Palisadian Moms and Girls Leg Virtual Marathon Relay in Huntington to Raise Money for Charity
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
A little ingenuity goes a long way. Last Sunday, Palisades High cross country/track coach Gwendolen Twist, who is also a member of Janes Elite Racing Club, formed a team she cleverly named “Quaranteen and Some Pali Moms” to participate in a women’s virtual marathon relay called “Together We Distance.”
“As far as our team we all live here in the Palisades and got matching bibs,” Twist said. “We ran up and down Pampas Ricas, then down Sunset to Brooktree to Rustic Canyon Park and back. In all there were 50 teams from all over the world, so just shy of 300 women. There were 10 teams from Russia, one from Germany and one from the United Kingdom. It had to be from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. anywhere around the globe. We raised over $2,000 for women’s charities.”
Twist, a 45-year-old living in the Alphabet Streets, was joined by fellow moms Fati Adeli and Erin Karish, Pali High freshman Sydney Suh and Adeli’s daughters Layla (a freshman at Pali High) and Leena (a 7th-grader at Paul Revere Middle School).
Twist ran seven miles, Karish ran 6.2 miles, Layla Adeli ran five miles, Suh ran four, Fati Adeli ran three and Leena Adeli added one for a total of 26.2.
Other “funny” team names included “We Run Faster than TP off a Target Shelf,” “Bioluminescence,” “Masked Millennials,” “Quaranqueens,” “Quaranteam” and “The Janes Who Ran Away from Home.”
“Gwen sent me the info and I gathered a group of moms and kids… it was something to look forward to,” said Fati Adeli, who is 51 now and has been running since she was in 7th grade. “Erin and I like to run around here so I recruited her. I love that my girls are runners. We start together but we never finish together. They leave me in the dust.”
Like Twist, the Adelis live in the Alphabets and Fati described herself as a “casual” runner who used to do half marathons. She ran the Los Angeles Marathon on her 40th birthday (May 25, 2009), the one year it was held on Memorial Day.
Karish, who just turned 47, has lived in the Palisades for 15 years—the last nine in the Huntington—and has three boys: the oldest Finn went to kindergarten with Layla, the middle son Sawyer is Leena’s classmate and her youngest Dashiel is friends with Twist’s twin boys.
“We thought Sawyer would be the first baby of the year, Post photographer Rich Schmitt had already taken a picture,” she said. “As it turned out, another family had a baby nine hours earlier, so we were the runner-up.”
Layla, who ran cross country and track at Paul Revere and ran cross country at Pali High in the fall, was excited to be part of Sunday’s relay even wearing masks and social distancing.
“I was going to be a miler in track, in fact I was for two meets before the season got canceled,” she said. “I like cross country because you all score together. In track, the races are shorter.”
Suh attended Canyon Charter Elementary and lives on West Channel Road. She suffered shin splints during the cross country season yet still ran for the Dolphins at City finals. According to her, Twist and fellow coach Rob Hockley, are very supportive.
“I got a message from Fati that we have this marathon relay to do and I was all in,” said Suh, who was a gymnast until the age of 10 and started running in 6th grade at Revere. “Online school is a change for me and we’re sent workouts to do on our own.”
Leena Adeli runs cross country and track at Revere and runs with her sister on Saturdays. She ran the Palisades Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving.
Twist joined The Janes in the spring of 2017, hired “Run with the Lab” founder Blue Benadum as her private coach and competed in numerous races for three years. She won the Mountains to Beaches Marathon last May, won the local Turkey Trot 5K for the first time on Nov. 28 and took sixth in the Masters Division to help The Janes take first place in the 40s and 50s division in January at the XC National Championships in San Diego.
“I figured we’d start at 7 a.m. to beat the heat and the crowds,” Twist said of Sunday morning’s virtual event. “This was my first race back from taking some much needed time off to rest my body and it’s a fun way to kick off my new ‘quara-season.’”
The team had so much fun that Fati is already considering something similar on Fourth of July morning: “Maybe we’ll run the 5K course, since it’s all in the Huntington neighborhood.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.