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Sunday, July 10, 2016 | , ,

A Red, White, and (Club Ed) BLUE Fourth at the Village Runner 5K

Ed Avol & Various Club Members
The Village Runner Fourth of July 5K saw overcast skies, moderate temperatures, fast times, and lots of runners this year…and Club Ed Runners were in the hunt, by the dozens.

The annual event was preceded by presentation of a well-deserved Running Mentor/Coaching Award to El Camino’s Dean Lofgren, whom many of us have run for, trained with, or chased in races over the years. Additionally, the inaugural Pathfinder Award was presented to Kayla Montgomery, a woman who has literally fought with her body (challenged by multiple sclerosis since her early teens) to continue to race at a high and competitive level – after hearing Kayla’s story, it’s hard to justify many of our own trivial excuses for not running.

When the race gun fired, thousands charged the Redondo course. Almost 2100 runners crossed the finish line, with many of our Club Ed racers placing or winning age group divisional designations.

Highlights included:

·         Stewart Harwell showed us that all that sprinting around the track pays off, by finishing 3rd overall in 15:04;

·         Cheyne Inman served notice that he is on the comeback, running 16:17, good for 11th overall;

·         Aaron Munger demonstrated that chasing his young sons is helping his turnover, stepping out in 16:44 and finishing 18th overall;

·         Mark Shalvarjian gave all 5K runners a one-minute head-start by hanging out in the restroom when the race began, but he then proceeded to run most of us down from behind, zig-zagging his way through the pack to finish in 19:07;

·         Coach Ed thought he had “beaten” upcoming racer Evelyn Bahurinsky by passing her late in the race, not knowing that Evelyn was doggedly tracking him to the finish…and based on chip timing, Evelyn actually beat the Coach by 2 seconds;

·         Mitch Middler PR-ed by 50 seconds, moved to an older age group…and finished four places farther back in the new age group (proving once again older does not necessarily mean slower); Sue Reinhardt celebrated moving into her new age group (W70-74) by demolishing her competition and winning by five minutes;

·         Not to be outdone, the amazing Sharon Lotesto demonstrated that the new hip and mended meniscus are working just fine, winning her division by SIX minutes;

·         Speaking of new hips, phenomenal triathlete Bill Macleod paced the run in 20:57 – just FOUR MONTHS after his hip replacement (… judging from the racing of Sharon and Bill, maybe we all should consider hip replacements?);

·         Steve Notaro used a good luck kiss from wife Cindy to motivate himself to beat Marty Friedman in the M65-69 division (maybe we should all consider a kiss to motivate our racing?);

·         Tamar Gamliel finished in 21:05, 40 seconds faster than her St. Patrick’s Day 5K and just seven months post-baby #2;

·         Dave Boland, supported by the wild cheering of his four kids and wife, blazed in at 18:33, then returned the wild cheering as his kids ran in the assorted kiddie races that followed the 5K…

·         Patty Humphrey thought she ran a new PR 5k yet to find that based on chip timing, she was off by 40 seconds…

·         Lots more stories, lots of achievements, lots of praise for you all!

 For the record, the overall race was won by LA-based runner Juan Paredes in 14:50 (yes, 14:50!) on the Men’s side. On the Women’s side, Mexican National Team distance racer Ana Narvaez (17:13) brought home the Gold. (Club Note – Club Ed runners finished 3rd overall in both Men & Women’s Divisions -- Stewart Harwell [15:04], and Ali Kielty [17:56]). Complete race results can be found at http://my.racewire.com/results/32561/36717 .