PLAYA DEL REY (CBS) — Thousands of people laced up to participate in two races Sunday, both of which concluded in Playa del Rey.

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One of the races – the third annual Los Angeles Half-Marathon, got under way at 7 a.m., according to City News Service. The second was a 5K that started about 7:15 a.m.

Joy Benedict, reporting for KCAL9 at 8 a.m., talked with runner Zachery Gomez who came in first in the 5K.

Gomez, whose time was about 17.50, runs track at Camarillo High School and won a new pair of shoes as part of the beat the “Karhu Bear” incentive during the race. The first ten runners to finish were awarded sneakers.

(credit: CBS)

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As for college student McKinley Murphey of Burbank, he says he participated because he wanted to get a run in before he traveled back to school.

“I did my first half marathon earlier this fall and it was a pretty good race for me. It was my first one – about an hour and 25 minutes,” said Murphey, who placed seventh in Sunday’s said.

Nearly 750 people participated in the 5K and the Half-Marathon on behalf of World Vision, raising more than $350,000 which will go toward providing clean water for children in Africa, said Kirsten Stearns of World Vision.

“The money today is going to several countries in Africa. One of our runners actually is an Olympian Lopez Lamont and he does South Sudan. So some of the money is going to Sudan for water projects there and other countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, Malaywi,” she added.

World Vision is one of the largest faith-based relief and development organizations in the world and operates in 100 countries, according to Stearns.

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In today, nearly 4000 people participated in the races.