The Santa Clarita Marathon was hosted by Elite Sports California at Heritage Park on Sunday morning with almost 200 runners participating.
The city of Santa Clarita used to host a marathon but discontinued it in 2022 due to economic factors. This year, Elite Sports hosted a marathon in place of the one formerly run by the city.
Runners from various locations from Los Angeles and Ventura counties made their way to Santa Clarita’s Heritage Park to participate. The marathon had four categories: a full and half marathon, and a 10K and 5K.
The course ran along Santa Clarita bike paths. Runners slowly trickled in as they reached the finish line ecstatic to win their first medal ever or add to their collection. There were first-time runners and veterans who had run marathons for years.
Local resident and Hart High School student Alyssa Lee was among the numerous runners who ran a half marathon.
“I did it because my siblings all decided to do it, so I joined them,” Lee said. “I just stopped at the water stations to take a breather; it was really cold in the morning, but the last few miles felt like 10 miles. Other than that, it was awesome.”
Lee finished her half marathon in a little over two hours and credits her training with cross country for her success in completing the marathon.
Elite Sports California was founded by Bill Escobar in 2008. After the city of Santa Clarita discontinued the marathon Escobar decided to buy the internet domain names and host it himself, Escobar said.
“I hope to God everybody had a good time. We do this for fun. It’s a business, mind you, this is what I do for a living, it is business but … I want it to be fun. We’re out here to share the fun of fitness. It’s fun accomplishing a goal … so anybody who wants to come out here, knock yourself out, man,” said Escobar.
Nadya Nievera from West Los Angeles said this was her first marathon ever. She has participated in a number of sports such as triathlons, cycling and surfing. She chose to pursue running as a healthy lifestyle choice after she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, when she was 25 years old.
“It’s nice because it’s so easy to train. You just put on your running shoes, and you run out the door. It’s easier … (than) the other sports we do. It’s fun and it’s in a great community,” Nievera said. Now at 43 years old she completed her first half marathon with her husband Patrick Nievera.
Kim Tully from Westlake Village was another runner who first began her marathon journey in 2008. Tully said that her favorite part about running marathons besides choosing a healthy lifestyle is “you get to see the sceneries when you travel around and it’s a great time to be in your own head. I do it for me.”
Tully has run a total of 25 marathons and other races since she began. She finished the Santa Clarita Marathon in three hours and six minutes.
“I just love these local races. They (the host) make it so special. You come out here because you like it and … this is a really well-done race,” said Tully.
For the full race results: results.raceroster.com/v2/en-US/results/u44jzmjxywgq9bfy/results.