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Road Racing Returns To San Diego County With Coronado's Crown City Classic

A boat drives away from the Coronado Bridge, July 3, 2021.
KPBS Staff
A boat drives away from the Coronado Bridge, July 3, 2021.

The first road race in San Diego County since the start of the coronavirus pandemic was held Saturday, with what organizers said was a field of 2,273 runners for the 48th Crown City Classic in Coronado.

The runners started at Tidelands Park, beneath the Coronado Bridge and a 1,500 square-foot American flag, then headed to Glorietta Boulevard. The 12K course went past the Hotel Del Coronado and along the Silver Strand.

Some runners wore costumes, had faces painted red, white and blue and ran in stars and stripes compression socks.


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The men's 12K race was won by Dillon Breen in 37 minutes, 26 seconds, one second ahead of fellow San Diegan Dylan Marx.

"We've been waiting for this for 15 months," Marx said before the race. "The whole participant/spectator aspect of the races, it's really what we've missed, the opportunity to showcase our talents."

Jessica Tonn of Phoenix won the women's 12K race in 42:07, two minutes ahead of Hilary Corno of San Diego.

The 12K distance was chosen it is 7.4 miles, honoring 7/4, the Fourth of July.


Erin Menefee won the women's 5K in 17:38, with fellow San Diegan Bridget Nolan second in 18:19.

"It's so great to be back racing again," Menefee said. "It's been so long since we've had a chance to compete. My team has done some time trials, but that's nothing like the real thing.

"Being with all the people, it's so fun celebrating the Fourth of July. It feels like we're back again. This is the real thing."

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The 29-year Menefee ran track and cross-country at Mt. Carmel High School and the University of Arizona. She underwent open heart surgery for a rare congenital heart defect nearly four years ago, then resumed her running career, qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing 328 in a field of 390 in 2:57:13.

Steven Martinez of Chula Vista won the men's 5K in 14:46 with Jyden Schmid of San Diego second in 15:41.

"You can't beat San Diego, the weather, the people, you just can't beat it," said Martinez, a 2012 graduate of Otay Ranch High who also ran at Cal State Chico and was recently a graduate assistant coach at Augusta University.

"I was living in Georgia the last couple of years. There were races over there, but there were no clubs, there wasn't much of a big community, running-wise. It wasn't that important.

"Here, people love it. There are a bunch of clubs, a bunch of running groups. It's a big family here."