Local runners won’t have to go the marathon distance to find their ideal speed this year.
The city of Santa Clarita is adding a new component to its annual marathon event, making life a little easier for those who aren’t seasoned long-distance runners.
This year, the Santa Clarita Marathon will take place Nov. 3-4 and will add a 10K run. The race already holds a full marathon, half marathon and 5K, but now runners get more options, said city Communications Specialist Kevin Strauss.
“For people that want to run the middle distance between a half marathon and a 5K, this is definitely a great opportunity,” Strauss said. “It may still be a challenge for those who want to do more than a 5K, but it’s still less than the distance of a half.”
The races will also be split over two days, a departure from previous years.
The 5K and 10K will be on Saturday, Nov. 3, while the half marathon and marathon will be on Sunday, Nov. 4.
There is also a new Mayor’s Walk event, where community members can walk the same 3.1-mile distance as the 5K but take a different route. Mayor Laurene Weste is slated to attend to chat with community members along the way, Strauss said.
There will also be a health and fitness expo in the Westfield Valencia Town Center parking lot open all day on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The marathon and half marathon course this year also takes runners over the Iron Horse Bridge. All events will start and end on Magic Mountain Parkway.
Carl Pandoji, a board member of the Santa Clarita Runners Club, plans to do the half marathon on Nov. 4. However, this year he’ll have more of his clubmates running due to the addition of the 10K.
“I think it’s awesome that the 10K is happening this year,” he said. “It covers more runners. It gives opportunities to those who someday want to run a marathon and is a stepping stone.
“Usually what happens is someone runs the 5K, and then their next goal is to run a 10K,” he said. “Now they’ll get to do that!”
Pandoji estimates that about 100 to 150 members from the club will participate in all races, with others volunteering to help with registration.
The marathon was originally started by local running clubs in the Santa Clarita Valley in the late 1990s, Strauss said. A few years later, the city began officially sponsoring the community event and has been doing so for around 20 years.
Last year, the city saw 3,108 runners registered for the races, Strauss said.
With three months to go until the races, there are a little over 800 registered runners, which is a 38.7 percent increase compared to August 2017’s registration numbers, he said.
Interested participants can go to scmarathon.org for more information.
Official race bibs and timing chips will be available at the health and fitness expo the day of the event. Marathon participants are required to be 16 years or older on race day.