The Arizona Distance Classic takes place for the fifth year in Oro Valley at 7 a.m. Sunday, March 29, from the parking lots at Ventana Medical Systems.

Ventana’s Gregg Forszt, chairman of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce board, told a recent breakfast gathering that more than 1,800 runners and walkers, along with more than 1,000 spectators, have attended past runs.

Runners World has called the race “the hidden gem” in Arizona foot racing, he said.

The race includes a new wheelchair half-marathon at 6:55 a.m., the Valley of Gold Half Marathon at 7 a.m., the Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley 5-kilometer run and walk at 7:15 a.m., and a kids fun run at 10 a.m. All events start at Ventana’s property, 1910 Innovation Park Drive in Oro Valley.

Strollers and joggers are allowed to start at the back of the 5K. Pets are not allowed.

Booths are available for people who would like access to runners and fans. They’re priced at $250. “There are a couple left,” he said at the chamber breakfast.

Proceeds benefit the leukemia and lymphoma society. The Web site is

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