At the ripe old age of 11, Matthew Hall is already a veteran of almost every Santa Clarita Marathon.
The sixth marathon takes place Sunday, and it will be Matthew's fifth year of participating in one of its many events for the entire family. The student from Helmers Elementary School in Valencia will compete this year in a 5K run for children 12 and under, and he will work as a volunteer for other events, such as the noncompetitive Kid K Fun Run.
He said he got involved in running at the age of 6 because he wanted to see how fast he was. After discovering he could beat his previous time during each run, he was hooked. He plans to compete in cross-country events for kids in Nevada later this year and his long-range goal is to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
This year's Santa Clarita Marathon offers a variety of events for runners of all levels, including the Kid K Fun Run, the 5K Run/Walk for families and the full and half-marathons. The latter two require advance registration by calling (888) 823-3455 or logging on to www.scmarathon.org.
Participants will meet at the Valencia Town Center, where shuttle buses will take them to the course near Lang Station Historic Site in Canyon Country starting at 4 a.m.
A Finish Line Festival will take place at the Valencia Town Center from 7 a.m. to noon, featuring a pancake breakfast, the Good Times Jazz Band, an interactive kids concert by guitarist-vocalist Wendee and awards ceremonies. Every child who finishes the Kids K Fun Run will get a medal and a goody bag.
Santa Clarita Marathon will be held Sunday from 7 a.m.-noon at Valencia Town Center, Magic Mountain Parkway at Curtis Street. Entry fees: $15 for fun run, $45 for half marathon and $60 for full marathon. Call (888) 823-3455.