At the 29th annual Dole Great Race of Agoura Saturday, local runners took top honors over their out-of-town counterparts, sweeping three out of the major races.
According to Race Director Danny Greenberg, over 6,000 runners participated in this year’s races, representing 36 states and eight countries.
Scott Hambly came in first over-all in the Chesebro Half-Marathon. The Thousand Oaks native prevailed over a field of 852 with a finish time of 1:20.
Meantime, in the Pacific Half-Marathon, Camarillo resident Jose Lastre topped the field with a finish time of 1:23. The fairly new half-marathon, started at the historic Paramount Ranch, attracting 446 finishers this year. It is the road race’s fourth year.
Agoura resident Daniel Haim beat 1,228 finishers on the Old Agoura 10K with a winning time of 37:36.
Colorado resident Chandler Ross clocked in at 17:00, besting the Equinox 5K field of 999 finishers.
“This is one of my favorite local races,” said Kathy Rydgig, of Camarillo, a participant for the past few years. “I see so many friends running and the beauty of the mountains is just breathtaking.”
Tawni Gomes of Camarillo is drawn to the scenery as well. “I think I have participated four times in a row,” said the veteran of over 100 marathons.
For relative newcomer Sierra Kaval, the appeal of the Chesebro Half-Marathon is the positive energy. “Everyone is having fun and the volunteers along the course are wonderful and encouraging,” the Ventura resident said.
After crossing the finish line at Chumash Park, participants were treated to pancakes, burritos, fruits, coffee and various refreshments at the post-race party consistently dubbed “the best” by LAS & F Magazine and “epic” by Active.com.
Over the past 29 years, the Great Race has partnered with several non-profit groups and has donated over $1.6 million to Agoura and Oak Park schools to help pay for school programs.