Will Rogers 5/10K Races in Pacific Palisades
A cool, cloudy start to the Fourth of July helped motivate 2,339 registered 5/10K runners as they set off down Alma Real, trying to set personal best times and win their age categories in the annual Will Rogers Run.
In the 10K Men’s division, Cosmo Brossy, 22, was first with a 34:18, ending Tonny Okello’s five year-reign as the 10K winner. Okello, 35, was second with a time of 34.31. (Okello holds the 10K course record of 31.21, set in 2014. His times in 2016, 2017 and 2018 are also the second, fourth and fifth fastest course times.) After the race, he told Circling the News, “It was tough this year because I wasn’t prepared, but I’m coming back next year!”
Palisades resident Ken Rideout, 48, finished third in 35:24.
Brossy, who ran cross-country at Brentwood High School and attended Denver College, now runs for the L.A. Fluffy Bunny Track Club. He said that a runner went out fast and he kept pace with him, but then discovered the runner was doing the 5K and split off, which put Brossy in the lead.
“I was a little ahead of Tonny,” said Brossy, who ran a 5:31 pace. “He started to catch me on the downhill.”
In the 10K women’s division, Caitlin Chrisman, 33, took first with a time of 37:17. Two 17-year-old runners, Elizabeth Scott (43:51) and Laruen Delgado (43:58) finished second and third.
Chrisman is engaged to Peter Kardassakis, whose family has been involved with Region 69 AYSO soccer for years. He ran 47:21. “This race is a tradition for my fiancé’s family,” said the Mt. View resident. “This is the second time I ran it.”
Last year she finished second to Kaitlyn Peale (36.19) with a time of 36.34. With her 2019 time, she now has the second and third fastest times on the record board.
The former Illinois resident ran track in college for Wake Forest. “This is really a great race,” said Chrisman, who now runs six or seven marathons a year. The wedding is planned for September in the Bay area.
In the 5K men’s division, the winner was Lower Merion, Pennsylvania resident Evan Hassman, who ran the 3.2 miles in 16:49 at a 5:24 pace. Brian Duff, 42, was second with 17:05 and Samuel Silva, 38, was third.
Hassman, who is majoring in computer engineering at Harvey Mudd College, runs Division III track for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics. In May, the sophomore competed in the NCAA III Nationals in Ohio in the 3000-meter steeplechase and finished eighth, which earned him All-American honors.
“Pennsylvania doesn’t have steeplechase,” he said, “and I’ve always wanted to do it.” His college coach needed someone to run the event, so Hassman gave it a shot his freshman year.
“The first time I tried it, it went well,” he said, noting that during those races, you have to be careful because of all the jumping. “The 5K is about the farthest distance I do,” he said, noting that their coach makes them run that far in training to get stronger.
Hassman heard about the Palisades race through his girlfriend Natalie Marsh, who last year won the 5K race in a time of 18:57. This year Marsh, 22, took second behind Pacific Palisades’ Natalie Gigg, 24.
In the 5K women’s division, Gigg was first in 18:42, with a 6:01 pace. The former Marymount and USC offensive midfield soccer player ran the 10K last year, finishing third (38:42). This year she decided to try the shorter distance.
“I turned to running after college,” said Gigg, who works as a business analyst for Internet Brands.
Marsh was second in 19:33 and Sarah Peterson was third in 19:58.
80+ Runners and Winners:
After the race on July 4, an 80-year-old runner asked why no one writes about the 80-year-olds, so here goes.
10K–There were no female 80+ runners.
10K Men 80+ runners: Frank Baxter, 81, was first in 1:20:50, Mike Gordon, 82, 1:33.59 was second (1:33.59) and John Williams, 81, was third (1:34.53). The other two men in the category, who finished fourth and fifth, were 85-year-old Phillip Neiman and Stephen Bland, 86.
5K Women – There were six 80+ runners: first was Judith Collas, 80, in 36:43: second was Raymee Olin, 81, who went 51:07; third was 80-year-old Barbara Rubens, 52:00; fourth was Barbara Smith, 84, in 53:58; fifth was Diane Goldberg, 84, in 58:59: and sixth was Carol Leacock, 82, who finished in 1:04:47.
5K Men – Six men competed in the 80+ division: First place went to Michael Hall, 81, who ran 29:52; second was Gilbert Romoff, 81, with a 44:59; third was Carl Marusak, 83, 46:06; fourth was Arthur Gilbert, 80, in 54:05; fifth was Tom McKiernan, 90, who went 56:28; and sixth was Roy Marshall, 92, with a time of 1:01:55.
To see individual times visit: Palisades4th.com.