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Spirit Run starts with 10k race at 8 a.m. tomorrow

Rotary Club sponsors 16th annual event to raise money for scholarships

The Rotary Club of Pleasanton's traditional Father's Day Spirit Run gets under way downtown tomorrow with the first run--the popular 10k--stepping off under the Arch sharply at 8 a.m.

This will be the club's 16th annual Spirit Run, which annually draws more than 1,200 runners to participate in 10K or 5K competitions as well as a kids' race.

The 10K run will be followed by the 5K at 8:30. The courses wind through Pleasanton neighborhoods, the Alameda County Fairgrounds and on trails along the Arroyo del Valle.

There is a race or walk event for every member of the family, including the 5K run or walk, or the 10K run. In addition, there will be three separate Kids' Challenge Races--for children ages 2-8.

The 5K and 10K certified courses are flat and fast, using the monitored downtown streets of Pleasanton and a portion of the paved and un-paved Arroyo del Valle trails. The start and finish lines are located under the Pleasanton Arch on Main Street. The Kids' Challenge is a 100-yard dash on Main Street, finishing underneath the arch.

Trophies will go to the top finishers in the men's and women's categories. These will include etched-glass trophies to those 40 or older. Medals will be awarded to specific age groups with the added bonus of a ribbon and a cookie from "Mr. Cookie" for every child competing in the Kids' competition.

Last year's winning times in the 10K competition was 34:39 in the men's event, and 39:30 for the women's. In the 5K, the winning time was 15:52 in the men's event and 18:56 in the women's.

Pre-registration fees are $25 for adults and high school students; $15 for school grades kindergarten through eighth, and $5 for the Kids' Challenge event. For families of four or more, the fee for either the 10K or 5K is $15 per entry. On race day tomorrow, all fees are $5 more.

All participants will receive at commemorative T-shirt and goodie bag, as well as refreshments and a ticket for an after-race raffle.

Proceeds go to support the Rotary Club of Pleasanton's scholarship program. In the last 10 years, more than $280,000 has been raised for scholarships that are awarded after an application and interview process to deserving Pleasanton graduates who need financial help to attend college. In 2008, 24 students from the four Pleasanton high schools received scholarships.

To register online, sign on to www.spiritrun.com. For information about the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, go to www.pleasantonrotary.org.

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