Lions Club 50 Mile/50K Run celebrates 41 years

Photo by Burney Ramming Pictured are the 50 Kilometer top three finishing runners, left to right; Reyeoul Lakeshore 30-39 age group, time 4:03:23, Cory Mayfield 1 to 29 age group, time 3:46:44 and Gary Gellin, 50-59 age group, 4:08:15. Below, Bob Szekers, 75, receiving his first-place award from finish line coordinator Lion Burney Ramming for the 70 and over age group. Bob has run the 50 MILE event 9 times, the last 4 times in sandals with a cigar.

A beautiful emerald green Catalina Island awaited the Saturday January 7, 2023, 5 a.m., 42nd running of the Catalina Lions Club 50 Mile/50 Kilometer Benefit Run. This year’s 50-mile run was on a modified course due to the muddy interior roads. Instead of the 50-mile runners going to Two Harbors and back they ran to the Little Harbor Overlook, continued through Middle Ranch, then back around to the Airport before coming back to Avalon on the Divide Road at 6 a.m. the 50 Kilometer Runners started on the normal course. The 50 Kilometer course went to the airport, Little Harbor Overlook, through Middle Ranch, back to the Divide Road and down into Avalon.

There were approximately 800 on-line registrations for this event with over 1,000 runners, family and friends in Avalon for the Lions Club Benefit Run. Mike Bone and his crew of Spectrum Sports Management and Timing Services is to be congratulated for doing an outstanding job again this year. Each runner was equipped with a radio chip imbedded in their number bib which allowed family, friends and race officials to locate a runner during the race. The radio tags were monitored by a talented group of amateur radio operators who relayed information back to the start/ finish line all day. More information about this run and several other Catalina Island running events may be found at

The male runners that finished the 50 Kilometer course were led to the finish by Cory Mayfield who finished with a time of 3:46:44. The female 50K runners were led back to Avalon by Catlin Healy with a time of 4:37:44. The 50 Mile male runners were led back to Avalon by Paul Sinclair with a time of 6:44:59. The female 50 Mile Runners were led to the finish line by Shelby Farrel with a time of 7:32:54.

Running the 50K were Islanders Frank Minuto with a time of 10:24:23, Laura Minuto with a time of 10:24:24 and Jorge Hernandez with a time of 10:24:25. As you may have guessed by the times, these Islanders finished arm in arm after encouraging each other all day as they ran.

From Face Book I learned about Michael DeMers’ first finish in the 50-mile run. Michael’s Uncle Mike and Aunt Earliene Solly were part of the original 12 Islanders who helped organize and run the first benefit run 41 years ago. Another first-run veteran, Wayne Worth stopped by the start finish to line help cheer for all the finishers. Over the years what a small group of outstanding Islanders started, has grown into a wonderful annual sports and community service event.

The Avalon Lions Club Members would like to thank Zeller Construction for the use of a much-needed stake bed truck. The nine aid stations along the run route were staffed by Islander student and civic groups who served up much appreciated water, snacks and encouragement to the runners as they passed by. Each one of the aid station groups were given a $1,000 donation for their service. Every year this Avalon Lions Community Benefit Run is held the Catalina Island Company and the Catalina Island Conservancy provide wonderful support. The City of Avalon Public Works Crew and the Catalina Beverage Crew is always a big part of this event. Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the Citizens of Avalon, the hotel workers, restaurant workers, and all those Islanders who help make this race so popular by treating our Island Visitors so well.

The Avalon Lions Club is a part of the Largest Community Service Organization in the world. Thousands of people around the globe who want to support their communities with their time and talents are helping to make our world a better place to live in. Any Catalina Islander who would like to be a part of helping Catalina Island be a better place to live is welcomed to be find out how to become an Avalon Lion Club Member.

Contact Burney Ramming at 310-422-1406 or any Avalon Lion for more information.