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04.29.09

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Phaedra

Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
CROSSING AGAINST THE LIGHT: Great race competitor Chris O'Neal makes the turn from Highway 9 onto North Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos.

A Great Day

By Felipe Buitrago


THERE ARE some pretty great foot races out there—some longer, some shorter, some with hills, others that are flat—but none quite as great as the "Great Race" on Highway 9 from Saratoga to Los Gatos. Last Sunday (April 26), the Great Race celebrated 32 years of running on that stretch of highway. Former Saratoga Mayor Bill Glennon established the race with the sole objective to prepare runners for a marathon. Entrants would start from both ends of the course simultaneously and cross each other midway through. This format quickly instilled friendly competition between the communities.

Nowadays, a shuttle transports runners to and from the start both before and after the race, but the competitiveness has not diminished. Instead of hoping to boast the fastest runner, however, communities now focus on which one can sign up more runners. And for more than 30 years, there have been more and more participants from all ages, who show up for a variety of reasons, from training for a marathon to spicing up the morning jog with a stroller. One could say that there is plenty of motivation alone in running the race, but with the Fun and Fitness Fair that follows and a nice stack of pancakes, it's hard to resist being a part of a such a great event.

 

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