David Mendez

Super Bowl 10K Traditions hold in 40th Annual Redondo 10K

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Megan Csabai strikes a pose after learning that she, her mother Kimberly and brother Connor, won the Costume Contest’s Small Group division. Photos by David Mendez

by David Mendez

Though 2018 was a year of celebrating throwbacks at the 40th Annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K race, a new overall champion – and Beach Cities native – took the 10K crown.

Charley Penrose, Nate Winer, and Vince Di Franco celebrate after Penrose and Winer took bronze and gold medals in the men’s 85-plus and men’s 80-84 divisions, respectively.

Former Redondo Union High runner Simon Schmidt, 25, with a time of 31:17, outpaced Stewart Harrell, 32:02, of Redondo Beach, and Daniel Sorenson, 32:07, of Long Beach, to win the 10K. Schmidt also ran at UC Berkeley, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Redondo Union High alumnus Simon Schmidt (in blue, at left) and Stewart Harwell, of Redondo Beach (in black, second from right), stayed with the front pack, before pulling away to finish first and second in the 10K. Photos by Ray Vidal

Mariel Mendoza of Los Angeles won the women’s 10K with a time of 37:13, beating out Karen Edmonston of Redondo Beach (38:29), and Lidia Garcia of Pasadena (38:37). Mendoza finished 18th overall, while Edmonston and Garcia finished 31st and 32nd overall, respectively.

Mariel Mendoza, of Los Angeles, won the women’s 10K in 37:13

Tonny Okello, of Los Angeles, won the 5K Run/Walk with a time of 15:46, ahead of Phillip Gonzales of Arcadia 16:06), and Jaques Sallberg of Pasadena (16:28).

Tony Okello, of Los Angeles, won the Men’s 5K in 15:46

Kristen Leetch of Redondo won the women’s 5K with a time of 18:43, and was eighth overall. Cambria Wu of Torrance took second in 19:12, followed by Tania Fischer of Santa Monica, in 19:12. Wu and Fischer finished 11th and 13th overall.

The event was dedicated to celebrating its legacy. Runners sporting their First Annual Super Bowl Sunday 10K shirts from 1979 gathered for photos and drawings and were given jackets celebrating their longevity.

Among the honorees awarded a 40-year jacket was 75-year-old Mike Reis, who began running the race as part of a plan to get healthy after a bout with hepatitis in the 1970s. He’s run it every year since and used it to build up to half-marathons and full marathons.

Nicholas McGee, of Redondo Beach, (in black, second from right) earned his place up front by finishing 45th overall, among more than 3,000 runners in the 5K, with a time of 21:13

Reis has toned his races down over the years (“My body told me if I kept that up, it was going to rebel,” he said), but he’s added Debbie Reis and Lou Bastiaans, his daughter, and son-in-law, to his running crew.

Three friends stood closely near the results table, as they gathered medals from their races. Nate Winer, 82, Vince Di Franco, 77, and Charley Penrose, 86, finished the 5K together. Winer stood with gold around his neck, leading the 80-84 men’s division, Penrose had bronze, taking third in the men’s 85-plus ranks, while Di Franco took a swig from his Michelob Ultra, laughing with his friends.

Winer, of Palos Verdes Estates, finished with a time of 33:20, though this year he spared himself of competing in the 10K. In 2017, he took both events in his age division.

“I’m just delighted to be here. I had a medical problem a few months ago, and I dropped 13 pounds — and not intentionally,” Winer said. “I started running again a few weeks ago, and I didn’t even expect to be here.”

The annual Costume Contest did not disappoint either, particularly for the Csavai family, who won the Small Group prize. Dressed in costumes inspired by the Average Joe’s from the 2004 film ‘Dodgeball’, Kimberly, Connor and Megan Csabai were delighted to take home their trophy.

“It’s our first time for everything! First time running, participating, dressing up – even our first Uber ride here,” Kimberly Csabai said. “We wanted to do it because we’re the underdogs, just the three of us.”

Full race results can be found at Redondo10K.org.


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