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Don't Miss A 'Great Race' This Sunday

Popular 4-mile walk/run returns this weekend for its 35th year. Registration still available for those looking for fun, exercise and camaraderie.

For speed demons out there that like a relatively flat and fast course for short-distance running or power walking, the 4-mile Great Race is the perfect course.

The event, sponsored by the , begins at 9 a.m., Sunday, April 29 in Saratoga at 14420 Big Basin Way—between Third and Fourth streets—and follows scenic and ascending Highway 9 toward downtown Los Gatos for the finish on North Santa Cruz Avenue and Elm Street.

Los Gatos Rotary Great Race "starter" Joe Varozza will once again get the crowd excited for the race, whose proceeds benefit many worthwhile nonprofit charitable organizations. The popular service club has been sponsoring the event for the past 27 years, according to organizers.

A Fun and Fitness Fair and live entertainment will follow on Elm Street and Santa Cruz Avenue. Last year, more than 1,000 people registered for the event, but it attracted double that amount in so-called "bandit runners and walkers" who don't sign up and participate in the event without a bib number.

The race traces its roots to 1978 when Saratoga Mayor Bill Glennon challenged Los Gatants to compete for bragging rights based on number of participants from both towns. Fast forward 35 years, and the event continues to get residents in and around the two communities, including Monte Sereno, to have fun, enjoy the outdoors and burn a few calories.

Register online by clicking here, or register in person at Athletic Performance and Runner's Factory in downtown Los Gatos. The entry fee is $35 per person, with those registering more than three people in their families getting a fourth entry free. Registration closes by the end of the day, Friday, April 27.

Those with race confirmation tickets can pick up their dry fit T-shirt at Athletic Performance or Runners Factory in Los Gatos or The Running Revolution in Campbell. T-shirts can also be picked up after the race at the Fun & Fitness Fair.

The Great Race is once again sponsored this year by the Sereno Group, Cornerstone Shopping Center, El Camino Hospital Los Gatos, Filice Insurance, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Athletic Performance, Sportissimo, Runner's Factory, Whole Foods, the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, Body Sculpt By Laser, Massage Works Los Gatos and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Media sponsors include Patch, the , 95.3 KRTY,, KnewTV and Los Gatos Lifestyle Magazine.

Sheila Sanchez April 25, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Yes, indeed! I'll be waddling along Highway 9 with other Patchers. Keep in mind I'm recovering from an injury and 20 pounds heavier than April 2011, when I ran it with the wonderful Elizabeth Cilker Smith and her 10-year-old dog, Bella.
Jane Darwin April 25, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Well I am hoping to waddle too with all. Should be a great event!
Marguerite Palmer Padovani April 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM
so will i but i will be working at the Rotary Booth so please stop by and see us!
Randy Walden April 26, 2012 at 05:27 AM
My days of rollerblading the race are past, but stop by the Sereno Group booth after the race to obtain your shirt for registered runners only. This is a fun event and one that continues to grow every year. Thanks to all of the volunteers that make this a well run event.
Bobbi Mendenhall April 28, 2012 at 06:35 AM
I will be at the Athletic Performance on Saturday, April 28, between 1 and 4 pm signing folks up for the Great Race. Stop by to meet my little maltipoo dog, Lily, and me. Another Rotarian will be signing folks up at the Athletic Performance between 10 am and 1 pm, but I don't think he has a cute, friendly, bundle of love like Lily. :)

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