Annual 10-K race

Runners Kick Off Armed Forces Day

By Brian Covert
Headlight Feature Writer

For approximately 700 southern California runners, the Torrance Armed Forces Day celebrations held on Saturday, May 15, began with the “bang” of a starting gun, uproarious cheers and the resulting flurry of sportswear-clad bodies: The annual Armed Forces Day 10-K Run had once again kicked into gear.

Young and old runners alike joined together to compete for time, personal goals and for plain, old unmistakable fun as well. The crisp morning weather couldn’t have been better as the participants jaunted around the streets of northwest Torrance, amidst curious stares from passersby and drivers who got caught in the re-routing of local traffic.

If any runners’ spirits were sagging, they were surely soon lifted by a group of some 12 U.S. Marines from the
3rd ANGLICO who also took part in the 6.2-mile course, hoisting their symbolic flag and bellowing out military chants with gusto all the way to the finish line.

Although all runners who participated in the event deserve recognition, some of the top runners in their respective age groups included:

• 12 and under: Greg Flynn, 38:48 minutes; Priscilla Fuentes, 54:14 minutes
• 19 to 29: Julio Soto, 32:08; Jim Masterson, 32:10; Jamie Mitchell, 38:45
• 30 to 39: Charles Hodge, 34:02; Jean Jones, 42:54
• 40 to 49: Girts Ozolins, 36:02; Kathie Owen, 45:33
• 50 to 59: Gene Cook, 40:52; R. Ullrich, 43:00
• 60 to 69: John Nino, 43:49.

Participants in the run weren’t limited to just the South Bay area either, as was indicated by runners Orlando Rochelle of Los Angeles and Cyndie Ingram of Bellflower. As one who also took part in this festive event, it was with great delight that this writer had the chance to get involved in such a personally gratifying diversion with fellow human beings who make time out of their busy schedules to test their physical limits in action. It’s all worth it.

Proceeds from the Armed Forces Day 10-K Run went to Torrance City Hall and the Armed Forces Day Parade.