Saturday morning’s weather was about 59 degrees and cloudy, perfect for running the Fountain to Falls race that kicked off the start of the festivities for Monrovia’s 125th anniversary.
Simon Cooper won the race, finishing the circuit from to in 43 minutes, 15 seconds. Monya Moyer was the first woman finisher at 51:53.
"For an old guy, it feels pretty good!" Cooper said. "I don’t usually win a lot of races."
Cooper planned to celebrate with a free massage at Kevin Mercado’s Launch Sports booth.
"This was a lot of fun. The city did a great job," he said.
The Fountain to Falls route was originally mapped out by Jeffrey Ramos, who worked with city officials and volunteers to develop it for an Eagle Scout project in November. Saturday’s round-trip race marked the first time the route had been run on Monrovia Day.
"This is something we’ve never done before. It’s amazing how many faces I’ve seen this morning," Councilman Tom Adams said.
Adams estimated that he’d seen people of all ages ranging from 4 to 85, either participating in the race, or cheering on the runners.
"Canyon Park is one of Monrovia’s gems. This gives a lot of people the opportunity to perhaps see it for the first time," Adams added.
Dan Bell of the city manager’s office helped organize the event, and said 302 people had preregistered for the race, and 280 signed in to run or walk the route at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
"Monrovia’s all about community. That’s what this is. It brings folks out; it brings them together, whether they’re going to finish in one hour or four hours," Bell said.
Runners had access to at least three water stations along the way, including one on the trail at Canyon Park. There was also a station with water and orange slices to greet the runners at the finish line.
"We’re here to try to give back to the community," said Kevin Mercado of Launch Sports. Mercado and his staff helped by handing out some of the orange slices at the water station. They also offered stretching, icing, treatment of injuries, and complimentary massages, and distributed water bottles with coupons for free massage or therapy consultations at their rehabilitation center.
A Snails Pace, which is slated to open July 1 on Myrtle and Walnut, was also present on the other side of the fountain, handing out $5 gift certificates and information about their store.
Tracy Miller, of , estimated that about 40 people from her gym were running in the race.
"Anything that’s involved with fitness, we’re going to be a part of that. It’s something we love and find it important to be a part of, " said Brad Boli, owner of CrossFit Monrovia.
Miller said they were also planning to celebrate by enjoying pancakes after the race. Pancakes were also being served up by the , which was hosting the breakfast on Lemon Avenue during and after the race.
Eric LeClair, owner of Team CrossFit Academy, was also there to cheer on the runners, including fellow members of the Arrogant Bastards Trail racing club.
Moyer, the women’s champion, and Lori Zanteson, the third woman across, are also in the trail racing club, LeClair said.