Redwood Freshman Wins Rain-Soaked Winterfest 5k Run

(SAUSALITO, CA --) The weather outside was frightful on Sunday, but the end result was delightful for 15-year-old Matthew Phipps.

The Redwood High School freshman from Corte Madera endured an early morning rainsquall to win the Winterfest Jingle Bells 5K and Kidz Fun Run in downtown Sausalito. Though 185 runners pre-registered for the benefit event, 70 braved the elements to compete in it.

“It was fun and challenging, with the wind and puddles,” said Phipps, who posted a winning time of 18:31 in extreme running conditions. “I was kind of surprised I won it.”

Defending 5K champion Zevan Solomon, a 16-year-old Tamalpais High School junior from Mill Valley, finished runner-up while 46-year-old Alexander Sebastian edged out 46-year-old Eric Stewart by one second for third place. Petaluma High School senior Brock Albee, after missing a turn on the panoramic out-and-back course, placed fifth.

Eleven-year-old Yasha Paola Zink of Sausalito finished just ahead of 11-year-old Willow Creek Academy classmate Mikiko Whitehorn as the top female finisher in the race. Fifteen year-old Lucie James was third followed by 37-year-old Nancy Knechel and 45-year-old Kirsten Wojcik to round out the top female runners in the 5K.

Zink and Whitehorn are both members of the Dipsea Race Foundation’s Dipsea Kidz program. Proceeds from the event benefit at-risk youth through the Dipsea Kidz program and Sausalito on the Waterfront Foundation.

Barry Spitz, the most recent inductee into the Dipsea Hall of Fame, served as race announcer on Sunday while Dipsea Hall of Famer Mary Etta Boitano Blanchard, who won the Dipsea in 1973 at the age of 10, was the official race starter for the Jingle Bells 5K and Kidz Fun Run.