Dressed as famous superheroes, hundreds of runners participated in the 5k and 10k races Saturday on day one of the Santa Clarita marathon weekend.
This year, runners were encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes to align with this year’s theme of heroes.
Over the marathon’s timespan, it has grown from a small event to one that draws thousands of participants, according to Jeff Riggin, co-organizer of the Santa Clarita Marathon.
“Originally, there were only two events and now there are four including three extra days of expo,” said Riggin. “The city puts a lot of work into these races.”
For many runners in Santa Clarita, they all have their own reasons to explain their passion for the sport.
“I am running to keep in shape and for my health because in the last four years I have lost 40 pounds,” said Stephanie Viramonte, member of Santa Clarita Runners. “[The running community] is a supportive environment that helps each other.”
Runners in the 5k began promptly at 8 a.m. and the first runner, Trevor Sode, crossed the finish line with a time of 16 minutes and 32 seconds. Gina Johnson, the first female to finish, ended with a time of 20 minutes and 29 seconds.
Many runners who ran in the 5k also participated in the 10k. For runners who completed both races, they received an award for their accomplishment, according to Santa Clarita Marathon officials.
Around 9 a.m., runners set off on their 10k race. The first place runner was Michael Bennett who achieved a time of 37 minutes and four seconds. Christy Mallen placed first in females with a 42 minute and 34 second time.
Once runners finished their race, they were awarded medals. At the end of the runway, runners were able to snack on healthy snacks like oranges and bananas. These food stations were run by volunteers, just like many other aspects of the event.
Emily Chang, a West Ranch student and volunteer, chooses to specifically volunteer with the city instead of other volunteering opportunities because of the unity their events conjure.
“It is nice interacting with all the runners because there are so many different people you can meet,” said Chang.
After the race, runners were able to visit different vendor tents that provided free gifts and merchandise. The Dude’s Brewing Company supplied free samples of their beer to runners while other vendors like Kaiser Permanente administered free BMI screenings.
Sunday is day two of the Santa Clarita Marathon weekend, where over a thousand runners are expected to participate in the half and full marathon, according to Riggin.