Local Residents Keep Tradition Alive by Running Palisades-Will Rogers 5 & 10K
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
For the second year in a row there was no Will Rogers 5 & 10K Run to kickoff holiday festivities in the Palisades on the Fourth of July. However, that didn’t stop scores of patriotic residents from getting up early to run the course on their own. And why not? After all, the race has become as big a tradition in the community as the parade and fireworks.
Palisades High tennis coach Bud Kling and his dog Leia greeted the the Gergis family: Andrew, Erinie, Jacob,John, Julie and Samira Guirguis and Kristy Guirguis with the pace car (1 1957 Chrysler) at the entrance to the Palisades Recreation Center at the intersection of Alma Real and Toyopa at 8:15 a.m.—where and when the race has started and finished since it began in 1978.
There was no official time kept and there were no official winners but the atmosphere was friendly and there were several different groups that started at various times all morning, some running the 5K route through the Huntington neighborhood and others braving the full 10K route up to and through the brutal switchbacks of Will Rogers State Historic Park and back up Sunset to the Village. This would have been the 44th annual Palisades Will Rogers 5 & 10K, but race founder and director Brian She and his dedicated team were unable to secure the necessary permits in time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
David Greifinger, a longtime participant, was among those who ran the 10K. He won the 10K in 1979 at the age of 22 (the first Palisadian to win) and won the inaugural 5K in 1986.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.