Thousands of runners and families pounded the pavement Sunday morning as part of the seventh annual Santa Monica 5000. The race took to the streets of Santa Monica to raise money to fund athletics in the Santa Monica-Malibu district-run schools.
The race was strategically placed near the ocean with the sunrise start of 7:15 a.m. to contribute to yet another remarkable experience for participants.
The 10K overall winner was Forest Braden (30:50.2), the 5K overall winner was won by Ben Bruce (14:25.0), and the 3K family walk was won by Henry Hume (15:20.5).
The top female finishers were Cheryl Smith (10K: 37:53.5), Tanya Zeferjahn (5K: 16:52.9), and Nicole Tampanaru (3K Family Walk:16:45.6). The 3K Kids Run was won by Dillon Edwards (15:21.6).
The Santa Monica 5000 teamed up with the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation again in order to provide students with adequate educational resources, among these includes the athletic department.
Due to major budget cuts in public education, one of the first departments and school-run organizations to suffer from the cuts are the athletics department.
However, for many Santa Monica-Malibu schools, athletics are an integral part of their curriculum and tradition.
Many of the schools are prized and highly revered for their sports teams; losing the teams would not only be a shame but would also take away an essential part of what has distinguished Santa Monica-Malibu high schools.
Last year’s event raised $47,000. This year more than $75,000 was raised.
However, this year, each school athletic team took an alternative approach by creating websites in order to raise money directly for their programs.
The organizers of the Santa Monica 5000, Brennan and Michelle Landner, met at a triathlon years ago and knew how important physical fitness is to a family and so the Santa Monica 5000 was created.
“(This whole event involved) a running community giving back to the new running community, which includes all the kids. The money goes to the schools and their athletic programs – it couldn’t be a better fit,” Michelle Landner said. “(The purpose of the event) was to get people moving, cultivate communities and to produce results in the community.”
After the run, participants enjoyed live music from the Samohi jazz combo at the Santa Monica Pier.