Tue07222014

Community

Running for the fun of it starts the new year right

Los Altos recreation coordinator Tamara Oskoui instructed a large crowd gathered for the New Year’s Day 5K Fun Run to begin 2013 with a safe race and to have fun.

Sporting new Christmas running gear and spiffy athletic shoes, local residents rang in the new year by participating in the Los Altos Recreation Department’s annual event.

For serious runners, the pain and soreness is hard earned but hopefully short lived. For first-timers, the event offers a noncompetitive atmosphere in familiar territory, supported by a chorus of friends yelling encouragement to finish.

“Runners on the right, walkers on the left, and dogs and strollers start last,” Oskoui instructed participants.

With stellar weather, the turnout of runners and bystanders awaited Los Altos Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw’s countdown from 10 to signal the start.

Local dignitaries ran the 4.5 laps around city streets to complete the 5K. City Manager Marcia Somers said it was a privilege to run with local residents, young and old, in the beautiful air.

With no formal registration required, experienced runners and those just out for the enjoyment intermingled at the starting line. Jeff Clark of Los Altos finished first in 17 minutes, 30 seconds. Lauren Spears of Santa Clara University was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 20 minutes, 28 seconds.

As runners rounded the Community Plaza at State and Main streets, some maintained their pace but others slowed for a quick orange slice or a banana supplied by Whole Foods Market of Los Altos.

Local Boy Scouts distributed water in plastic cups to sustain the runners.

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