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Runners Rally to Heal Santa Monica Bay

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


Rusty's Surf

By Lookout Staff

May 21, 2013 -- Thousands of runners thronged to Santa Monica's coastline Sunday morning to race to save the bay.

About 3,000 people participated in the eighth annual Santa Monica Classic, a five kilometer and 10 kilometer race, to support Heal the Bay in its efforts to keep the beach clean, according to organizers.

With sunny skies and a cool ocean breeze, racers set off in the early morning from Barnard Way and Pico Boulevard and headed to Main Street.

The race continued to Ocean Avenue by way of Colorado Boulevard -- with runners in the 10K race heading all the way to San Vincente -- eventually finishing up at the Santa Monica Pier.

In the 10K race, Blue Benadum came in first among men at 33 minutes and 10 seconds. Cynthia Zarate finished the 10K race first among women, clocking in at 42 minutes and 5 seconds.

Kwin Keuter dominated the men's 5K race with a 15 minutes and 57 second time, while Cortney Haile led the women, finishing after an even 20 minutes.

Though everyone who participated received a shirt from ASICS, one of the event's sponsors, the top three finishers got something special.

“The top three male and female finishers in each race received an ASICS gift card for a pair of ASICS Blur33 2.0 running shoes,” officials said.

The winners of each race got a trophy made of recycled glass.

The event, which was sponsored by ASICS, Arrowhead, & NutriBullet, benefits Heal the Bay, a nonprofit founded nearly 30 years ago to improve the water quality in Southern California.

Heal the Bay organizes an annual Coastal Cleanup Day that attracts more than 10,000 volunteers who pick up trash along the beach.

Largely due to the efforts of Heal the Bay -- in concert with regional, state and Federal government -- the water around the Santa Monica Pier went from being rated the fifth most-polluted beach in California to having an A grade.

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