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UPDATED: Hundreds run in Santa Clarita Marathon

Valencia runner wins overall race

Posted: November 4, 2012 8:29 a.m.
Updated: November 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

From left, Armen Anassian, Clara Pentreath and Leni Calma make their way down McBean Parkway to start the Santa Clarita Marathon in Valencia on Sunday.

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On a bright, crisp fall morning, 2,900 runners set out from the starting line of the Santa Clarita Marathon on Sunday, each with their own reason for running.

The black-and-white racing bibs might have looked the same, but the runners sporting those bibs who filled the shut-down lanes of McBean Parkway by the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall, waiting for the starting gun at 7 a.m., were anything but colorless.

Fast or slow, young or old, hundreds took advantage of a breezy cool sunny autumn day to run in the annual event. The marathon saw 379 runners, while the half-marathon and 5K had 1,256 and 1,265 runners respectively.

“I’m doing it because my son has high cholesterol,” said Denise Murillo, walking in the Mayor’s Walk.

Her 10-year-old son Rudy ran beside her for the same cause.

Kristen Jensen, of Castaic, was determined to run again this year with her husband, Nels, despite having just given birth four months ago.

Both, sporting the red jerseys denoting marathon runners, had their own goals: she with a goal of finishing, he wanting a time under two hours.

She attained her goal with a time of 3:44:47 and her husband crossed the finish line at 2:15:36.

“It’s nice out,” she said starting out. “I’m glad it’s not going to be so hot, so early.”

Regardless of their times, the Jensens are proud, running parents of a 2-year-old girl Aubrie and newborn Tinley.

Race options

Running near the red-shirted marathoners were the 5K runners in green shirts.

For Sue and Greg Hollingsworth, leaving their home in the San Fernando Valley each year to run in the 5K event has become a tradition.

“This is our third year doing this,” Sue Hollingsworth said. “In the last year, I started doing more and more running. It just feels good.”

“Five K is good for me,” said her husband. “That’s what I can handle.”

She logged a finish time of 35:29 and her husband, 44:27.

Joining them in the 5K was mother and daughter, Candy and 16-year-old Molly Johnson, of Saugus.

Both mother and daughter wore green 5K shirts but pointed over to the red-shirts when asked why they were running.

“My husband is over there, running the half-marathon,” the mother said.

The three ran together for at least the first part of the race.

“We pretty much wave goodbye to him right away,” Candy Johnson said.

Mark Johnson finished with a time of 2:38:14. Mother and daughter finished with 43:37 and 39:43 respectively.

And for those wanting a pace slower than the marathon, the half-marathon and the 5K, they had the option of walking in the Mayor’s Walk.

So, on the heels of marathon runners leaving the starting line, Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry pumped his fists in the air, pumping up more than 100 runners to join him in the annual Mayor’s Walk.

Participants following him through much of the same 5K course, ended up at the same official finish line as the other runners, with finishers receiving a medal and a T-shirt.

Wheelchair entrant, Kevin Mather, 30, of Santa Clarita, logged a time of 2:10:23.

Qualifying race

Runners had the option of taking part in a full 26.2-mile marathon or a half-marathon, as well as a 5K run and the Mayor’s Walk, each covering 3.1 miles.

The Santa Clarita Marathon is an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon and is officially certified by USA Track & Field.

This year, the Santa Clarita Marathon Race Committee made use of the newly open trails along the San Francisquito Creek, making it part of the 2012 half-marathon and marathon.

The elevation for both race routes remained relatively flat, with some switchbacks and short inclines and declines on paseo bridges crossing over and under main city streets.

Born and raised New Yorkers, Rodney Roldan and Yanelba Ferreira, said they decided to run the Santa Clarita Half-Marathon after superstorm Sandy changed plans to fly back home last Wednesday.

The couple just recently completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Los Angeles.

“To be out here … it’s great and all, but we try to do our best to keep doing things for people back home.”

A Nor’easter predicted to hit the same area as Hurricane Sandy this week is again rearranging their plans to return home.

“We’re anxious to make sure that people are safe,” Roldan said.

“We really want to see family and friends, but I know it’s going to be depressing to be back,” Ferreira said.


The day wasn’t without incident.

Just before runners reached the one-hour mark in their run, paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were called for a runner injured near the intersection of Decoro Drive and Dickason Drive.

“He just tripped on the runner in front of him,” said Capt. Paul Hartwell of local Fire Station No. 156.

“He had some road rash, and his friend took him home,” he said.

While paramedics attended to the downed runner, they were advised by dispatchers of a second runner who was possibly in need of medical assessment.

In a third medical response call, a 23-year-old woman was treated for dehydration and taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, said Capt. Marshal Oldham of the Fire Station No. 126.

“We had to respond to a female down due to dehydration,” he said. “We started an IV (intravenous) and put her in the ambulance.”

And, shortly before 2 p.m., deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station received reports of a toddler found in a stroller near the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall, Lt. Tom Bryski said.

Deputies with the station’s search-and-rescue unit were called to the area on the mall’s property near Souplantation.

“We got a report of a 2-year-old child left in a stroller,” Bryski said.

There was no report the toddler was in distress or hurt in any way, he added.

“As it turned out, the person left their cell phone in the stroller with the baby,” he said.

“We phoned the dad and, apparently, it was a mixup where mom thought dad had the kid, and dad thought mom had the kid.”

Signal staff writer Jonathan Pobre contributed to this report.



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