2017 Year in Review: Beach Sports
Stewart Harwell dominated podium in local races
by Randy Angel
Since moving to Redondo Beach in 2014, Stewart Harwell has made a name for himself among elite South Bay runners by finishing first or second in all five local, signature races in 2017.
The 33-year-old former distance runner at UC Santa Barbara began the year with a second-place finish in the 39th Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10 in February. He won the event in 2016. With a time of 33 minutes, 32 seconds, Harwell was sandwiched by a pair of runners from Torrance. David Cardona sprinted to victory with a time of 32:09 and Carson Bix placed third at 33:37.
Former Mira Costa star Savannah Pio was the first female to cross the finish line at in the Redondo Super Bowl race, in 38:43.
In March, Harwell was the first runner to emerge from the fog and cross the finish line captured in the 14th annual Village Runner St. Patrick’s 5K, with a time of 15:25.
“It was great racing conditions,” Harwell said after the race. “We went out fast but I caught the leader at a mile, and I’m so excited to win this race. It’s such a great community event and has that small-town feel right here in LA.”
Harwell had another runner-up finish at the Village Runner 4th of July 5K when he was edged out by Juan Paredes, of East Los Angeles, who finished in 15 minutes flat, only nine seconds ahead of Harwell.
On September 9, Harwell got back on the winning track dominating the LA Kings Beach Cities 5K with a time of 15:32, well ahead of El Segundo runner Rick Weiss (17:44) and Redondo Beach’s Michael Cortez (19:38).
The event was hosted by the Kings Care Foundation. It benefited the Hydrocephalus Association and attracted 536 entries in the 5K and 155 runners in the 10K race. Kings veterans and radio analyst participated in the race.
Harwell capped off the local running season with a victory at the 40th Manhattan Beach 10K on October 7. He led a field of 3,323 runners, with a time of 32:10 seconds.
“I had always wanted to run in the race and the timing was finally right for me to be able to compete,” said Harwell, a member of the Club Ed running team. “I knew there were many good runners like David Cardona in the race, which got off to a fast start. I kept looking over my shoulder and really pushed it with a mile to go so I wouldn’t have to sprint to the finish line. It’s a challenging course, especially at mile five going up the hill at Rosecrans Avenue.
“I ran the mile in college at UCSB, but I wasn’t satisfied with my college career. I’ve gotten much better in my running as I’ve gotten older and competing against these younger guys. I had a nagging injury for years and two years ago I had a nerve cut out of my foot which has helped.”