Randy Angel

Runners celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early

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More than 1,500 runners and walkers hit the streets of Redondo Beach Sunday for the Village Runner St. Patrick's Day 5K. Photo by Elyse Angel

More than 1,500 runners and walkers hit the streets of Redondo Beach Sunday for the Village Runner St. Patrick’s Day 5K. Photo by Elyse Angel

It may have been two weeks away, but St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated Sunday by more than 1,500 runners/walkers who participated in the annual 5K race hosted by Village Runner and sponsored by Hennessey’s.

Eulogio Rodriguez, of Whittier, captured the Village Runner St. Patrick’s Day 5K with a time of 15 minutes, four seconds. Photo by Randy Angel

Eulogio Rodriguez, of Whittier, captured the Village Runner St. Patrick’s Day 5K with a time of 15 minutes, four seconds. Photo by Randy Angel

Eulogio Rodriguez, 29, of Whittier won the race with a time of 15 minutes, four seconds. Jon Megeff, 49, of Rancho Palos Verdes beat Humberto Sanchez, 37, of Redondo Beach by ten seconds to secure second place with a time of 16:25.

Maria Castaneda, 27, of Los Angeles was the first female to cross the finish line at 16:35, outpacing Megan Satterfield, 14, of Granada Hills (20:27) and Kristina Fernandez, 26, of Manhattan Beach (20:35).

“I was never the best in high school. Every year I have improved and at 29 I am beating the runners who once beat me,” Rodriguez said. “The course has slight hills but nothing too challenging. It’s a nice course and my first time being out here. The little bit of prize money will help as I prepare to run a 5K in a track meet next week.

Castaneda is a Pasadena Run With Us TC teammate of Rodriguez, and was pleased with her win.

“This is my first time I’ve run this race,” Castaneda said. “My boyfriend was running in it so I decided to join him. When I jogged the course, it was a little confusing but once the race started it was clearly marked. I took the lead today at the half-mile mark and pulled away. I liked running with the view of the ocean.”

Male division winners included: Drake McKechnie (Redondo Beach, 1-8, 22:42), Leon Sandcastle (Kansas City, Kansas, 9-12, 19:45), Martin Plascencia (Palmdale, 13-17, 19:16), Andrew Raffey (Rancho Palos Verdes, 18-24, 17:07), Rodriguez (25-29), Matthew Parlee (Lawndale, 30-34, 18:10), Sanchez (35-39), Aaron Morgan (Long Beach, 40-44, 18:34), Megeff (45-49), Jose Ricardo (South Gate, 50-54, 19:23), Denny Nivens (Hermosa Beach, 55-59, 19:48), Paul Rowe (Manhattan Beach, 60-64, 24:03), Steve Notaro (Torrance, 65-69, 21:03), Michael Moore (Riverside, 70-74, 27:03), Frank Green (Hermosa Beach, 75-79, 26:38) and Dick Windishar (Manhattan Beach, 80-99, 34:57).

Females winning their respective age groups included: Vivian Reha (Redondo Beach, 1-8, 24:16), Peyton Heiden (Redondo Beach, 9-12, 22:42), Satterfield (13-17), Alexa Ault (El Segundo, 18-24, 25:13), Castaneda (25-29), Tami Lumbatis (Redondo Beach, 30-34, 23:05), Sara Bennett (Redondo Beach, 35-39, 22:04), Erica Buck (Rancho Palos Verdes, 40-44, 22:58), Roberta Clark (Torrance, 45-49, 22:02), Kelley Matthews (Redondo Beach, 50-54, 24:37), Eileen Kadowaki (Hermosa Beach, 55-59, 23:47), Terry Yarian (San Pedro, 60-64, 25:08), Sue Reinhardt (Rancho Palos Verdes, 65-69, 27:02), Johanne Mulligan (Redondo Beach, 70-74, 40:04) and Lois Calhoun (Redondo Beach, 75-79, 30:48).

Maria Castaneda ran away from her nearest competitor to win the women’s title with a time of 16:35. Photo by Randy Angel

Maria Castaneda ran away from her nearest competitor to win the women’s title with a time of 16:35. Photo by Randy Angel

Mike Ward, race director for the St. Patrick’s 5K Walk/Run, honored Chase Stecyk’s memory by renaming the Kid’s Dash the Chase Stecyk Leprechaun Dash for Gold.

Stecyk, who grew up in Redondo Beach, was just eleven years old when he died tragically of a tumor that paralyzed him from the waist down.

“In honor of Chase, I have decided to do the Kids’ Dash t-shirts in Kelly Green,” Ward said.

Kids winning their age groups were Luke Ebarb (Hermosa Beach, 4-5), Katherine Jacoby (Redondo Beach, 6-7), Evan Herr (Redondo Beach, 8-9) and Ella Fletcher (Los Angeles, 10-12).

A portion of the proceeds from the 5K race will go to local schools and the Firefighter’s Community Relief Fund. Complete results are available at villagerunner.com.