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Santa Clarita Marathon begins Saturday

More than 3,000 to run in four events for all ages

Posted: November 5, 2009 9:24 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.
More than 3,000 people will participate Sunday in the 2009 Santa Clarita Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K run/walk and Kid K run.

“These people have been training for months, if not a year, to run the marathon,” said Patrick Downing, the city’s arts and events supervisor. “This is a culmination of their efforts.”

The event is expected to bring together at least 400 marathon runners, 1,400 half-marathon runners, 1,000 5K runners and 300 Kids K participants, Downing said.

The last chance to register for the marathon is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Health and Fitness Expo at Hyatt Regency Valencia on Town Center Drive. All marathon participants are required to pick up their race packets at the expo.

Racers will take off from the Westfield Valencia Town Center at 7 a.m., except for the Kids K which starts at 8:30 a.m.

Participants in the relatively flat half and full marathons will run along newly open trails along the San Francisquito Creek,

The pinnacle of the runners efforts can be witnessed first-hand by spectators waiting at the finish line back at the Valencia Town Center.

“It’s inspiring as you watch the finish line, you can almost see the story on their face whether it’s a mom doing this for the first time or a seasoned veteran or even some of the young kids doing the half marathon,” Downing said.

Wendy Thrush’s family and friends won’t be waiting for her at the finish line.

That’s because they’ll be running with Thrush, a breast cancer fighter.

“I am just 8 weeks out of chemo and radiation treatment,” said the 50-year-old Valencia resident. “(The marathon) is an annual event for me and I didn’t want to miss it if I didn’t have to.”

Thrush will run the half-marathon with her husband, son and friend. Her goal is simple — “to finish,” she said.

“I think it’s been said before: Pain is temporary and victory is so sweet,” she said.

The marathon is an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. But while many come out to compete, others participate for personal satisfaction, Downing said.

“We will certainly have first, second and third in (respective) age groups,” he said. “But for a lot of people, it’s not about coming in first, it’s about achieving a goal and their goal is to finish or finish faster than they did last time.”

The marathon has even drawn runners from other states and bordering countries Canada and Mexico, Downing said.

“You can’t beat our weather, so people who want to run a fall event – they’re looking for perfect weather in a scenic part of the U.S.,” he said.

The free Health and Fitness Expo will feature more than 30 vendor booths featuring sponsors, free prizes, running gear and products.


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