Dodgers fans get their run on

Elysian Park, Los Angeles (News4usonline) – If you like to run, more than likely you showed up for the annual Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Run on Aug. 13. It is estimated that as many as 12,000 runners showed up for the event. Runners from all over Southern California came out in support of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Run.

From friends, families, and Dodger fans alike those that participated in the run were given a blue Dodger Run T-shirt, a limited edition Mookie Betts bobblehead, and a medal for completing the race. Nicknamed the Sunset Run, the course was held right on the Dodger Stadium grounds. Despite the heat, plenty of runners, walkers, and supporters came out to participate in this fundraising event.

The first three to the podium after the 5K Sunset Run are Justin Patananan 3rd, Fernando Duenas 1st, and Jason Duarte 2nd (left to right). Photo by Dylan Bryant/News4usonline  

The run presented by UCLA Health consisted of 5K, 10K races, and a Kids Fun Run.

Each of the distance courses was conducted as three separate runs. There was the 5K run, which began in the early evening. The 10K race got going about an hour later, and the Kids Fun Run started promptly.

The first run was the 5K or roughly a three-mile run. The Dodger parking lot is hilly and was no slouch, making it a tough run. Runners may have been in for a surprise if they were used to flat round tracks. Over 4,000 people participated in the race and each corral waiting to start was just as eager to start as the next. This group was a large mix of runners and walkers, this felt like the main event.

“It’s fun because whether you’re an elite runner, professional runner, or just someone who is out here to have fun, it’s for everybody…it’s great for the community, it’s fun being out here and I love Dodger Stadium,” said Fernando Duenas, the first runner overall to finish the 5K race.

Dodger Stadium was home to runners and walkers on Aug. 13, 2022. Photo by Dylan Bryant/News4usonline

Duenas, a Dodger fan at heart, is from Moreno Valley and has been competing his entire life. This was the first Dodger run that he placed first in after participating in the event for years. The racer finished with an overall time of 16 minutes, 24 seconds, and an average mile time of 5 minutes, 16 seconds.

The second set of runners were for the 10K run, this equates to about six miles. This course used a similar track to the previous race but extended out to Stadium Way, the main road to enter Dodger Stadium. About 1,500 participants took part in this event, a much smaller number compared to the 5K run. This may be due to the fact that most were strictly runners and very few walkers.

Nathan Vallejo out of La Habra, CA, took the crown for the 10k race with a total time of 37 minutes, 21 seconds and an average mile pace of 6 minutes, 1 second. The 21-year-old didn’t just finish first in his age group but first overall for the day.

Finally, the kids had their turn to run. Parents and family gathered to cheer them on with signs and shouting out words of encouragement. This is a perfect way to promote health and wellness to the younger generations.

The entire parking lot was a day filled with sweat, laughs, and plenty of smiles that showed the satisfaction of the people completing the race while supporting the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation mission.

The left field pavilion was home to the Health + Wellness Expo. This was an area for participants to cool off and have a bit of fun. With plenty of shade on this side of the stadium, there were booths, water stations, and the Dodger Foundation booth; which provided Angelenos the opportunity to play some games, catch a breather or grab some Dodger merch.

After the run and located just a few steps away was the beer garden, those old enough would find refreshments from the California Brewing Company, Golden Road Brewery. Participants could have ended the night with a cold brew or a walk on the warning track on everyone’s favorite field, Dodger Stadium.

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