More than 2,000 people competed in the 16th annual Keep L.A. Running charity event at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey Sunday, July 12th, a 25 percent increase in registrations from the previous year.
The Keep LA Running 5K run/walk, 10K run, kids dash, and coastal bike cruise raised funds for charities including the Pediatric Oncology Ward at County USC Women and Children’s Hospital, the Harbor UCLA Medical Center Neonatal Ward, and the L.A. County/SEIU Local 660 Emergency Relief Fund.
“This was our most successful event in the history of Keep LA Running,” said Alejandro Stephens, founder and chairman of the event.
Ruben Ramirez, 23, of Chino captured the men’s 5K title in 15 minutes, 7.3 seconds, the second-fastest winning time in the history of the event. He won comfortably over 19-year-old Ryan Williams of Burbank who finished second in 15:24.5.
In the women’s 5K, Daniela Alonso of Los Angeles set a blistering pace and finished in a course record 17 minutes, 18 seconds.
“I like this race and I like this course,” said the 28-year-old winner who captured the 10K title last year. Grace Padilla of Los Angeles finished second in 17:35.9, and Laura Conley of Woodland Hills placed third in 18:25.0.
Brian Livingston of Los Angeles, who finished second in the 10K last year, took an early lead and was able to hold off Ramirez and last year’s winner and course record holder Sergio Reyes of Palmdale. Livingston clocked 30 minutes, 53.0 seconds, while Ramirez was timed in at 31:04, and Reyes in 31:07.5.
Though she had not raced since last October, Christine Bolf of Culver City took a considerable lead in the women’s 10K and won in 36:16.5. Kristabel Doebel-Hickock of Marina del Rey placed second in 36:38.6, and Alonso placed third in 37:31.2. Alonso won the race last year, when Bolf finished third.
Former world record holder Henry Rono of Kenya and 1936 Olympian and World War II hero Louie Zamperini acted as honorary starters for the races, which attracted many celebrities and elected officials. Rono, who was the event’s official spokesperson, also competed in the 5K run, finishing third in his age group.
U.S. representative Maxine Waters, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, California Assembly members Mike Eng, Charles Calderon, Tony Mendoza and Anthony Portantino were on hand to cheer the competitors on.