Rain delay clears way for American Martyrs 5K in Manhattan Beach

Race Director Brian Tinker brings the AMS 5K into the e-bike era with an e-bike “pace car.” Photo by Cory Campbell/AMS Yearbook
by Kevin Cody

The clouds didn’t part, and the sun didn’t shine following Monsignor John Barry’s invocation on behalf of the 43rd Annual American Martyrs 5K. But the rain did abruptly stop, allowing the nearly 400 registered runners to race from their Easy-Up shelters in the school yard to the Laurel Avenue starting line.

Heavy rain and gale force winds that were forecast prompted cancellation of most outdoor events on Saturday, including the Bruce’s Park plaque dedication, and even the Lanakila Classic Outrigger Canoe Regatta. But the only accommodation AMS 5K race director Brian Tinker made for the weather was to move the Wellness Expo inside, to O’Donnell Hall, following the race.

No one disputed the decision. Times were fast, despite runners having to dodge puddles.

Course Monitor John Keller said the closest AMS 5K he’s seen was when two front runners played Paper Rock Scissors to decide who would cross the finish line first. This wasn’t one of those years. Both the women’s and men’s division winners were a minute ahead of the second place finishers.

Lindsay Wandzilak, of Manhattan Beach, beat her winning time from last year by 11 seconds, to win the women’s division in 17:49. Lance Capel, of Torrance, won the men’s division in 16:00, just three seconds behind last year’s winning time. Both Wandzilak and Capel finished second in last November’s Manhattan Beach 10K.

This year, for the first time, the “pace car” was an e-bike ridden by Tinker. The pace e-bike, donated by Strand E-bikes in Hermosa Beach, was raffled off among the runners at the end of the race.

For complete results visit RaceWire.com. Search for 43 Annual AMS 5k. ER


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