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Celebrate the Irish Holiday with the 14th Annual Village Runner St. Patrick’s Day 5K Race

One of the most active, healthy, and fun Irish celebrations in the South Bay will return for its 14th consecutive year, drawing in over 1500 runners for Village Runner’s annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K on March 12, 2017 in Redondo Beach. The race will go to benefit the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation.

South Bay chef, restaurateur, and “Top Chef” season 10 alumnus Brooke Williamson will be an honorary host at the event. Williamson, who is also a current contestant on “Top Chef” season 14, will also run the 5K alongside her husband, Nick Roberts, and their son, Hudson.

Olympic track and field gold medalist Steve Lewis will be the first recipient of Village Runner’s Running Icon at this race, an award presented to him by his former UCLA Bruin, Santa Monica Track Club, and Olympic teammate Danny Everett.

Everett ran alongside Lewis to secure the gold medal in the 4x400 m. relay for the United States in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. That same year, Everett won the bronze in the Olympic 400 m. race, while 19-year-old Lewis won his first ever Olympic gold medal, setting the world junior record with a time of 43.87.

The 5K course winds across the scenic Redondo Beach waterfront and both starts and ends in Riviera Village, where the Village Runner store is located.

The race honors Chase Stecyk, an 11-year-old boy from Redondo Beach who died of cancer. His favorite color was green and his favorite holiday was Saint Patrick’s Day. Runners are encouraged to wear green in his memory and will receive a unique Saint Patrick’s Day themed T-Shirt.

The Saint Patrick’s Day 5K will feature a 5K run and community walk, as well as the “Chase Stecyk Leprechaun Dash for Gold.” There will also be a costume contest prior to the start of the race as well as a post-race party, awards ceremony, and raffle held at local Redondo Beach restaurant, Rock & Brews.

The race will have a two-day Health and Fitness Expo with local vendors, music, and a team competition. The team with the top five fastest combined times will earn a special award.

The Expo starts at 6:30 a.m., the run/walk at 8 a.m., and kids races at 9:30 a.m. The 5K features chip-timing and age division awards. The top three male and female winners in each age division will receive medals. The race’s overall male and female winners will get $200, second place will get $125, and third place will get $75.

Last year, registrants as old as 85-year old Dick Windishar and 83-year-old Patricia Martin participated in the 5K. Olympic runner Rebecca Soni was the honorary race starter alongside Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel. Outstanding runners in this race have included Lukas Verzbicas, a sub-4-minute miler, as a prep.

26-year-old Juan Paredes ran the fastest time in 2016, clocking in at 15:23. Paredes, a former UC Santa Barbara distance runner, took the overall win after competing in the marathon at the Olympic Trials.

Grace Zamudio, a former distance runner at Loyola Marymount University, ran the fastest time in the women’s division, clocking in at 17:33. The 22-year-old Zamudio took ninth place overall for the race.

The cost to enter the race is $40 for the 5K and $30 for the Kids Dash. A portion of the proceeds from the St. Patrick’s Day 5K benefits the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation as well as local schools and running programs. About $200,000 has been donated from this race as well as their annual 4th of July 5K.

Race sponsors include Allstate Insurance Company and Coast Fitness, Quan Insurance Service, the Plaza Del Amo Animal Hospital & Pet Keeper in Torrance and the Healthy Spot, an organic pet food and supply store.

Race registration for the 14th St. Patrick’s Day 5K is now open, and applications can be found online or in person at the Village Runner stores in Riviera Village and Manhattan Center.