Randy Angel

First time runners in 4th of July 5K emerge as race champions

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More than 2,000 runners competed in the 25th Village Runner 4th of July 5K. Photo by Randy Angel

In her first time competing in the event, Palos Verdes runner Kristy Legg captured the women’s division in one of the closest finishes at the 25th Village Runner 4th of July 5K. Photo by Randy Angel

By Randy Angel

Running in her first Village Runner 4th of July 5K in Riviera Village, Palos Verdes standout Kristy Legg captured the women’s division with a time of 17 minutes, 6 seconds edging Santa Monica’s Christine Bolf (17:06) in one of the tightest finishes in the event’s 25 years.

Legg, 28, is the cross country head coach at Marymount University after enjoying a successful career at Butler University.

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“Despite being a local race, it was my first time running in it and there was good competition on the women’s side,” Legg said. “As the race developed, I knew I had some work to do. I worked my way up to the front and managed to sneak in a win at the finish.

“I usually don’t run a 5K so I’m happy with my time and, of course, the win. I was nice step forward. The toughest part of the race is the second and third miles.”

Legg, who emerged as the women’s champion in last year’s Manhattan Beach 10, said she is looking forward to the race and repeating with the title.

Finishing 3rd in the women’s division with a time of 17:14 was Julia Budniak, 37, of Canoga Park.

Running in his first 4th of July 5K in Redondo Beach was Matthew Crowe, 28, of Marina Del Rey who captured the overall title with a time of 14:48 defeating more than 2,100 runners.

“It felt great and the course was terrific,” Crowe said. “Running along the water provided a nice view and the hills weren’t too devastating.

Anytime you can come out and accomplish a goal you set in running it feels special. Today it was to get the win.”

Crowe, who usually runs longer distances, drew confidence from his training. He set a personal best in the 5K (13:57.59) in May at the USATF Distance Classic.

“The key to victory was to keep applying pressure from the front,” Crowe explained. “The toughest part of the race was when I knew someone was sitting directly behind me for about 2 miles. In the 5K you have to have patience and sometimes just simply waiting for people to blow up is key.”

Matthew Crowe’s time of 14 minutes, 48 seconds was the best among more than 2,100 participants as the Marina Del Rey 28-year-old won the title by 10 seconds in his first appearance at the race. Photo by Randy Angel

Crowe, who had a partial scholarship at Florida Gulf Coast University, admits he wasn’t that great of a collegiate runner.

“I just love the sport and continued on learning and sticking with it,” Crowe said. “I think back in college I was running like 15:40 minute 5Ks. My summer goals are to get the proper base in for the upcoming track season. I want to make it to a USA national track event whether that’s USA Indoors or Outdoors. I will use any summer races as workouts and eventually do a proper 10K on the track.”

Crowe outpaced Jorge Jabaz, 32, of Anaheim (15:06) and Shimelis Abebe, 22, of Los Angeles (15:19) to claim the title.

“It was another great year and the weather was perfect,” Race Director Mike Ward said. “The view of the Pacific Ocean coastline looked like a postcard photo. Everyone looked like they were having fun.”   

Males winning their respective age groups included: Joaquin Figueroa (1-8, 25:12), Shoichiro Adachi (Redondo Beach, 9-12, 20:15), Nate Lantz (Rancho Palos Verdes, 13-17, 15:32), Abebe (18-23), Crowe (25-29), Jabaz (30-34), Ankur Tarneta (Los Angeles, 35-39, 16:50), Scott Mangers (Moorpark, 40-44, 17:35), Per-Johan Svenson (Florida, 45-49, 17:33), Jon Megeff (Rancho Palos Verdes, 50-54, 18:13), Rich Gust (Hermosa Beach, 55-59, 19:24), Chuck Kaminski (Manhattan Beach, 60-64, 21:48), Terry Alkana (Hermosa Beach, 65-69, 20-24), Steve Notaro (Torrance, 70-74, 22:08), Jeep Suddeth (Redondo Beach, 75-79, 33:45) and Nate Winer (Palos Verdes Estates, 80-89, 30:20).

Female age division winners included: Sakurako Adachi (Redondo Beach, 1-8, 26:56), Katy Orre (Redondo Beach, 9-12, 22:21), Nolan Gallagher (13-17, 17:15), Lexi Ceballos (Long Beach, 18-24, 19:53), Legg (25-29), Bolf (30-34), Budniak (35-39), Kristen Green (40-44, 22:00), Liz Guerrini (Long Beach, 45-49, 19:18), Lisa Herman (Manhattan Beach, 50-54, 21:03), Anna Slattery (Idyllwild, 55-59, 25:29), Julia Fretschi (60-64, 24:58), Linda Zukowski (Redondo Beach, 65-69, 33:40), Setsuko Abe (Palos Verdes Estates, 70-74, 31:08), Madeleine Tarney (Torrance, 75-79, 36:25) and Becky Taylor (80-89, 37:11).

For complete results, visit Racewire.com.


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