Dolores Valencia threw her hands up as she crossed the finish line at the Santa Clarita Marathon on Sunday, breaking the tape for the third time.
“It feels fantastic,” she said, smiling.
This was the 55-year-old’s third Santa Clarita Marathon win. She, like many others, traveled to Santa Clarita for the race.
“I love this course, so I keep coming back,” she added.
San Fernando Valley resident Carlos Larios, who won first place in the half marathon, agreed and said he has run it multiple times, placing third or fourth in years past.
“I love the course. It’s very nice,” he said. “The hardest part is the first eight miles — it’s kind of uphill. The last four or five miles downhill was great. It was a cool-down for me.”
Larios said he had to push himself the last couple of miles and did his best to keep up mentally and physically to finish strong. “I’m really happy.”
Others were local, including marathon winner Timmy Kahovec. Not only is Santa Clarita Kahovec’s hometown, but he’s also the running coach at Trinity Classical Academy.
“I had to protect my home turf,” he said, adding that running with his students helped him train. “My whole family was here cheering me on.”
Santa Clarita resident Jessica Duran ran the half marathon with her sister this year.
“I do halves, and then I do one full (marathon) a year,” she said, adding that she’s traveled as far as New York for races. “I really enjoy them and running — it’s super fun.”
Employees from Northeast Valley Health Corp. in Valencia participate in the race together every year.
“We use it as a fundraising opportunity to help support our patient programs,” said Rosa Guerrero, director of public relations. “This is our ninth year participating. We had about 65 employees in the race.”