The 17th annual—Keep L.A. Running—charity 5K run/walk, 10K run, kids dash, and coastal bicycle cruise will be held at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey Sunday morning, July 11.
The event aims to raise money for a variety of charities and promote a healthy lifestyle, as well as to attract quality runners, an event spokesperson said.
Legendary South African runner Zola Budd Pietersee, who accidentally collided with American Mary Decker in the 3,000-meter final at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and Louie Zamperini, a World War II hero who is believed to be the oldest living U.S. Olympian at 93, will be the spokespeople for the charity race. Pietersee is the honorary starter for the 10K run, while Zamperini is the honorary starter for the 5K event.
Pietersee will also run the 10K. This the first time she will run in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics, when she ran barefoot in her race with Decker, though she will not run barefoot in this event.
Melanie Brown, formerly of the Spice Girls musical group, plans to run in the 10K race and will serve as the honorary event host, the event spokesperson said.
For the third straight year Keep LA Running will award prize money to the top three finishers in the 5K and 10K runs for both men and women. The winners will receive $250 each, second place finishers will earn $150, and third place runners will receive $100 each.
The Keep L.A. Running 5K has been won in the past by top runners such as Steve Scott, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Kenya’s former NCAA champion Fredson Mayiek, Ceci St. Geme and Christian Hesch.
Keep LA. Running has raised over $1 million for its beneficiary charities over the years and is organized by the Emergency Disaster Relief Fund. Among the other charities that will benefit from this year’s event are the Pediatric Oncology Service, and Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center, the event spokesperson said.
The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the 10/20-mile coastal bike cruise, which winds south from the start on the bike path along the ocean. The 5K Run/Walk will begin at 8 a.m., with the 10K beginning at 8:30 am.
Youngsters will be able to participate in the kids dash, which begins at 9:45 a.m.
For race information and event registration, /.