When thousands of runners lace up their shoes and step up to the start line at Tidelands Park in Coronado Saturday morning, it will be the first organized running event in San Diego County since the state-ordered shutdown of live outdoor events due to the pandemic.
Up to 2,500 runners are expected to take part in the 48th annual Crown City Classic 5k and 12k races.
“We’re excited everyone’s back and things are back to normal, and it just worked out for us,” said Jamie Monroe.
Monroe, with Easy Day Sports, took a gamble of sorts by obtaining conditional approval from the city of Coronado and securing equipment for the event weeks before it was guaranteed the state would reopen on June 15.
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He’s thrilled the burden has been lifted and he’s able to reconnect with race associates who helped stage the event after being out of work for 15 months.
Meanwhile, the return of outdoor racing events is just as important for people who consider the running events as part of their lifestyle.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that we’ve got a live race to run tomorrow,” said Richard Williams, 85, of Coronado.
Richard and Kitt Williams typically run an astounding 40-45 races a year, so the pandemic took a serious toll on their well-being.
“I had no incentive. I lost my mojo. I really did. I ended up with three or four minor injuries because I didn’t have any goals, I didn’t have any real challenges,” said Richard Williams.
“Having the thrill of celebrating our nation’s birthday and the advent of racing again, it’s a great combination,” said Kitt Williams.
The Crown City Classic is the first of a typically busy summer full of running events.
The San Diego Half Marathon, 10k & 5k is scheduled for July 18. Another major event, the Rock ‘N Roll marathon and half marathon is scheduled to be held in October. Numerous other smaller events are also beginning to reschedule.