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Photos: 16th Annual Tiger Run Attracts 700 Runners

"Our goal is to have 1,000 runners next year," event organizer José Zavala says.

About 700 people, including at least one shirtless man, braved rain and chilly temperatures to participate in the 16th Annual Tiger Run Saturday, the highest number of runners the popular event has attracted so far.

"I think we had 300 less runners than we could have had," said event organizer José Zavala. "The weather definitely impacted the numbers—we hope to do better next year."

Exactly 389 people registered for the flat-course 5K run, Zavala said, adding that the official number for the hilly 10K race was not immediately available because of a computer problem.

For the first time, the run had a bicycling event, in which 12 or 13 people, including Councilmember Michael Cacciotti, participated. Other "celebrity" participants included Police Chief Art Miller, Sheriff Lee Baca of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, and Councilmember Bob Joe, all of whom ran the 10K.

Also for the first time in the history of the Tiger run, runners used both the eastbound lanes on Monterrey Road, from Via Del Rey to Garfield—an opportunity for which Zavala thanked the South Pasadena Police Department. 

Gonzalo Ceja, an athlete from the East L.A. College track team, placed first in both the 5K and the 10K run. He finished the 5K, which started at about 8 a.m. from South Pasadena High School, along Diamond Avenue, in 16 minutes. Ceja then went on to run in the 10K, which began at 8:20 a.m., finishing that race in 35 minutes and 29 seconds.

Ceja, who had never before participated in the Tiger run, said he ran the two races to stay in shape for the track season. Minutes before the 5K, Zavala could be overheard telling Ceja: "You can do it"—a reference to whether the event organizer thought it was possible for the young man to finish the 5K in time for the 10K.

Asked if he planned to win both races, Ceja quipped: "I planned to run both but I didn't plan to win both."

Several members of the East L.A. College track team volunteered for the Tiger run, helping out with logistics, registration and other tasks. Other out-of-city volunteers included about 60 Alhambra High School students.

The participation by people who neither live nor work in South Pasadena was an example of "inclusiveness in the community," Zavala said.

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