Archive for December, 2010

Marathon Marathon Post

Manhattan Beach, California

Over 100 runners are expected for the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Apriori Beauty. These athletes will start their race at the northwest corner of Manhattan Beach on December 26 at 7:30 AM. The race will be the completion & the celebration of Sam Felsenfeld’s epic series of races in 2010, as the Operation Jack Marathon will be Sam’s 61st marathon race of the year. Traveling all over the country, while often running 2 or even 3 marathons in a weekend, Sam has raised over $70,000 for Train 4 Autism & other charities and is set to raise $20,000 more on race day. With a year’s best of 3:03 in Boston, Sam has completed 43 of these marathons in less than 3.5 hours, a feat mere mortals can typically only dream of doing even once.

Map of course & notable locations.

The marathon is supported by a variety of sponsors, including lead sponsor Apriori Beauty. In addition, CORE has led the local organizational effort, while the Train 4 Autism crew has provided race expertise and is handling the race logistics. Verandas in Manhattan Beach is providing free parking to participants, while Four Daughters Kitchen is happy to host the post-race celebration. The Village Runner of Manhattan Beach & Redondo Beach continues to provide marketing support and race day support. & prizes. Jeff Meisterheim of Tri to be Fit, Hermosa 24 star Christian Burke & Olympic star Jeff Atkinson have provided invaluable advice along the way. The Hilton Garden Inn of El Segundo & Unified Grocers are also supporting the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon by providing post-race food & prizes. Finally, the city of Manhattan Beach has proven to be a welcome host while the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors has waived many fees while allowing us to conduct the race along the bike path.

Race flier.

Not only a great day for Operation Jack, but a great day for all athletes in Manhattan Beach and the South Bay, as it will be the first marathon ever hosted in the city. Originally conceived by Jake Rome as an intimate marathon with a dozen runners, the idea quickly grew. The efforts of CORE (Citizens for Outdoor Recreation & Exercise), a group Jake co-founded which led the successful movement to reopen Manhattan Beach’s sand dune, has led to substantial publicity in local news outlets including Manhattan Beach Confidential, The Beach Reporter, Easy Reader News, the Daily Breeze and the Manhattan Beach Patch. By galvanizing community support again, CORE has again demonstrated their leadership in Beach Cities recreation activities.

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In addition to being Sam’s 61st marathon & record-setting 44th sub-3:30 marathon, several other notable runners will be running:

  • Christian Burke of Hermosa Beach set a world record this summer by running 83 miles on the soft sand in 24 hours, smashing the old record of 62 miles. Christian, an experienced ultramarathoner, has set his sights even higher for the future, with plans to run a marathon in every nation, over 180 total. Read more about Christian, the Hermosa 24 and Run Every Nation.
  • Patrick Sweeney of Manhattan Beach won the 2010 Palos Verdes Marathon in 2 hours, 37 minutes while running practically barefoot, wearing only thin Vibram Five Fingers. Patrick has won several Manhattan Beach races this year, including the Hometown 10K, although he expects a slower pace on Sunday as he recovers from injury. Read more about Patrick on his blog.
  • Yolannda Holder of Corona set the world record for most marathons completed in one year by a woman with 101. And she hasn’t stopped, as Operation Jack will be the record-tying 105th marathon for Yolanda, on her way to breaking Larry Macon’s record later that week.
  • John Loftus won the 50-54 USATF Master National Championship at the Twin Cities Marathon in October 2008, then had a storybook April 2009. He won his age group in the nation’s most competitive 5K (Carlsbad 5000, 16:40) and marathon (Boston Marathon, 2:43:34) within a three-week span. John will be running the half marathon on Sunday.

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While Sam is the focal point of Operation Jack, it’s far from being a 1-man job. Without his son Jack, none of this would be happening. Jack, born September 16, 2003, was diagnosed with autism shortly after he turned 3, although he has been in constant therapy and treatment since before his second birthday. He is showing signs of progress, but has very limited speech and struggles with communication and social interaction. After watching his son struggle day after day with his condition, Sam decided he wanted to do something to make a difference in his honor.His full partner is wife Tiffany, who has held the fort together while Sam travels nearly every weekend to advance Jack’s cause. In addition, hundreds of other runners have joined with Sam to raise money. These runners have raised close to $20,000 in 2010, and helped raise $50,000 more by spreading the word and attracting major sponsors. You can still donate to support your favorite runner.

More photos available for editorial use.

Not only are 100+ runners expected in Manhattan Beach, but 200 or more may join in nationwide satellite runs from Hawaii to Maine and an organized ultra marathon in Oregon. On track to have representatives of all 50 states, these widely dispersed satellite supporters will each run 6.1 miles. As the 26th gets closer & closer, folks are flocking to the registration site to sign up. Semi-organized runs are being planned in Massachusetts and Maine, with 10-20 runners in each event. Now that’s grass roots!

Final race instructions.

With the race start little more than 4 days away, anticipation is building among the runners & organizers. Runners can still register online, volunteers can contact jake@core4you.org for more information, and spectators are welcome all along the oceanfront course. See you on Sunday!

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Operation Jack
Operation Jack is an attempt by Sam Felsenfeld to race at least one
marathon a week in 2010 (61 total for the year) to generate attention
that will raise funds and nationwide awareness for Train 4 Autism, an
organization that works tirelessly to raise money for Autism
charities. Sam, with his wife of 11 years, Tiffany, is raising three
children — Benjamin (9), Jack (6 1/2) and Ava (4 1/2). Jack, born
September 16, 2003, was diagnosed with autism shortly after he turned
3, although he has been in constant therapy and treatment since before
his second birthday. He is showing signs of progress, but has very
limited speech and struggles with communication and social
interaction. “After watching my son struggle day after day with his
condition, I decided I wanted to do something to make a difference in
his honor,” proclaims Sam. His plan is Operation Jack. As Operation
Jack succeeds, Train 4 Autism will grow and countless people living
with autism — along with their relatives and friends — will benefit
for years to come. Operation Jack is a tax exempt public charity under
Section 501(c)(3) and contributions are tax deductible.

Apriori Beauty
Apriori Beauty is an anti-aging health and beauty company and is a
proud sponsor of the Operation Jack Marathon. Apriori Beauty’s mission
is to help women look and feel beautiful with the purest, most-natural
and most-innovative products and opportunity. When you look beautiful,
you feel good. When you feel beautiful, you look good. And, when you
can share this beauty with others, you can feel good inside and out.
http://www.useloveshare.com/

Citizens for Outdoor Recreation and Exercise (CORE)
In response to a vocal minority successfully shutting one of the most
popular recreational destinations in all of the South Bay Beach the
summer of 2009, CORE was formed by a group of concerned residents
determined to reopen the Dune for family fun and individual exercise.
By organizing residents, they received 2,000 signatures to reopen the
park4.  CORE’s mission is: To encourage and enable healthy lifestyles
throughout Manhattan Beach and South Bay’s outdoor recreational areas,
as well as to promote their public access and respect to the local
neighborhood. For more information about CORE, please visit the
website at http://core4you.org or contact bill@core4you.org or
jake@core4you.org.

Final Race Instructions

Thank you for signing up for the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon by Apriori Beauty. Please read the race instructions below. The race begins at 7:30 AM in Manhattan Beach near 4498 The Strand. These race instructions are also available on the CORE Blog,

(0) Race map
An interactive Google Map of the course, including aid stations & restrooms is available, http://goo.gl/ezW7c . It is also embedded below.


View Operation Jack Marathon in a larger map

(1) Parking
We recommend that runners & spectators park for free for 8 hours or more at Verandas, 401 Rosecrans, Manhattan Beach, see map: http://goo.gl/qo0XA . The parking lot is about a 1/2-mile from the start of the race. The lot will open at 6 A.M.

Alternatively, you may park in metered spots and pay $1.50/hour for up to 5 hours in the El Porto parking lot, located at the west end of 45th St in Manhattan Beach, see map: http://goo.gl/MwosN You’ll need to bring lots of quarters. The lot opens at around 6:15 A.M.

(2) Directions
If you are taking the highway to the race, exit the 405 at Rosecrans and head west about 2 miles. Verandas is at 401 Rosecrans. Park for free, walk west down the hill until you reach The Strand along the beach. Proceed to the northern end of the parking lot.

You may also continue, turning right onto Highland. Turn left on 45th St., the last street before the Chevron station. Park in the lot, feed the meter and proceed to the start area.

(3) Registration
Registration will take place at the start line, adjacent to the north end of the El Porto parking lot. Registration will begin no later than 6:30 AM and will continue until shortly after the race begins. Late registration is available, cash or check only please.

(4) Pre-race considerations
The race starts just several hundred feet from residences, so we ask that all runners be respectful of these folks. There are two restrooms in the El Porto Parking lot, one near Rosecrans & one close to the start line. There are also a half-dozen restrooms the first 4 miles of the course. Use only the restrooms!

The entire race is run along the South Bay & Ballona Creek Bike Paths. Runners need to share the road with cyclists, joggers, skaters and walkers, so please bear right while running. Before the race start, do not block the bike path as many cyclists will be passing through before the race starts. At about 7:25 we will ask runners to line up by expected pace on the bike path. The first mile of the race will be very crowded and there is not a lot of room to pass. Follow race instructions, and make sure that you line up according to estimated pace to avoid being trampled or elbowed during the start. Within the first mile, race volunteers will ensure runners stay on the right half of the bike path. Follow all instructions from race organizers.

(5) Course description
The race is essentially flat, with the biggest obstacle a 20-foot hill. There are aid stations at the start, 2.3, 4.7 & 6.5 miles where water and Gatorade will be available. Energy gels will be provided at the 6.5 mile aid station. There are restrooms for the first & last 4 miles of the out & back course. As noted above, the bike path is open, so share the path with the cyclists, skaters, walkers & runners enjoying their morning exercise.

There are only two forks along the route. The second aid station, at mile 4.7, is at the entrance to Ballona Creek. On the way out, turn right and 100 feet later turn left to go over the bridge, then turn right and run along the jetty. Continue straight, staying on the Ballona Creek bike path and do not turn left towards Venice. You can view more of the course detail at MapMyRun.

(6) Spectator info
Supporters are welcome to park at Verandas and watch the start & finish of the race. There are also many lots along Dockweiler Beach where you can park and be on the course a minute later.

The best place for spectators is near the 2nd Aid Station, at the Pacific Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. in Playa del Rey. Plenty of time to watch the start, see your favorite runners go by twice & get back to the finish.

(7) Post race entertainment
There will be food & snacks available after the race, as well as a short awards presentation for the top 3 male & female finishers in each race. We will also be raffling off a pair of Asics shoes, a Fuel Belt, two Village Runner gift certificates, a pair of Village Runner t-shirts and more. Plenty of food is available nearby, with a couple dozen restaurants on Highland Ave. between 33rd St & 45th St. We recommend Four Daughters Kitchen, which has great food and is a huge supporter. If you visit, make sure you let them know you heard about them through Operation Jack.

(8) Additional donations welcome
Additional donations are welcome! Please visit http://operationjack.org/ and click “DONATE NOW!” or visit http://operationjack.kintera.org/61 and support your favorite runner.

(9) Post race party
There will be a post-race party to celebrate the race & Sam’s completion of the 61 marathons he ran in 2010 for Operation Jack. The official party HQ is local favorite Four Daughters Kitchen, 3505 Highland Ave. The party will start at 2 PM, and there is a suggested contribution of $15 for food, drinks are extra. You are welcome to contribute more, any net proceeds will go to Operation Jack. Hope to see you there!

Good luck!

Marathoners give back after Christmas, hope to raise tens of thousands for autism charities

Manhattan Beach, California

In just 10 days on December 26, the first-ever Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Apriori Beauty will be run along Dockweiler State Beach. With volunteers providing all the manpower, local businesses offering substantial support and vendors donating a variety of goods, the event is set to raise $15,000 or more for Train 4 Autism. This extraordinary fund raising effort, led by a small, grass roots band of supporters, is headlined by a extremely generous contribution from Apriori Beauty. Registration fees from runners participating in 6.1-mile satellite runs in all 50 states & on-site runners are set to raise more than $5000 more. Finally, dozens of entrants are raising money from friends and family and hope to raise $6100 more.

The Operation Jack Marathon will be the culmination of a year-long effort by organization founder Sam Felsenfeld to run 61 marathons to honor his autistic son & raise money for autism-related charities. This effort has been an unmitigated success, raising over $70,000 to date. Although it’s a long shot, Sam’s supporters are hopeful that the Manhattan Beach marathon can help push Operation Jack over the $100,000 mark.

Read more on the CORE marathon blog. To register, visit the race website. People interested in volunteering should contact Molly Rearick. Visit the team fund raising page to donate.

3 Top Runners Highlight Marathon Field

Guinness Record Breaking Sand Runner, Barefoot Marathon Champion & 25-time Boston Marathon qualifier highlight field for Manhattan Beach’s First Marathon

Manhattan Beach, California

In a little over 2 weeks, Manhattan Beach will host a marathon, the first ever in the city according to Manhattan Beach Confidential. The Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Apriori Beauty will be held on December 26 at 7:30 AM, starting & finishing in the northwest corner of Manhattan Beach. The Operation Jack Marathon field will be led by 3 extraordinary runners from Southern California planning to run.

  • Christian Burke of Hermosa Beach set a world record this summer by running 83 miles on the soft sand in 24 hours, smashing the old record of 62 miles. Christian, an experienced ultramarathoner, has set his sights even higher for the future, with plans to run a marathon in every nation, over 180 total. Read more about Christian, the Hermosa 24 and Run Every Nation.
  • Patrick Sweeney of Manhattan Beach won the 2010 Palos Verdes Marathon in 2 hours, 37 minutes while running practically barefoot, wearing only thin Vibram Five Fingers. Patrick has won already won several Manhattan Beach races this year, including the Hometown 10K, and he looks to continue that dominance on the sand during the Yuletide 5K on December 18. Read more about Patrick on his blog, and find out more about the Yuletide 5K.
  • Sam Felsenfeld has a marathon best of 3 hours and 5 seconds. A serial marathoner, Sam has raced fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon 25 times, including 12 times in 2010 alone. The Operation Jack Marathon will be Sam’s 61st & final marathon of 2010, as he has honored his autistic son Jack and raised over $70,000 for the Train 4 Autism organization. Learn more about Sam & Operation Jack.

The half marathon will also feature many outstanding local athletes. There’s still time to volunteer & register for the race, see the flier or the official race website for more details.

Marathon Flier

Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Apriori Beauty
Download & print
The flier says it all. Course map is shown below. Register at the official race website.

Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon route