Ujena 5,000 Promises to Be a Model Race


On hand Sunday morning for the running of the Ujena 5,000 in Dana Point will be KNBC, “Entertainment Tonight” and probably an army of still photographers. ESPN will also be there, filming for a planned half-hour special.

Speed isn’t the media draw; no one is expecting this field to break any records. The attention-getter is a group of more than 200 women sports models who are running the 5K race as part of a series of events, the prize being a chance to be on the cover of Swimwear Illustrated.

A first-time event, the Ujena 5,000 is the only part of the competition that’s open to public participation, and organizers are hoping for a large field with more than just models.

The run starts at Salt Creek Beach, next to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and promises scenic views of the Pacific as it skirts the Links at Monarch Beach and finishes on a park-like bluff overlooking the water.


There will be separate start times for men and women, not because of the presence of the models but “mainly because of the course constraints,” said Scott Muirhead of Dana Point-based Race Pace Promotions, organizers of the run. Breaking up the field by gender has been an increasingly popular way of cutting down on crowding.

For the models, other events include a volleyball tournament, an aerobics contest and a swimsuit competition. The top 10 finishers will then duel in a “power aerobics” contest for cover-photo privileges.

“The main thing that we’re trying to do is tell people that models (aren’t) just bimbos,” said Bob Anderson, founder and publisher of the Sunnyvale-based magazine. “Models take care of themselves, and some of them can put in a pretty decent time in the 5K.”



Runners who can live without putting that claim to the test have another seaside run they can opt for Sunday morning. The seventh annual Fiesta 5000 in San Clemente kicks off a one-day street festival that will include entertainment, food and games.

Registration starts at 6 a.m., and the 5K run/walk begins at 8 a.m. Entry is $20, including T-shirt. Information: (714) 492-1131.

* What: Ujena 5,000 running race.

* When: Sunday, Aug. 7, 8 a.m. men’s race, 9 a.m. women’s race. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m.


* Where: Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point.

* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (405) Freeway, exit at Crown Valley Parkway and go south to Pacific Coast Highway, then turn left. Salt Creek Beach will be on the right.

* Wherewithal: $20, including T-shirt.

* Where to call: (714) 661-6547.