Big things have small beginnings. In 2008, Kal Fuller came up with a crazy idea to run from Sunnyside to Prosser. For those of us not familiar with distance running, that seemed like a long way. The longest distance some of us had ever run was 6 miles and that was a crazy long way. People of reason tried to deter him from this impossible task, but Kal would not be discouraged. Kal convinced some of us (Mike Akins and Toby Pfaff) to go along with the plot.

We began to train for the distance of 13.1 miles. Gabriel Akins, age 15, rode his bike during our training runs as support, a milk crate strapped to a bike rack, providing food and water.

In November of 2008, with more friends, 14 in all, we ran the first non-official event, later to be called Sage Rat Run. Our support team was Terri Akins, Gabriel Akins, Kim Fuller, Kaytee Fuller and Angel Abarca.

Pictured Standing Left to Right: Jessie Palacios, Toby Pfaff, Scott Ames, Dennis McDonald, Brian Forester, Jan McDonald, Mike Akins and Gabriel Akins.

Front Row: Lucia Tovar, Kal Fuller and Deanna Carpenter.

Not Pictured: Ron Fleming, John Kilian, Robert Flores and Ricardo Abarca.

The shadows in the picture, left to right: Kim Fuller, Terri Akins and Kaytee Fuller.

Sage Rat Run History

The 2008 Run Times

Ron Fleming


John Kilian


Kal Fuller


Toby Pfaff


Deanna Carpenter


Robert Flores


Scott Ames


Dennis McDonald


Ricardo Abarca


Mike Akins


Jan McDonald


Jessie Palacios


Gabriel Akins and Angel Abarca rode their bikes with crates of food and water strapped to the back, providing course support.

Also, Lucia Tovar ran until she saw the Prosser Starbucks around mile 11, went inside to get a drink, relaxed and called it a day. Smart girl.

Following the run in November of 2008, Kal Fuller, Mike Akins and Toby Pfaff started training for a marathon. They ran their first 26.2 miles at the Yakima Canyon Marathon in 2009, which got Mike & Gabe to thinking about directing our own run.

We credit Kal Fuller as the official inspiration for Sage Rat Run.

We had about five names we were considering for the run. One of the names was Sage Rat Run. This came about due to the numerous sage rats or ground squirrels that are along the pathway. We ran the names by Kim Fuller. Kim laughed when we mentioned the name, Sage Rat Run. Kim said, “definitely not that”, so we named it Sage Rat Run.

Gabriel Akins developed into one of the Sage Rat Run Founders and Directors, with the Fuller, Pfaff and Akins’ family guiding him along the way. At age 15, being the most ambitious or naive, he began working on a website for the first Sage Rat Run. Gabe also secured donations and sponsors for the first official run. We provided Gabriel direction and he did the majority of the work to make this event happen.

Sage Rat Run has grown into a 2 day event and it has blossomed to one of the largest run events in Yakima County and the Tri-Cities area. Sage Rat Run has added some new directors, Sam and Shamra Smith, for 2016, to handle the anticipated growth of the event.

The Sage Rat Run covers the cost of the event and gives the rest of the money to various charities and causes that strengthen the community and help those in need.

Our first Sage Rat Run was on May 22, 2010. The run consisted of a Half Marathon with 163 participants. A lot of help came from Director Kal Fuller and family, Toby Pfaff and family, Scott Conrad, Darrel and Roberta McCallum, Fred Lamb, other friends and family. From the proceeds,Sage Rat Run donated $1000.

Gabe ran his first Half Marathon during the Sage Rat Ghost Run for volunteers. Gabe then began running longer distances, which has now included a couple of 50k and obstacle runs.

Our second annual event was on May 14, 2011. Sage Rat Run added a 12k. We had 101 finishers for the 12k and 207 Half Marathon finishers. Sage Rat Run donated over $2800.00 to charities and other causes.

In 2012, Sage Rat Run added a 5k. Our third annual event was held on May 19th. Sage Rat Run had 115 participants for the 5k, 91 participants for the 12k and 221 finishers for the Half Marathon. Sage Rat Run donated $5,042.00 to charities and other causes.

In the years following 2012, Sage Rat Run has donated approximately $5000.00 every year to various causes and charities. This has included the Ronald McDonald House, Love Without Boundaries, LLS, Police Explorers, Civil Air Patrol, Extra Mile Student Center, Grandview High School DECA and Local Cheerleaders. In addition we have made donations to provide EMS kits to local law enforcement.   

About Gabe

Gabriel Akins was home schooled until attending Yakima Valley Community College at age 15. He graduated YVCC, at age 17, with an Associate Degree.

Gabriel joined the Civil Air Patrol, Yakima Squadron, in 2009. Gabe learned many skills as a cadet which included earning the Billy Mitchell Award and achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant. At CAP, he was encouraged to participate in community service and give volunteer hours.

Gabe saw the necessity of a local community event to promote health and exercise through running. This sparked the drive that Gabe had to start the Sage Rat Run event. Gabe continues to direct the annual event with assistance from his parents, Kal Fuller, Toby Pfaff and the McCallum’s, among numerous other volunteers.

Gabriel has graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona with a major in Air Traffic Management and a minor in Military Science.

Gabe has his Private Helicopter License and is currently working for TSA.

Sage Rat Run History

(Above) Gabriel Akins, age 18, with his Helicoptor Pilot license at

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona – Fall 2011

(Above Left) Gabriel Akins after participating in a Spartan Race, June 2012

(Above Right) Gabe during a training run on Badger Mountain, 2011


(Above Left) Gabe training, Temp 13 Degrees, Horse Heaven Hills, March 2011

(Above Right) Gabriel Akins, Mike Akins and Kal Fuller

after Sage Rat Ghost Run, May 2010

(Above Left) Gabriel Akins during Sage Rat Ghost Run, May 2010

(Center) Gabe participating in Mt. Si Ultra Run 50k, April 2011

(Right) Gabe flying Helicopters at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona.

There will be many a time when you feel as though you can no longer continue or your goal is unattainable. You have control of your future, harnessing the might of the mind and the power of the soul, will allow you to achieve anything.

Gabriel Akins

Greatness is in all of us!

Sage Rat Run History