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Inaugural HandsOn run draws hundreds

Runners lend helping feet at Six Flags Magic Mountain race

Posted: November 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Hundreds of runners take their mark at the start of the inaugural HandsOn Santa Clarita Run at Six Flags Magic Mountain on Sunday. Photo by Jim Holt

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More than 400 runners turned out Sunday for the inaugural HandsOn Santa Clarita 5k/10k race at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and organizers said they couldn’t be happier.

The community volunteer center hosted its first-ever 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer race fundraiser at the amusement park attracting scores of runners, many of them families.

“It’s absolutely wonderful for a first-time event,” said Seema Shah, executive director of HandsOn Santa Clarita.

According to its mission posted online, HandsOn Santa Clarita “provides support and resources to build nonprofit capacity and connects local nonprofit organizations with volunteers, groups, and businesses to meet the needs of the community.”

For Christina Lupacchini, of Woodland Hills, who competed in the recent Santa Clarita Marathon, the race was a chance to do more running.

As she was warming up before the race, she said: “I hope I catch the running bug.”

Runner Diane Fiero, board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, convinced her family to join her at the starting line Sunday, including: son Ryan, age 13, daughter Lauren, 10, and husband Robert.

“It’s a wonderful idea to have an organization support a lot of the local s,” she said.

Fiero’s son, Ryan, said he ran because he “thought it would be a nice way to see Magic Mountain.”

Each participating runner received a goody bag, medal and T-shirt. They were given the opportunity to donate to HandsOn Santa Clarita when they registered to run.

As she was lifting race medals out of a box at the finish line, Race volunteer Mia Slotsve said: “It’s a very family-oriented event.

“We’ve had a lot of strollers,” she said.

For every $30 donation made, contributing runners received a free ticket to Six Flags Magic Mountain, which will be good to use until the end of 2013, according to event organizers.

Proceeds of the run are expected to benefit HandsOn Santa Clarita’s mission and assist in meeting community needs through volunteerism. HandsOn Santa Clarita connects volunteers to critical issues facing the community, such as hunger, child welfare and environmental issues, according to organizers.
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