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Running canyons for the Knights

Posted: March 15, 2009 1:09 a.m.
Updated: March 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

More than 100 runners pounded through the canyons of Mentryville Park in Stevenson Ranch Saturday sporting bright green T-shirts for the Knights of Columbus' 29th annual St. Patrick's Day 5K race.

They took off shortly after 9 a.m. and ran uphill on a dirt trail that passed through the green scenery of the canyons west of Newhall on Pico Canyon Road. They would eventually turn around and finish close to where they started at the bottom of the path.

A former cross-country runner for The Master's College was the first to reach the finish line after running about three miles.

"I just came out here to enjoy the local runners," said 24-year-old Kyle Robinson, the first-place winner who finished in 17 minutes and 9 seconds.

The female winner was Kristin Schranz with a time of 20:05.

It was Robinson's first time at the event hosted by Knights of Columbus, a men's service organization associated with the church Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Others were long-time participants. Clare Lintereur, a Stevenson Ranch resident and member of the church, said she had been attending the race each year for as long as she can remember.

"This is one of my favorite races of the year because it's just spectacular scenery, great people and a great cause," said Lintereur, who said she crossed the finish line in 20:35. "It's a very challenging course."

The race raises funds for the Knights of Columbus' charity events held throughout the year to benefit local organizations ranging from Santa Clarita's homeless shelter to groups aimed at helping the disabled, said Knights of Columbus' Grand Knight Dave Robbins.

The race attracted participants of various experience levels, from members of local running clubs to residents who just enjoy running on their own.

Jason Mock, a member of the Santa Clarita Running Club, said members of his group are regulars.

"There are probably at least 60 (members here) every year," he said.

Then there are the runners like 6-year-old Jeremy Root, one of the last to make it across the finish line. He finished alongside his father in 55 minutes and 59 seconds.

"He beat his time by three minutes," his mother, Jennifer Root, said as she scooped her son up in her arms after the race. She added that it was his first Knights of Columbus race, but his second 5K run.

As runners trickled past the finish line, they were greeted with St. Patrick's Day-themed refreshments.

"I like the warm touches of the homemade Irish soda bread - and the Guinness (beer), of course," Lintereur said.

Runners gathered around the snack tables socializing and eating the bread covered with black currant jelly. They also enjoyed orange slices, banana halves and drinks.

The Knights of Columbus awarded trophies to the top-finishing male and female runners and commemorative cups to the top runners in various age groups.

Runners were grateful for the clear weather and recalled past years when they were not as lucky, as the race is held annually rain or shine.

"I have been here when it has been a terrible downpour and just muck slick," Lintereur said.

"(Saturday) it's just perfect."

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