RUNNING: Stinkin’ Roses a sweet success

Annual event hosts 125 runners
When somebody mentions garlic, what usually comes to mind? Delicious french fries festooned with chunks of buttery garlic bits? But what about a nonfood-related thing such as an athletic event in Gilroy?

The Run For the Stinkin’ Roses 5K and 10K competition is held by the South Valley Running Club. The weather was perfect for Sunday’s event with cool overcast skies greeting 125 racers.

Participant Moshe Ben Am came as far away as Maplewood, N.J. Others hailed from Napa, St. Helena, Daly City and Paso Robles.

South Valley Endurance Greg Richards’ voice boomed, “Five … four … three … two … one … go!” And the 6.2-mile pack shot off into the distance followed by the 5K pack later on. I watched them disappear around the bend in the chilly morning air. Eventually the first three finishers came barreling around toward the finish line.

Road Runners Club of America’s George Rehmet dominated the 3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 45 seconds.

“My goal was to get under 20 minutes, but this young kid named Alex, he pretty much led most of the way,” Rehmet said, smiling. “I sprinted past him and kept going to create distance.”

Alex Sokol, 12, from San Jose and Don Looby, 52, were at Rehmet’s heels fighting for second place. Although both crossed the finish line at 19:59, Looby was awarded second, and Sokol came in third.

Sokol said, “I was trying to keep up with (Rehmet) the whole way. Whenever he came ahead, I tried to keep up, but in the end, I couldn’t hold on.”

Tanya Ferreira of Prunedale triumphed over the ladies with her 20:23 finish.

“The race was pretty slow for me because I’m coming off an injury,” she said. “I did what I could do for today, so I’m happy that I did win.”

Michelle McHugh took second in 21:41 and Natalie Mazaud, 9, nabbed third in 22:39.

The men’s 10K division top winners were Marty Conrad with 36:23, Jean Harris in 37:38 and Chris Rose rounding it off in 39:29.

Morgan Hill’s Ken Oliver took first in his age group with 41:41.

“The weather was terrific,” said Oliver, who plans to run the hilly Mount Madonna Challenge next month. “I stayed focus and sustained the pace.”

For the women’s division, Norma Zavala from Napa blazed the trail in 48:05; Gilroy’s Kelly Ramirez snagged second in 49:07, and Amy Moomy grabbed third with 50:49.

“This race is a perfect situation with the weather,” Zavala said. “I’m very excited.”

Thirty-something and pregnant Amie Magstadt won bronze in 32:45. The Santa Rosa native ran more than three miles with her friends Zavala, Nancy Welch (38:10) and Sarah Holguin (37:06). They come every year for the race.

“It was really fun, a nice race. It was beautiful,” Magstadt said.

Ryan McNamara (49:44) of Morgan Hill and his friend Patrick Bernhard of San Jose ran six miles with Ben Am, who won silver in 46:06. Bernhard carried the American flag throughout his 47:39 run.

View full results of the race at

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