Remembrances of Eppie Johnson, founder of Great Race and Sacramento restaurant owner

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2013 - 8:45 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Energetic and gregarious, Eppie Johnson made his mark on Sacramento as a restaurant owner, philanthropist and founder of Eppie’s Great Race.

He died over the weekend in his sleep at 85 years old. Here, courtesy of a press release informing the media of his death, are some memories of his life:

-- Johnson was an avid skier and all-around athlete.

-- A restaurant advertising campaign by “Professor Eppie” allowed students with straight-A report cards to bring them to an Eppie’s for a free chocolate sundae.

-- The entry fee for Eppie’s first “Great Race” was $10.

-- The first race had 138 participants. The race now draws 2,000.

-- His television commercials featured him carrying a tray of food while on snow skis, water skis or running.

-- In 2003, three citizens of the Czech Republic implemented a similar event there. Johnson has been the official starter of the annual Czech event known as “Epi Vodacky Triatlon.”

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof

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