Benefit race enjoys a beautiful Catalina day

Airitam family from San Gabriel celebrating the finish of Michael Airitam’s 50-kilometer run on his 50th birthday. Courtesy photo

2020 Avalon Lions Club Benefit Race raises money for community

Approximately 1,000 long distance runners, their families and friends got to experience one of Catalina’s spectacular spring-like days during the 39th running of the 2020 Avalon Lions Club Benefit Race. Runners from California and all over the United States were pleased with the day and the race course. Runners, family and friends arrived on Jan. 10, enjoyed the race on Jan. 11 and departed on Jan. 12 for home. This race is held every year on the second Saturday in January.

The 50-mile race started at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Runners ran to the Edison plant, back into Avalon, up to the Memorial, along the ridge to Haypress, past the airport, past Little Harbor before turning around at Two Harbors and returning to Avalon through Middle Ranch.

The 50-kilometer race started at 6 a.m. with runners going up to the Memorial, along the ridge to Haypress, past the airport to the Little Harbor Overlook. At the Little Harbor Overlook the 50K runners turned left and ran back to Avalon through Middle Ranch. Runners had a 12-hour time limit to complete both the courses.

Along the race course there were runner aid stations set up to provide water, electrolyte drinks, first aid, bananas, oranges, and other treats to keep the runners fueled and happy. These aid stations were staffed by Avalon community members and Avalon Lions Club members. Outstanding aid stations at Little Harbor and Eagles Nest featured fun and games, special food and drinks. Many thanks to the Catalina Conservancy Rangers and Los Angeles Sheriffs, who provided security and runners aid.

First place in the 50-mile male race was Michael Eastburn at 6 hours, 36 minutes and 10 seconds. Second place was Ruperto Romero at 6:49.42. Third place was Peter Mortimer at 6:52.11. First place in the 50-mile female race was Sarah Correa in 7 hours, 44 minutes and 53 seconds. Second place was Diane Burgin 8:38.35. Third place was Veronica Alaniz 8:47.23.

First placed in the female 50-kilometer race was Cortney Haile at 4 hours, 41 minutes and 2 seconds. Second place was Lisa Dosch at 4:45.14. Third place was Nadia Ruiz at 4:48.05. First place in the male 50-kilometer race was Cody Logan at 3 hours, 42 minutes and 46 seconds. Second place was Eric Riehl at 4:05.25. Third place was Scott Golden at 4:11.09.

All of the funds raised by this Avalon Lions Club Benefit race are put back into the Avalon Community in the form of scholarships, family aid, emergency transportation and community improvements.

The Avalon Lions Club has just completed a $7,700 new floor, window curtains and playground shelter for the Kid Ventures Preschool Building. The Avalon Lions Club Board recently approved a $13,000 donation to the Avalon Hospital for the purchase of a state-of-the-art electro cardiograph machine. Avalon Lions Club Members are looking forward to replacing the flooring in the Avalon Humane Society Building, and once again funding scholarships for each gradationing Avalon High School senior.

The Avalon Lions Club thanks the Catalina Island Company, Catalina Island Conservancy, Catalina Adventure Tours, Lloyd’s of Avalon, and High Tide Traders for providing great discounts for the runners their family, and friends while in Avalon. Special thanks to Greg Miller and the Metropole Hotel Staff for donating their conference room for the Friday night check in. Many thanks as well to Jack Tucy and the staff at Antonio’s Cabaret who hosted a fun pasta party on Friday and Saturday a night awards party for the racers, their families and friends.

Benefit race enjoys a beautiful Catalina day