Approximately 3,000 runners competed in the 21st annual Village Runner 4th of July 5K. Photo by Randy Angel
D’Ann Arthur and David Cardona celebrate their overall championships. Photo by Randy Angel
Torrance distance runner David Cardona successfully defended his championship Friday at the 21st annual Village Runner 4th of July 5K, shaving more than one minute off his winning time at the 2013 race.
The 22-year-old Cardona – a former standout North Torrance High School, El Camino College and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – led the field of nearly 3,000 runners with a time of 15 minutes, eight seconds to claim his third 4th of July 5K title in five attempts, surpassing last year’s winning time of 16:12 and his mark of 15:20 in 2011.
Cardona held off a pair of Redondo Beach runners for the win as he followed the pace car from Land Rover South Bay. Chris Foster, 31, finished second at 15:25, edging Mark Tripp, 33, who crossed the finish line at 15:48.
“I had a rough track season so it felt good to get the wheels rolling again,” Cardona said. “I went out with the pace I wanted but he (Foster) went out fast. I slowly got him about 2 1/2 miles. It’s great to win in front of family and friends and the atmosphere is always great here.”
Running as Statues of Liberty were Ursula North (Rolling Hills Estates), Maya Hughes (Redondo Beach) and Abbie Fernandez (Redondo Beach). Photo by Randy Angel
Cardona, who said he gets his athletic genes from his father, who played baseball in El Salvador, and his mother who was a runner in Guatemala, is preparing for the Santa Barbara Lagoon race at the end of August and a half marathon in Las Vegas.
Redondo Beach’s D’Ann Arthur used her home course advantage to win the women’s crown with a time of 16:43. The 27-year-old defeated Kate Myers, 36, of Manhattan Beach (17:28) and Tracee Van Den Wyk, 22, of Temple City (17:34.).
“I live right off the course so I run it every day,” Arthur said. “The end is always the toughest when you’re really pushing it and, although there aren’t hills to contend with, there are changes in the surface which are challenging.”
Arthur, who moved to Redondo Beach in May, barely had time to accept her award before heading off to work at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where she is an Emergency Medicine resident.
Prior to the race Martha Watson, a member of four U.S. Olympic teams as a long jumper/sprinter, presented the inaugural “Pathfinder Award” award to Bob Larsen.
Former L.A. Kings standout and current broadcaster Daryl Evans finished the 5K after serving as official starter of the race. Photo by Randy Angel
Larsen coached the UCLA men’s track & field team to two NCAA Outdoor track and field titles (1987-1988) and coached UCLA distance legend Meb Keflezighi to a first-place finish at this year’s Boston Marathon, a win at the 2009 New York Marathon and a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics.
At the same Olympics, Larsen helped coach Deena Drossin Kastor to the bronze medal in the women’s marathon, the best marathon showing in U.S. history.
Larsen has won 11 Pac 10 Titles and Coach of the Year Awards, nine in track and two in cross country. He has received four National Coach of the Year Awards, three in track and one in cross country.
Larsen is the subject of a documentary film still in production called “City Slickers Can’t Stay with Me: The Bob Larsen Story.”
Redondo Beach Councilman Jeff Ginsberg and Mayor Steve Aspel welcomed the crowd before former L.A. King great and current radio color commentator Daryl Evans – who drew a round of applause from the many fans of the Stanley Cup champions – officially started the race before jumping in line and completing the 5K.
Males winning their respective age divisions were: Sequen Fermin (1-8, Los Angeles, 17:05), Nuke Lalouche (9-12, Durham, NC, 20:13), Jonathan Pinon (13-17, Los Angeles, 16:50), Cardona (18-24), Jordan Page (25-29, Los Angeles, 16:28), Foster (30-34), Humberto Sanchez (35-39, Torrance, 16:24), Naoki Kato (40-44, Torrance, 18:09), Evae Silva (45-49, Manhattan Beach, 17;13), Jon Megeff (50-54, Rancho Palos Verdes, 17:01), Rich Gust (55-59, Hermosa Beach, 18:04), David Chan (60-64, Palos Verdes Estates, 21:41), Steve Notaro (65-69, Torrance, 21:40), Matt Tarnas (70-74, Torrance, 25:27), John Spicoch (75-79, Los Angeles, 29:36) and Leroy Carter (80-99, Los Angeles, 30:57).
Females claiming age division titles were: Anna Chittenden (1-8, Manhattan Beach, 24:09), Savannah Gutierrez (9-12, Cranyon, 21:02), Kim Coscia (13-17, Torrance, 17:39), Van Den Wyk (18-24), Arthur (25-29), Lache Kamani (30-34, Long Beach, 19:19), Myers (35-39), Nathalie Higley (40-44, Redondo Beach, 18:22), Lisa Herman (45-49, Manhattan Beach, 20:02), Tova Reavis (50-54, San Diego, 22:05), Julia Fretschl (55-59, Hermosa Beach, 23:37), Sharon Lotesto (60-64, Torrance, 23:01), Sue Reinhardt (65-69, Rancho Palos Verdes, 28:21), Mary Alyce Elwell (70-74, Palos Verdes Estates, 33:12), Evelyn Curttright (75-79, Los Angeles, 39:51) and Marie Kopcho (80-99, Granada Hills, 1:04:17).
Complete results are available at racewire.com.
The next generation of running start competed in the Kids Firecracker Dash. Photo by Randy Angel