By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
The honorary race starters for today’s 42nd annual Palisades Will Rogers 5/10K Run are Vicki Borland and her family—a fitting tribute to Vicki’s husband Lynn, who was a Palisades Ridge Runner and volunteered year after year at the Fourth of July event before his passing on October 31, 2018.
This year’s edition is a time to remember Borland along with his fellow Palisades Ridge Runner Dick Lemen, who died in 2017.
The school that wins the inaugural “High School Challenge” will be awarded the Dick Lemen Memorial Trophy in honor of the former Palisades High coach.
The top three 5K runners, boys and girls alike, from nine schools—Palisades, Loyola, Santa Monica, Venice, Brentwood, Crossroads, University, St. Monica and Wildwood—will score points for their team, similar to a high school cross country meet.
“We are very happy that Vicki and her family will start the race in Lynn’s honor and the Perpetual Trophy in Dick’s honor will be presented to the winning 5K team,” said race founder and director Brian Shea, also a former Ridge Runner. “The race wouldn’t be what it is today without the involvement of Dick and Lynn and their families.”
Shea is also proud to announce that a Ridge Runner committee has received approval from Will Rogers State Historic Park to install a drinking fountain and a plaque in memory of Lemen, Borland and original Ridge Runner Chris Carlson, who pondered the possibility of a local race while picknicking with Shea on San Vicente after they ran the Brentwood 10K in 1977 and played an instrumental role in getting the Will Rogers 10K started in 1978.
“After the plaque is installed we’ll have a ceremony with their families invited for the dedication,” Shea promised. “It will be a special occasion for all of us and a way to honor their many years of dedication to the race. We want the families to know how proud we all are of them.”