Dolphins Swim to Early Lead for Screenland 5K – Fitness Training Resumes Jan. 7

“Our school shows fantastic spirit, and the families come together for fun civic events like this one,” said El Marino School teacher Monica Bell, a longtime runner. Of course, it’s also fun to be winning. 

Defending Culver City Centennial champion El Marino Dolphins leads the La Ballona Lions, followed by the Culver City Middle School Panthers and El Rincon Rockets in early registration for the Screenland 5K. Schools will win movie-themed prizes for team size, spirit, and costumes in the Oscar Sunday race on March 10 at Ivy Station.

“Don’t count us out,” said Farragut School PTA President Robert Noriega. “The Foxes have a powerful kick and will be in the running to challenge all schools.” Noriega also helms Scout Pack 461, which will volunteer at the annual event.

Funds from each entry benefit the Culver City Council PTA, which supports the Backpacks for Kids program. Culver City students and their families can enter coupon code SCHOOL for 30% off entries until Jan. 10.

Born on New Year’s Day, Richard Diaz-Villanueva, 38, received an unexpected birthday present, a Sorrento Market basket of international holiday cuisine valued at $100 plus a free race entry, by winning a recent drawing among the first 500 Screenland 5K registrants.

“I enjoy taking in the Culver City community experience at the race,” said Diaz Villanueva, who says he encourages others to be fit for their well-being. The Palms area resident urged his mom, Mia Villanueva-Kohatsu, to run with him last year, and she will return to follow the yellow brick road into motion picture magic in the eighth annual race.

“My mom would support me at my races, and I asked her, ‘Why not try this one,’ because the event is fun, welcoming, and all-inclusive with all ages,” he said. “Mom did great. She ran almost all the way.”

More drawings for race registrants will be conducted.

Culver City High School track coach LaShinda Demus, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and other accomplished local coaches and athletes will lead the third free “Sofa to Screenland 5K” training session, Sun., Jan. 7, 3:00 pm, at Culver City High School track presented by Midwest Roofing. The complimentary one-hour workout, ideal for first-time or “it’s been a while” walkers and runners, will prepare you for every step of your 3.1-mile adventure into movie magic on Mar. 10. No registration is required. The final four sessions will be held on Jan. 14 and 28, and Feb. 11 and 25.

Screenland 5K Golden Wizard Partners are the City of Culver City, Culver City Rotary Foundation, Ting, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Ivy Station, Design Etcetera, and Midwest Roofing. Courageous Lion Partners are West Basin Municipal Water District, Cavanaugh Realtors, The Shay Hotel, and Culver City Toyota. Yellow Brick Road Partners are Sorrento Italian Market, Jackson Market, and Mercury Events.

Register at Enter coupon code NEWYEAR for a 15% discount until Jan. 10.

Mike Cohen

LION PRIDE–Several La Ballona Elementary School Lion teammates pose before strutting their spirit in past Screenland 5K.  Schools will win movie-themed prizes for team size, spirit, and costumes.

The Actors' Gang