Special to sgvjournal.com
By Kathy Kinane, Kinane Events
Early on Saturday, April 9, 2016, the 22nd Annual Santa Anita Derby Day 5K (5,000 meters) people run/walk will kick off a world-class day of horse racing at the historic Santa Anita Race Track. Organizers expect to have more than 6,000 runners and walkers enjoy one of Southern California’s most picturesque and unique 5K people race courses that include a romp through the Los Angeles County Arboretum followed by a tunnel into the manicured infield of the Santa Anita Race Track and a photo finish captured on the infield big screen of the historic horse racing site.
A 5K race with a rich history of 22 years can expect to attract a wide swath of followers over the years. Always a crowd favorite with the runners/walkers and racing fans, Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza will be leading the way through the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Chantal Sutherland Kruse has been a perennial favorite in the jockey’s division for years.
A very unique aspect to this years race will be more than 150 participants over the age of 70. Included in that age group of runners and walkers will be 93-year-old local runner, Margaret Davis. At the age of 92, Davis won her age group in 2015 with a time of 45:56 for a 5K averaging 14:46 per mile. Davis barely missed the American Age group record despite a challenging finish on the dirt track.
The elite field of runners will include members of Pasadena’s “Run with Us” Running Club (Pasadena) including Mark Bartres (29:24 10K personal record), Rosario Castenada (18:12 5K personal record) and Natalie Miano (17:37 5K personal record).
The event has experienced a steady growth since its inception, due to the personal passion of Santa Anita Race Track’s Special Projects Director Pete Siberell. This enthusiasm has been embraced by a team of sponsors including Methodist Hospital (Arcadia) which expects to field a team of more than 300 employees, friends and family, Westfield Santa Anita (Arcadia), Los Angeles County Arboretum, Yoobi, Run with US, and Saucony.
The 5K race will start with the first wave of runners at 8 a.m. and be followed be waves of runners as the new technology of the computer tracking chip in the running bib only starts the runner's time when the runner crosses the start line and stops at the finish line.
Registration and more information is available online at www.derbyday5k.com.