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Independence Day Classic combines fit with fun

Posted: June 27, 2008 10:21 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Raising money for local high schools while promoting healthy exercise and celebrating our nation's independence is the goal of the Independence Day Classic 5K race.

The 26th annual event will feature a 5K race, a 5K non-competitive walk and a Kids' K Fun Run, all hosted by the Santa Clarita Runners Club. Proceeds from the events support cross country and track programs at the six Hart district high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The high schools reciprocate by providing volunteer support for the race. Among other activities, the student volunteers work the water tables along the race course, direct racers at turns and serve refreshments at the finish line.

"A lot of the cross country runners from local high schools help out," said Santa Clarita Runners Club member Dave Berkey. "The coaches get volunteers from their teams."

Last year the race netted about $8,700, or about $1,455 per school. An additional $100 goes to the school that provides the highest number of participants in the School Spirit Competition.

The Independence Day Classic events will be run along the Fourth of July Parade route in Newhall, with the Kids' K beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K race and walk starting at 9 a.m. Each child who finishes the Kids' K will get a medal.

Prizes for the 5K race include sizable trophies for the overall male and female winners. Medals will be awarded for first, second and third place in each age category.

As well as individual participants in the race, there will be teams of five employees each from corporate sponsors. The winning team will receive a plaque and will earn the title of "Fastest Company in the Santa Clarita Valley."

The post-race awards ceremony will feature a raffle drawing with prizes including gift certificates, Dodger and Angel tickets, movie passes and more.

"People can come out to support the community, run in front of hundreds - maybe thousands - of spectators and to support our local high school track teams," Berkey said. "It's a fit and fun way to start your holiday weekend."

Pre-registration entry fees for the race and walk are $25, which includes a newly designed patriotic T-shirt. The Kids' K entry is $15, which also includes a T-shirt. There is a $5 additional charge for registering on the day of the race.

Entry forms are available online at and at On race day, registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. at Newhall Park, near the starting line at Dalbey Drive.


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