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Kick Up Some Dusk in Sunset Park Run

August 31, 1995|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a member of the Times Orange County Edition staff

Tonight's Sunset in the Park is a cross-country run that's anything but run-of-the-mill.

First off, it's on a weeknight, breaking the usual weekend-morning routine.

"These are rare, so I get a good turnout," said Oscar Rosales, who is mounting the event in Huntington Central Park for the 11th year. "It's nice to run in the evening. It's cool, and, of course, that's a beautiful park. Just as that sun goes down, we're finishing."

The 2.8- and 4.8-mile courses are entirely off the road, winding through the park on asphalt or dirt trails.

And because the start times are a half-hour apart, runners can do both distances--for a total of 7.6 miles, another uncommon twist. Times for these "sunset runners" will be tallied separately.

Course records for 2.8 miles are 14:07 by Alfredo Viqueras for the men and 16:09 by Kathleen Smith for the women.

In the 4.8-mile event, record-holders are Alfredo Rosas at 23:37 and Reiko Kolzumi at 27:35. Combined-course records are 39:55 by Tom Curtin and 49:08 by Jennifer Heaton.

Another aspect that sets Sunset in the Park apart is a team challenge for high school runners.

In what amounts to a warm-up for the high school cross-country season, teams of five runners (not necessarily from the same school) will compete at 2.8 miles. The runners are tabulated by place, and the boys' and girls' teams with the lowest scores will take home a perpetual trophy.

"It keeps getting bigger," Rosales said of the high school event. He expects as many as 400 runners this year. Team Santa Ana Valley will be defending the trophy in both the boys' and girls' divisions.

Registration will begin at 4 p.m. today, continuing until near race time for each event.

* What: Sunset in the Park cross-country run.

* When: Today, with the high school race at 5:30 p.m., the 2.8-mile race at 6 p.m. (walkers welcome) and the 4.8-mile run at 6:30 p.m.

* Where: Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach.

* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (405) Freeway, take Golden West Street south. Turn right on Slater Avenue, left on Edwards Street and left on Central Park Drive. Parking is available at the end of the drive.

* Wherewithal: $19 (with T-shirt); high school runners, $5 (no shirt).

* Where to call: (714) 841-5417.

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