTHOUSE Fun Run will be back next year on Sunday, June 1, 2025.

To learn more about LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero, go to:

Featured Image: Atascadero youngsters participated in a half-mile race during the LIGHTHOUSE Fun Run. Photo by Rick Evans