Marathon back on track

Marathon back on track

By Andre Coleman , Kevin Uhrich 03/19/2009

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After canceling the first Pasadena Marathon in mid-November due to smoke and ash spewing from wildfires raging throughout Southern California, organizers are putting their best foot forward with another race, set for early Sunday morning.
 
The 26.2-mile foot and bike race will traverse the city, beginning and ending at Pasadena City College, near the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Hill Avenue. Sponsored in large part by Kaiser Permanente, the event also features a half marathon, a 5K race and fun-run and walk.
 
More than 8,000 people have registered to participate in the various events, just about the same number of people who registered for the marathon in November. 
 
“We have a few new sponsors and a whole new core of volunteers. We have been amazed at how well everything has gone. March is really a better month for marathon events,” said Li Minot, communications manager for Pasadena Forward, organizers of the Pasadena Marathon. Pasadena Forward, according to its Web site, is a nonprofit group that works to help other nonprofits get more efficient and better organized.
 
Along with the races, the event includes a number of related events, one of them a shoe drive to help the homeless two days prior to the race.
 
Everyone — not just marathon participants — is invited to donate still-good used running shoes to Union Station and get a free pair of socks (or 10 percent off any purchase at Run With Us, co-sponsor of the drive), plus a chance to win a pair of new shoes.
 
To participate, visit Union Station’s booth at the Health and Fitness Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center from noon to 5 p.m. Friday or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Convention Center is at 300 W. Green St.
In November, organizers canceled the event just two hours prior to the start time because of health risks posed by smoke in the air.
 
“We have two monsters going,” race medical director Alexander Espinoza, a doctor in the sports medicine department at Kaiser Permanente, told reporters at the time. “When we have heat plus poor air quality, it was going to be horrible.”
 
Cloudy skies are expected Sunday, with a 40 percent chance of showers, according to weather.com.

For more information, visit pasadenamarathon.org.

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