LAH Pathways Run – 20 Years of History

The Los Altos Hills Pathways Run – race was started in 2002. Around this time, the LAH Pathways master plan was being updated by the town. It was a very contentious topic for the town as a majority of the Town Council at that time were on track to significantly degrade the future of the master planned pathways system for LAH. It was a rough and ugly time for the town as town wide hearings for the pathways planning included overflow rooms and buildings to host the meetings for hundreds. Wild meetings included everything from bomb threats and threats that required clearing the chambers for votes on the matter could be taken. The town council approved to move forward with a degraded pathways master plan going forward. But within 1 month, a referendum was created by pathway advocates, collected the required number of signatures that forced the town to reconsider/vote on the previously passed motion. Due to the exact timing of the previous council vote, brand new council members were elected removing those council members who voted for the original motion and the timing of referendum required action, the newly seated council members undid the previous council members passing of the motion and restored our master planned pathways system back on track.

To help LAH residents and other communities gain awareness and appreciate and DISCOVER our Pathways system, the Pathways Run/Walk event was created to show case some of our nicest trails and open space in Bryne Preserve. The Pathways Run/Walk is a celebration event for town and nearby communities to discover and enjoy our treasured pathways system.

As this page will show, the event has dramatically grown and evolved over the years into a signature event for the town and the local communities.

YEAR 1 -2002

In 2002, the first year’s graphic was a water color design by Ruth Abernethy. In those early days, the t-shirts were done by obtaining packs of iron transfers and putting that iron-on transfer onto beefy t-shirts that were printed in a home ink jet printer.

2002 LAH Pathways Run/Walk Logo Shirt Design

The course markings and flour was set up using a wagon or kids jogger that contained flour and signs. Originally for the first new years, the race was just a 5K and 1 mile kids fun run.

The original banner for several years was stretched between taller ladders and a simple table was used for water and awards.

2005 Race Course Setup – 7:30 AM Before race participants

The Pathways Run has numerous traditions that were started from the very first race event in 2002 to our current 2022 event.

One unique element is the coveted LAH Pathways First Place Trophies that are made to look like a LAH Pathways Post!

LAH Pathways Run /Walk 1st place trophies

Another long standing tradition is the pathways finishers medal. These medals are usually based on the graphic and theme for the particular year.

A small set of the many LAH Pathways Run Medals. The medal lower right is the 2002 medal.

Additionally, each year a special graphic and theme was created that varied from raising monies for a particular cause, saving bees, buying owl houses, planting poppies, or other basic nature awareness themes.

The Posters page link on this website will show all 20 of the various Pathways Posters from 2002 to 2022.

Year 2 – 2003

2003 Pathways Run Logo by Alex Atkins

2003 Start Finish line – We used a timing company with their own start/finish line for 2002 and 2003.

Year 3 – 2004 –

2004 Pathways run logo
In 2004 we created our own banner, and did our own timing, clock, etc.
Race Director announcing the start of the race

Year 4 – 2005

2005 Pathways Run Logo
Somewhere around 2005 we added the 10K event to the existing 5K and 1 mile fun run

2005 had a last minute theme of the “run-away bride”. This was based on the current topic of this person who ran away from a wedding from Vegas. Various bride themes and related costumes were worn by racers for this event.

run away bride themed costumes
Even horses!
Brides on the run

Year 5 – 2006

In 2006, we had local artist Rohit Saharwal do the logo image.

2006 Pathways Run Logo

Year 6 -2007

For 2007, we had Rohit do another graphic this year’s logo.

Year 7 – 2008 Pathways Run

This year, the graphic was collaborative effort between Ray Collins and Scott Vanderlip.

2008 Pathways Run Logo
Start of the 1 mile fun run – 2008
finish line 2008

Year 8 – 2009

2009 was the year of the poppy! That same year, the Los Altos Hills Poppy project provided seed packets to all LAH residents. The run continued the theme by offering a poppy based theme.

2009 Pathways Run Logo
2009 Pathways Run Start/Finish Line
5K/10 Start
2009 Pathways run start
2009 Start/Finish area

Year 9 – 2010 Event

This year the graphic was based on the two iconic oak trees at the top of the preserve.

In 2010, a new larger banner was created and LAH Town maintenance crews stepped into install the new, larger, wider and taller banner and provide more setup and trail marketing assistance.

Year 10 – 2011 Pathways Run/Walk

This year, it was the Love To Run theme – For all those that just love to run!

The graphic and marketing and awards were all about loving, fun and 60’s. Each finisher was given a daisy flower instead of a timing and awards.

Marketing images for the 60’s Love To Run Theme event

Year 11 – 2012

In 2012, we were running with the wind!

2012 Logo
2012 Start Line giving final race instructions
Runners of all ages and dogs out on the course

Year 12 – 2013

2013 the run was theme to raise money to build owl boxes in Byrne preserve. Some of these larger owl boxes still exist today in the preserve.

Give a Hoot!

2013 Pathways Run/Logo
An example owl box provided by run funds

Year 13 – 2014 – Pathways Tracking Guide

2014 Pathways Tracking Guide

Everyone has looked at field tracking guides that show foot prints of various animals in your local habitat! This guide offers some serious and also not so serious twists to that “tracking” on LAH Pathways. At the event, we offer getting foot track prints.

creating your own footie print
2014 Race Start

Year 14 – 2015 – Run Wild!

For 2015, the Run Wild refers to the Wild Flowers! The shirt is a colorful display of local wild flowers found on LAH Pathways. About this time, we upgraded our timing to “chip” timing with runners passing over maps that could easily and accurately record their time over the finish line.

Photo by Jitze Couperus of 2015 Race Start

Year 15- 2016 – Bee Friendly

In 2016, the theme was to BEE Friendly! We need to be friendly to our bees that help to pollinate our plants and our food.

2016 Bee Friendly Pathways Run Shirt

Save the bees, dress up like bee.. Bee Friendly in many ways!

Facebook Overview shot of 2016 Race
Race Start captured by Alice Sakamoto

For those that don’t know where this race occurs, Alice has done a great job photographing the start line from another point on the course. To the right of the barn is the start/finish line.

View from top of course about 1/4 to finish line,

Year 16 – 2017 – Drawing Therapy – Run Theme

We all need therapy these days and why not have a theme to help fill in the colored lines with colors in a calming way.

2017 Pathways Run/Walk logo – Drawing Therapy
Another Pathways Run Start photo by Alice Sakamoto

Year 17 – 2018 Home Run

Every run is a “home run” and right here at home in LAH it is a real home run!

This graphic is based on the Feel Good theme graphics with simple icon images and wording that has multiple meanings.

Home Run 2018 Shirt

Starting around 2018, we started to document our runs with another cool method and that was drones.

The drone video camera launching

Click on the link below to view the 2018 Video drone footage.

passing out awards at the awards ceremony
Runners are supported near finish line – Medals, shirts, running bibs, free food, smiles and sweat, something to remember the day with.
Hundreds of runners splitting off to run their 10K or 5K routes near the start

Year 18 – 2019 – Run-Sweet-Run in Cross Stitch

2019 was the year of the running sampler (cross stitch)
Another massive start for 2019 Pathways Race – Photo by Alice
Start of the Kids 1 Mile Fun run at 10:30 AM

Year 19 -Completely Cancelled!

In 2020-, we were ready to pull the trigger on thousands of dollars of designed shirts when Covid hit. We have already contracted for race timing and several hundred runners had already registered when Covid shut down everything in March 2019.

The graphic for the 2020 Race had been developed. The entire 2020 race was entirely canceled with no virtual run either.

Year 19 – 2021

2020/2021 Shirt design re-labled for 2021 and print small run event

In May 2021, covid restrictions still existed to a large degree so a LAH Pathways Run/Walk event was created that allow runners to go out and run/walk and record their own times and report it back to displaying on the website. Some 50-60 participants ran the race and ordered the 2021 Race Shirt and submitted their times.

Year 20 (20 Event) – 2022

Coming this May is the 20th live Pathways run event happening on May 7th 2022. This is a celebration of 20 years of Pathways run! Come out and get this 20th anniversary edition t-shirt!

2022 Pathways Run Logo