Race Recap: 2017 LAX Tommy Scott Memorial Run

Early on Saturday, May 13, the biggest field of runners to date completed the 2017 LAX Tommy Scott Memorial 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon. With 1,119 registrants and 200 more participants than 2016, the USATF-certified and sanctioned event continues to grow by leaps and bounds year after year. The run began as a small, informal tribute to fallen Los Angeles Airport Police Officer Tommy Scott by fellow officers but has evolved into a community-wide event that benefits the Tommy Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund and helps young people achieve their education goals. Hosted annually by LAAPAAL (the nonprofit charitable organization of LAAPOA), Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Association of Airport Employees (AAE), and supported by a small army of sponsors and volunteers, the Tommy Scott Run is always an event to remember.

This year’s run started at 7 a.m. with opening remarks by LAAPOA President Marshall McClain, who explained the history and significance of the event. He acknowledged Tommy Scott’s parents for attending the event year after year. Sadly, Tommy’s father, Hubert, passed away in 2016, but Tommy’s beloved stepmother, JoAnn, was there to represent the family and provide hugs and medals after the race. McClain thanked all the runners for showing their support for public safety officers in light of the official start of National Police Week the next day. Airport Police Captain Tyrone Stallings, LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint, Inglewood Mayor (and former LAX Deputy Executive Director in charge of Homeland Security and Public Safety) James Butts, and 35th District Senator Steven Bradford also addressed the crowd, and Christopher Anyakwo presented a proclamation from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. After a moving ceremony by the Los Angeles Airport Police Honor Guard, stirring national anthem sung by TSA Supervisory Officer Sheleta Fraser and inspirational invocation by Chaplain Harvey Boviack, the runners headed to the starting line. A lively warmup got everyone pumped for their respective runs.

The cool weather provided comfortable conditions for the participants, with start times staggered for the various distances. The course started and finished at Westchester/LAX Fire Station No. 5 on Emerson Avenue, along the perimeter of the airport. The top half-marathon finisher was 26-year-old Hiram Tosco of Yuma, with a time of 1:20:57. The first-place female finisher was 30-year-old Julia Patkowski of Santa Monica, who came in at 1:31:02. The 10K’s fastest finisher was 34-year-old Gordon Clark of Los Angeles, with a time of 37:20, and the top female runner was 31-year-old Cristina Lowry of Playa del Rey, clocking in at 40:21. The top male and female 5K sprinters were 18-year-old Moises Marquez of Cypress and 28-year-old Constance Rosado of Long Beach, with times of 18:22 and 22:57, respectively. At the finish line there was even a surprise marriage proposal. Race results and 2017 event photos are posted online.

“Once again this year, we are overwhelmed and grateful to all of the sponsors, volunteers, participants and spectators who came out and supported this event,” says President McClain. “The enthusiasm and hard work of everyone involved, from the organizers to the runners, means a great deal to the officers of our department. Although we continue to miss our brother Tommy Scott, we take comfort from the camaraderie and friendships generated by this event, and I know that seeing hundreds of people having fun for a great cause would make him smile.”

This year’s sponsors included 911MEDIA; AAE; Alaska Airlines; Arcadia Police Officers’ Association; Arrowhead Water/ Nestlé; California Casualty (dba Auto & Home Insurance Plus); City Employees Club of Los Angeles; Drollinger Properties; Farm Fresh to You; Inglewood Police Officers’ Association; JetBlue Airlines; L.A. Central Ford; Latasha Wells Amerson; Los Angeles Dodgers; Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union; Manhattan Beach Police Officers’ Association; Mastagni Holstedt, APC; Miller Kaplan Arase; National University, LAX Campus; Rush 10-8; SKECHERS; South Bay Running Club; Mark Sikorski, UBS; UFLAC; Union Institute & University; and University of California, Irvine.

Exciting developments are already underway for 2018: The proposed plan is to extend the event to three days on the last weekend in April, starting on Friday with the Tommy Scott Memorial Softball Tournament; continuing on Saturday with a motorcycle memorial ride from LAX to the L.A. harbor and back, followed by a car show, and health and wellness/race expo; and closing out the weekend with the race on Sunday.

Special thanks to Maddy Flanagan for photographing the event.