Weston Strum, Valerie Paredes win 67th running of America’s oldest 10-mile race
UCLA grad-student Gabrielle Rinne; 15-year-old Andrew Neville win 5k at Huntington Beach pier
Scenic out-and-back course along the Pacific Coast Highway provides 5,000 runners with panoramic views and party vibes
HUNINGTON BEACH, CA – September 17, 2023 - A two-time Olympic women’s runner stole the show, beating the men across the finish line in the 10K. A High School sophomore finished first overall in the 5K. And in the main 10-mile event, a man racing for the first time in Huntington Beach owned the day.
Two-Time Olympian Kim Conley. Credit Ryan Bethke / @RWBMultimedia
The 67th annual Surf City 10, Orange County’s oldest race, offered something for everyone Sunday. It was a picture-perfect morning for running, overcast skies and not a hint of wind among the palm trees lining the Pacific Coast Highway.
“Orange County couldn’t have delivered a more perfect day,” said Kim Conley, the two-time Olympian who won the 10K in 35 minutes, 35 seconds. “It’s beautiful running weather.”
Conley, 37, represented the United States in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the 5,000 and is now stepping up in distance, hoping to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the marathon.
She dominated Sunday’s 10K, winning the women’s race by more than three minutes. She beat all the men, too, with Raymundo Ortega of Riverside taking first among the men in 36:01.6.
“I loved coming down to Orange County and training,” said Conley, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz. “I put in a lot of miles over the years on the Santa Ana River Trail and the Huntington Beach path. I was down here for a training camp, saw this race on the calendar and thought, ‘I want to go end my camp with a hard effort.’”
Allison Lynch of Massachusetts placed second in the women’s 10K in 38:48. Connor Sempek of Torrance finished second in the men’s 10K in 37:56.
In the men’s 10-mile, Weston Strum of Scottsdale, Ariz., made his first race in Huntington Beach a memorable one, winning in 50:25. It was a tight race, with Thomas Dialynas of Newport Coast finishing second in 50:57.
Like many of the runners who toed the starting line in the Surf City 10, Strom is training for a fall marathon. On Oct. 14, he’ll be running the Bakline's McKirdy Micro Marathon, a New York race on a flat course designed for runners to reach the new faster Olympic Trials qualifying standards.
As to why he decided to run the Surf City 10, Strom said it was like the key factor in real estate: location, location, location.
“You’re literally running along the beach the entire run,” he said. “It’s just beautiful, gorgeous. And just the energy. I think the energy is what does it. You’ve got everyone cheering. It’s out and back, so you’ve got both waves of people coming along. That’s why we’re out here. At the end of the day, it’s a people spot. It propels you to the finish line.”
Donning a pink Minnie Mouse bow, Valerie Paredes of Los Angeles won the women’s 10 mile in 57:11. Hannah Chau of Huntington Beach took second in 58:11.
“I went out conservative then I tried to pick it up the last five miles, but it was pretty hard out there,” said Paredes. “I had a pack of guys running with me and that helped a lot.”
Gabrielle Rinne, who’s pursuing a doctorate at UCLA, won her first ever road race last weekend at the Santa Monica Classic 5K. Rinne enjoyed winning so much she won again Sunday morning, taking the 5K in 18:00.
“I’m never stopping now,” said Rinne.
Rinne gave props to her husband, Andre, who paced her. Andre is a former 4:04 miler.
“It’s a very smooth course, very flat. Perfect conditions,” said Andre. “If you want to run a fast time, this is where to do it.”
Maybe no one enjoyed the day more than Andrew Neville. A 10th-grader at Westlake High, Neville won the men’s 5K in 15:49. Jake Ogden, 25, of Aliso Viejo took second in 16:32.
The 68th edition of Surf City 10 will return next year on Sunday, September 15, 2024. Runners can take advantage of a pre-sale special this week and register for the lowest prices of the year. For complete results photos and more, please visit www.SurfCity10.com or follow @SurfCity10 on social media for the latest race week information.
ABOUT SURF CITY 10
Orange County’s Oldest race, Surf City 10 returns to Huntington Beach on Sunday morning, September 17. Featuring 10-mile, 10k and 5k distances, the out and back course on the Pacific Coast Highway gives runners spectacular views of world-famous Huntington Beach’s sand and surf, with a convenient start and finish line and expo located just steps from the pier. Event weekend concludes with a finish line festival and Michelob ULTRA beer garden. To register or for more information, visit SurfCity10.com or follow @SurfCIty10 on social media.