Runners, joggers and walkers of all ages are gearing up to roll through the streets of South Pasadena for Saturday’s Tiger Run featuring a 5K, 10K and fun run for kids.
Entry fees for the 8 a.m. start benefit the South Pasadena High School Tiger Booster Club, with funds going to SPHS clubs, activities and campus sports.
“It’s a community engagement, health and wellness opportunity in addition to it being a major fundraiser for the Booster Club,” explained Race Director Jose Zavala. “It culminates in a celebration for the city.”
The first half of the 10K covers the same ground as the 5K, mostly along a flat surface, with the second half stretching over a challenging, hilly course in the higher elevations of the city. The Cub Run will send elementary age children around the South Pasadena High School track.
A year ago when COVID-19 was in a tailspin, taking its toll on thousands across the nation, the Tiger Run went virtual. Instead of the usual 600 to 700 runners and walkers weaving their way through the city’s tree-lined streets, nearly 300 took part online, running one of the two courses, many documenting the unusual experience through pictures, before uploading them onto Facebook and Instagram for others to see.
While it wasn’t the live event hundreds had hoped for on account of coronavirus, Zavala said he’s grateful for the support received by those who turned out for the event, all willing to give back.
“It shows the care and concern that so many people have in our community to continue to make the Tiger Run successful,” he said after it was over. “All those who took part received a T-shirt, but it was really more about philanthropy and everyone’s willingness to help make a difference.”
Major volunteer support comes from the high school Associated Student Body (ASB) and Skills USA, which direct runners along the two courses. They will be joined by a host of volunteers, including members of Aztlan Athletics Foundation, an organization launched by Zavala, ensuring the event’s success.
The City of South Pasadena has been the co-sponsor of the event for more than 20 years. “The law enforcement, fire department and the public works department all do a great job,” added Zavala.
So far, 610 participants have registered for this year’s event, according to the race director. Top for the best-ever turnout is 720.
“It’s an important event for the community, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Zavala, whose children are homegrown in South Pasadena, attending local schools. “Because of that, the Tiger Run is special to me. It’s been almost two year’s since the last one and I want to thank those who are coming out to support it.”
The race, like in the past, will start on Diamond Avenue, in front of the school’s two gymnasiums at 8 a.m. New this year, the finish line will be set-up in the same location as the starting area, not on the school’s track.
The SPHS Boosters Club continues to register runners for Saturday’s Tiger Run at sptigerrun.com, connecting to the registration link. The cost is $45 per person, which includes a T-shirt. The Cub Run is $20. Early registration at the school for new participants starts Saturday at 6 a.m.