Vice Mayor Takes the Bus to Victory

 

March 14, 2024

Robert Noriega

Vice Mayor Dan O'Brien, who portrays Andy Griffith in the opening act celebrating Culver City cinema, tries to assist his uncoordinated sidekick Barney Fife, played by Rob Cox, in a leg stretch to prepare for the 5K race.

After numerous second-place finishes in the Screenland 5K, Culver City Vice Mayor Dan O'Brien finally prevailed in his age division, and he had to chase a Culver City bus to do it.

"I thank the fleet-footed David Winslow for getting a year older and running in costume as a Culver City bus," a smiling O'Brien said of his longtime racing foe. "As wonderfully efficient and responsive as the transportation system is in Culver City, it was too much to overcome for David to be encumbered by carrying a bus."

Winslow finished third in the Screenland 5K costume contest competition held before the race started. His green cardboard box cutout emblazoned with "Culver CITYBUS" font and white paper plate headlights were attached to him with cords and carabiners that almost engulfed him. Several years ago, he designed and adorned a Sony Pictures Entertainment Water Tower to win the costume contest.

Winslow's race time (27.59) was compromised by the dozens of times he paused for selfies.

"People kept taking pictures and videos and laughing with me," said Winslow, who continuously passed runners exclaiming, "'Get out of my bus lane!"

Winslow, an accomplished long-distance runner and pacer, led the free "Sofa to Screenland 5K" training sessions for walkers and runners of all abilities over the past three months. He will run in the Los Angeles Marathon this Sunday.

O'Brien won his age group (51-55, 22:06) by six seconds over Juan Carlos Fernandez (West Hollywood) and Joe Taravella (Culver City).

He portrayed Andy Griffith in the opening act by the PTA Honorary Service Award All-Stars and hurried to change out of his sheriff costume to compete in the run.

As Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin clapped the movie clap board to start the runners, O'Brien inserted himself at the rear of the queue of more than 2500 runners.

"I'm sure I would have won the race if I didn't have to start so far back. I'm always one to sacrifice," said O'Brien with a smile.

The Vice Mayor will be featured in next year's Screenland 5K in a different role than Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin.

"I could not carry that look of the good witch as beautifully as Mayor McMorrin did this year. Maybe I could be the tallest munchkin," said O'Brien.

Valencia high school Ayden Buchanan (15:47) won the overall competition in the eighth annual race for the third consecutive time, outlasting Taye Reiss (LA) and Rhys Nelson (LA). His sister, Emma, had the best time of any female teen, clocking in at 17:27.

Ellen Mulholland (18:42, LA) was the first lady to enter the red carpet, followed by Johanna Williams of Culver City and Justine Stecko (Azusa)

Former Centaur cross-country star Dylan Bourne, who sang on stage at Ivy Station on Saturday and then ran the Screenland 5K Olympic torch relay, won the 26-30 age division with a time of 19:09.

Samuel Silva (Culver City) took the Men's Masters (40+) title (16:55). Cosette Smith (Culver City) won the ladies' version at 19:55. Edgar Smith (Studio City) and Rex Dunn (Culver City) took second and third for the men, and Rebecca McMackin (LA) and Jennifer Teppo (Vancouver, WA) did likewise for the ladies.

Almost 2600 runners from four countries and 17 states registered.

The motion-pictured-themed event lined with visual and performing art that attracted city agencies, groups, public schools, businesses, and neighbors worldwide provided a much-needed day of smiles, according to Culver City resident Regina Klein.

"I've never seen as many smiles as I did. It was so deserving and needed during these times," said Klein while enjoying the antics of Bob Wayne with the passing guests as "The Six Stooges."

"I'm thinking about being every one of the Little Rascals next year," Wayne said.

The Scouts prepared the course before the race and assisted in numerous ways later in the morning.

"The Scouts had a great time. It was a great opportunity for them and their families to get involved," said Robert Noriega, Pack 461 Scoutmaster and Farragut PTA president.

The Farragut Foxes surged to threaten the El Marino Dolphins for the Culver City schools crown in the final three weeks of the team registration competition. The El Rincon Rockets, Linwood Howe Sea Dragons, La Ballona Lions, and Middle School Panthers each staged strong rallies in the closing days. The Dolphins won the popcorn and movie night with more than 140 sign-ups, repeating its title as the largest team during the Culver City Centennial in 2017. The school Mascots led 350 students and families in the Munchkin Dash, which followed the 5K. The Council PTA, which supports Backpacks for Kids, is the chief beneficiary of race proceeds.

Participants prepared for the 3.1-mile race in biweekly workshops led by Olympic Gold Medalist LaShinda Demus, whose birthday was race day, and accomplished track coaches the last three months.

"I felt so fresh and ready to run this time because of the training. It helped so much," said Ana Vazquez, a first-time Screenland 5K participant. Vazquez then participated in the pickleball clinic led by the sport's ambassadors, Dora Corral and Matt Denoff, after the race at the health and fitness expo.

Robert Noriega

PTA Executive Vice President Megan Oddsen announces costume contest finalist David Winslow inside his green cardboard cutout Culver City Bus. Winslow, who conducted the Screenland 5K training sessions with a team of fitness coaches the last three months, dressed one year as the Sony Pictures Entertainment water tower.

Screenland 5K partners are Culver City Rotary Foundation, Ting, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Ivy Station, Design Etcetera, Midwest Roofing, Culver City Arts Foundation, The Shay, City of Culver City, KP9 Interactive, West Basin Municipal Water District, Cavanaugh Realtors, Alliance CrossFit, Hillside Memorial Park, Sprouts, Yoga Six, Alliance CrossFit, Sorrento Italian Market, Jackson Market, Marina Martial Arts, Culver City News, Culver City Crossroads, Staples on National, AT&T Business, Culver City Toyota, Cycle Bar, Skywell Water and Mercury Events.

BUSSED IN--PTA Executive Vice President Megan Oddsen announces costume contest finalist David Winslow inside his green cardboard cutout Culver City Bus. Winslow, who conducted the Screenland 5K training sessions with a team of fitness coaches the last three months, dressed one year as the Sony Pictures Entertainment water tower.

Photo by Robert Noriega

KICKER--Vice Mayor Dan O'Brien, who portrays Andy Griffith in the opening act celebrating Culver City cinema, tries to assist his uncoordinated sidekick Barney Fife, played by Rob Cox, in a leg stretch to prepare for the 5K race.

Photo by Robert Noriega

 

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