An estimated 1,100 runners participated Sunday morning in the Rotary Club of Pleasanton's 17th annual Spirit Run on Main Street including a 90-year-old who said it was his first time to join in the event.
The street was closed starting at 5 a.m. and by 6 a.m. Rotarians were busy moving their sound system, timing clocks and starting and finish line markers into place. Runners were there at 7 a.m., warming up and enjoying pre-race coffee and conversation in the Round Table Pizza parking lot.
At 8 a.m., runners in the 10K race lined up and the race was on. At 8:20, the 5K race began with Eli Ambrose, 90, at the front of the starting line. A first-time participant, he received a loud round of applause from other racers when he was introduced.
The Father's Day tradition has continued to grow as runners, families and kids participate in either a 10K or 5K run or the kids' challenge.
The courses wound through Pleasanton neighborhoods, the Alameda County Fairgrounds and on trails along the scenic Arroyo del Valle.
Proceeds go to support the Rotary Club of Pleasanton's scholarship program. In the last 12 years, more than $320,000 has been raised for scholarships to deserving Pleasanton graduates who need financial help to attend college.
Last year, Pleasanton Rotary awarded 21 scholarships ranging from $750 to $2,350 for a total of $24.400.
The run is sponsored by Sensiba San Filippo LLP, a Bay Area accounting firm with an office in Pleasanton.
The Rotary Club is continuing its practice of donating $5 per registration to Pleasanton schools when runners designate a group or school.