The Livermore-Granada Boosters' third annual "Race to the Flagpole" on Veterans Day run will be a good bit longer for some of this year's eager hoofers.
In addition to the one-mile fun run, a 5K run/walk, 10K run and a half-marathon are being added to the Nov. 11 events. Race Director Mike Nagel says feedback from past participants led to the expansion.
"This year we have some exciting changes to our venue," Nagel wrote in an email announcing the new features. "We hope to draw over 500 runners."
Proceeds from the run are directed to male and female varsity scholar athletes at Livermore and Granada High Schools. At a May banquet, four top winners will receive $2,000 scholarships and eight finalists will walk away with $500 awards.
During the first two years of the fundraising event's history, 200 runners participated and more than $5,000 was raised each year. By adding longer, competitive runs, Nagel and his fellow Boosters are hoping to increase the numbers across the board.
All participants receive a race T-shirt, post-race refreshments, and the thrill of dogging it for a great cause, he suggests. On race day, awards in the one-mile, fun run/walk will go to the top three finishers in each age division.
"I believe the age range has been from 4 years to 85 years young," Nagel says, about the community-friendly event that begins at 11 a.m. in Independence Park.
The fastest male and female runners of the three longer runs will also be honored on race day. Starting at different lines in Independence Park and winding through Sycamore Grove Park and the Livermore Valley's scenic wine country, the 5K, 10K and half-marathon begin at 9 a.m., moments after veterans raise the flag and sing the national anthem.
As tough as 13 miles of pounded pavement and trails may be, the big-time demonstration of strength and endurance will come from the scholarship recipients recognized in May. Selected for their outstanding academic, athletic and civic achievements, they prove that winning is more than speed. It's what happens when active, bright, young minds and bodies become a community's future.