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Big turnout for popular 5K run

Despite temperatures hovering around the 90-degree mark at 7 a.m., and a fair amount of humidity thrown in for good measure, close to 200 runners took part Saturday in a popular annual 5K run.

The race, which was sponsored by Southern Nevada Legends of Cross Country, was again held at Veterans’ Memorial Park. The course started on the soccer field, went briefly out into the nearby desert, up around the top fish pond, then down to the soccer fields. Competitors completed this course twice.

Thirty-six-year-old J.J. Santana won his sixth straight SNLCC race, doing so in a time of 15 minutes, 41 seconds over the 3.1-mile course. Not far behind him was Logan Scott, 17, in at 15:59 and third went to Peter Banks, who crossed in 16:13.

“This is a hard course and it’s hot every year,” Santana said following his win. “There’s always at least one young kid to run with and this year that was Logan, who took it out like a beast. It was fun chasing him.”

In terms of the weather he said, “Luckily, I’m from Southern California and I’ve lived here (Southern Nevada) for 15 years so I’m used to the heat. Despite that, you still have to adjust your pace because you can’t run as long and as hard. You really have to hydrate. It’s not real complicated stuff but it’s necessary. It’s really simple — you either keep running or you don’t.”

As for the course, Santana added, “It’s a true cross-country course and it’s hard. You start in the grass with an open, traditional cross-country start where everyone is running fast. You then run up a hill with dirt and you come back down on the concrete. It really makes you work. It’s dynamic and has everything.”

Alana Sangprasit, 18, was the first female to cross, doing it in 20:44. The second female to finish was Sophia Legat in 21:33 and Elliott Davidson at 21:39.

In addition to awards, medals and T-shirts, $9,000 in scholarships were awarded by SNLCC to area high school runners.

“All in all, I felt that the 27th Annual Legends of Cross Country race was a great success,” Race Director Adam Chan said. “The morning was humid and hot, but the winning times were even hotter. Along with the overall winners there were many other champions who stepped up to the start line and made their way across the finish line leaving nothing behind on a hot July morning.

“Being able to be part of that, and knowing myself what it feels like to cross that finish line, I say it was a great success.”

For complete race results, visit https://legendsxc.com.

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