by Photo courtesy of San Diego Running Co.

Over 2,000 people ran in the 9th Annual Santa Run 5k dressed in "Sunny Santa Gear" on Dec.11 and 157 youth trotted along in the Santa’s Elves Mile

Olympian High School alumni Anthony Estevane, 21, won first place with an average pace of 5:27 minutes per mile and finished at 16:57 minutes. He was one of 1,138 male participants that participated in this year's race. Last year’s events was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Escondido’s Cesar Palomares, 24, was second at 17:12, and San Diego’s Neil Harder, 45, was third at 17:23. There were more females than males who participated in this year’s race, with a collective total of 2,895 finishers. 

Ranking as the overall top female participant is Canadian Olympic athlete Samantha McGrone, 42, with a finishing time of 18:54. Oceanside residents Samantha Yanez, 23, followed with 19:10 and Jillian Simpson, 35, finishing at 19:17. 

San Diego resident Tom Killroy, 87, was the eldest male finisher with a chip time of 45:53. Ranking as the top eldest female finisher Nancy Morris, 75, ended the race at 45:51. 

Santa’s Elves youngster John Paul Bennett, 11, of San Diego won first place with a finishing time of 6:02. Trotting shortly after were Seamus Egan, 12, finishing at 6:04 and Jace Rackleff, 14, with a 6:58 finishing time. 

The leading female participant was 9 year old Lucy Worm of San Diego with a finishing time of 7:31. Following her lead were San Diego residents Nora Oakes Muller, 8, finishing at 8:22 and Kayla Harder, 9, with a 8:32 finishing time.  

Over 200,000 Santas have participated in previous races. Some participants in this year's race came from out of state including Hawaii, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, DC. Those who registered received a Sunny Santa Suit, Sunglasses, a Race Bib, a complimentary drink ticket and Chip Timing which is a new feature to the race.

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