Friday, June 29, 2012

Manhattan Beach 5k Yet Another Barefoot Win

Time to hit the sand once again.

 Manhattan Beach 5k Run 
My mother was more than happy to come cheer me on.  She turns 70 this year and has been playing volleyball on sand of Manhattan Beach (Marine St.) for over 50 years.
The race starts at 7a.m. the weekend after or before the Summer Solstice.  It wasn't quite low tide but there was pleanty of room to run and this was the lowest I had seen in it in my 3 years of participation. It starts by the water at the Manhattan Beach pier and heads out to El Porto and back.

The first time I ran this race was back in 2008.  At the time it was my very first 5k I ever ran my only goal was to beat the first place woman.  As she slowed down through the finish line knowing she first in her gender wrapped up.  I closed 100 foot gap in the last 150 feet to sneak in in front of her with 2 steps remaining. (what a dork)
In 2009 I was in pretty good shape.  But was over training for the San Diego 100 and strained my left hamstring pretty bad two days prior to the 5k.  Against better judgement I decided to still run the race and I won. 
 (This pic was taken by my buddy John Moriello (I spelled his name wrong but am too lazy to look it up) who was working for and remains my favorite pic taken of me running)

 I was injured with bum IT BAND
They held the event the same day as the Hermosa 24, Part of me wanted to participate in both events but that would have been silly.
My nephews also came down to run in the kids race afterwards check out there cool shirts from the 100 mile club summer program 262 also check my awesome vegan body builder shirt my buddy Ravi gave me.  (pretty amazing I could fit into the thing with all my gigantic muscles?)
Pre race dinner
Whole wheat tortilla, garlic hummus, onion, cabbage, cherry tomato, orange bell pepper, mushroom,avocado, jalapeno, kalmata olive and sriracha. Served with salt and vinegar chips and washed down with an Oaked Arrogant Bastard
There is Avocado in it but it needs more to be to consider it "cado loading"
I'm don't like to say no to free beer but is Michelob Ultra really beer?

On to the race

Every year it amazes me how many runners wear shoes? It's pretty hilarious watching them scramble away from the incoming tide as we line d up to race.  In years past it was a serious disadvantage.  Since the course  is a there and back route you are you are forced against an onslaught of runners on the return trip.  If the tide is high you 2 choices, either run in the water or the soft sand, with the water being the easier option.   Part of the reason I won back in 2009 was than most of the runners who had a chance at beating me had worn shoes an didn't wan to get them wet.

Going into the race I was pretty confident in my chances although my legs were still beat up from the 5mile race I ran less than 36 hour prior. At registration the day before  the dude signing up people at the running store was just out of high school and told me he wanted to win.  I was anxious to see what he was capable of.

On your marks, Get set, Go.
I forgot my hat, and took the lead from the get go as usual.
I thought I was distancing myself from the other racers when up strolls the race director Jeff Atkinson) at about the 1/2 mile mark.  (Jeff holds the mile record at Stanford and ran in the 1,500m at the 1988 Olympics)  He was only running the first mile and I guess it was nice to have some company.

Because the tide was lower than normal the sand was softer making the course pretty slow. (yep I making excuses) I ran the first mile just under 5:30.  When I hit the turn around I din't feel very fast and had no clue how big my lead was.  I turned out to be about 150 feet.
(pretty comfortable if I was feeling good but that wasn't the case)

Nothing to do but grind it out (for a whole 8 mins) and hope I could hang on. the cheers from the other runners helped encourage me to a strong finish and they also let me now that the 2nd place runner still had some work to do since there was a pause in the claps.
I was much slower than the last time I ran this race.
But I was still able to come in first.
remember that kid I told you about I met the day before he came in 2nd just a few steps behind me.

Former World Record holder and Race director for the Hermosa 24  Christian Burke was in town to run in next weeks Ultra marathon.  I think he was with 5 minutes of winning. :)
After the the 5k they had an inaugural backwards run. it was supposed to be a mile but was closer to half that distance. Can you guess who won?
This event actually did occur.  I did make sure Christian saw me though. He was a good sport and went tumbling over me.
Another Icon of Hermosa beach showed the talented and Beautiful Annie Seawright. 
(she will also be competing in the Hermosa 24 but on a relay team.
Now it was my Nephews time to run
In an effort to limber up Lucas attempted the splits luckily he was unsuccessful.
The kids proved to be smarter than most of the adults by going out barefoot.
My nephews ran stride for stride on the way out
But on the way back the older one out strided his little brother
But I was equally proud of both of them.
.Next up were the really small kids
It doesn't get much cuter than that. This little dude was bringing up the back of the pack running barefoot in his Pj's.
I won a lee majors doll for the backwards race and 1st place cookie for the 5k.

Another great day living in paradise running races with my family.  
Life is good....

Oh yeah what about that free beer?  I could either go have a drink and walk home or get a ride and no beer. What to do, what to do?
If I say no to the free beer then maybe they won't offer me one next time.
Looks like i'm walking.
Well how bout a barefoot jog on the wood chips instead.

Bring on the Hermosa 24


  1. Hey Patrick!!! Best of luck tomorrow!!!!! if I weren't going to be on Catalina Island, we'd come up to cheer you on! You have fun and kick some barefoot butt, ok!!! Love ya!

  2. Mmmm... free beer. But you've revealed to me the fact there are a lot of weird Californians around - I mean what sort of bonehead runs on the beach in shoes???