‘Running’ Archive

Team CORE takes 3rd in 2012 Hermosa 24!

Well, here we are again at The Hermosa 24. It’s been little more than a year since the 2nd annual Hermosa 24. The inaugural event saw one man, Christian Burke (also winner of the inaugural 2010 Operation Jack Marathon) run 24 hours straight to break the world record for most miles run in the soft sand in 24 hours… a whopping 83+ miles! In 2011, it became a race with 8 solo entrants and 8 more relay teams, including both Team CORE & Team Structures (I ran for both).  And we witnessed Manhattan Beach phenom Patrick Sweeney (winner of the 2011 Operation Jack Half Marathon) break the recently established world record by running 87+ miles!

Sweeney finishes his 94th mile in the deep soft sand. Effing nutjob!

So I knew I needed to come back for 2012. But this time, I planned on running solo. So I recruited hard to get 10 people signed up for each team. And I did! But then 3 folks dropped out, but we were still strong. Team Structures was anchored by returning runners Vinay & Francisco who were joined by Jimmy, Ryan, Stu, Sean and Alla along with Captain Zach. Team CORE was highlighted by returning members (and CORE co-founders) Chuck & Todd, aided by CORE President Bill and joined by Alex, Christian, William, Shin and Captain Tom. All told, there were 18 of us, five veterans and 13 braving (or is it stupiding) the hot sands for the first time. So how did we do?
William & Shin bring it in!

Well, that’s William (paced by Shin) finishing their 6th and Team CORE’s 28th lap with less than 10 minutes to spare! That’s 2 more than last year. More than 94 miles. Ninety four miles on the deepest, driest sand you’ll find anywhere. Team Structures was strong as well, finishing in 4th place among the teams, with 24 laps despite a 1.5 hour gap with no running. That compares to 23 official laps or 26 unofficial laps in 2011. Really, really good guys! After breaking down camp, Zach, William, Shin & I decamped to Islands (the one in the Manhattan Village Mall) for a well-earned lunch… I enjoyed a full 4-course meal of lemonade, tortilla soup, tacos & an ice cream Sunday. Oh, and a 2 hour nap a little later. Everyone was great, but a special shout out to Tom, William & Shin who each ran 6 laps, and Stu & Ryan who each completed 5 laps. That’s more than solid! Zach covered 4.5 (including a half lap unofficial to help drag me across the line) and Sean ran 4 total, including the 2 where he paced Alla.

Team CORE!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about me! I had the ambitious yet achievable goal of completing 50 miles, which is 15 laps. I was right on track, with 9 laps complete by midnight and an even dozen by 6 AM. Then, exhaustion set in. I had to rest for 10 minutes mid-lap, and upon returning I consumed 3 pastries and passed out in the team camp (2 canopies, 1 large tent, 1 small tent, 10 folding chairs, 2 coolers, a case of Gatorade, a case of Propel, assorted sleeping bags, spare sand socks, first aid supplies and assorted other sundry items). 2 hours later, I woke up shivering from cold & exhaustion and declared myself done after 40 miles. Christian Burke would have none of that! I knew I had one more lap in me, but not sure about two. So I carefully timed my final lap so no one would be tempted to declare that my penultimate lap in retrospect! During the first 11 laps I averaged about 59.5 minutes per lap. The last two? About 1:15 each. I was toast. All told, 43.7 miles officially, but I think it would easily top 45 if I counted all the yards traveled from base camp to the start/ finish line! Below are the full stats for Team CORE, Team Structures, and ummm, Team “Jake.” Official results are on The Hermosa 24 website.

So how did Patrick do? I guess he did OK, I guess. In fact, he single-handedly matched 9-member Team CORE by completing 28 laps, more than 94 miles (even more impressive, more than 150 kilometers). Shattered his own world record. There’s an excellent race preview on Easy Reader, news coverage at the local Patch sites, a small news piece on the local CBS station and surely more to follow in the days ahead. Christian was set to give Pat a run for his money, but a foot injury in the first 10 miles put an end to those plans. I did have the opportunity to travel a mile with both Pat & Christian late in the race. I count both among my friends, and they are pretty much the reason why I started running on the beach. Many days this spring (when the sand was a LOT more forgiving) I would pass Pat on the beach and he’d run 5 or 10 miles with me. Keep your eyes on the event’s Facebook page for updates that are sure to flow through from organizers & entrants alike. At times I outlasted the King of the Beach! But not today. Thanks to both those guys, as well as all the other entrants–solo & relay. And of course other volunteers, especially Mike Naylor who volunteered to feed my parking meter when Christian was threatening to have it towed (not quite), and Kara Lubin who was there all night (I think?) with an upbeat attitude for the ultramarathoners and those embarking on the 1-lap challenge. It was great to see all the kids hanging out too, bringing the sort of energy that come only come from youth.

3rd place relay, Team CORE!

So that’s about that. I’ll leave you now with a picture of the remaining members of CORE posing on the podium recognizing their 3rd place finish. Sweeney wasn’t done yet, as he managed to photobomb the team photo… that bastard! And last thing, I’ll plug the 2012 Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon. Same great course, new start/finish line, new expo and many more improvements. Same day after Christmas tradition, might be the only Wednesday marathon you have the opportunity to run.

Operation Jack: Post Race Wrap-Up

This is also posted at: http://core4you.org/2011/12/operation-jack-post-race-wrap-up

(0) Survey
Survey link is included in the email only!

(1) Race summary
What can I say? It was an awesome day! Perfect weather, and we had 4 great runners win the men’s & women’s races, topping nearly all of the course records from 2010. A total of 212 completed the half marathon led by first finisher of the day Patrick Sweeney. And 106 finished the marathon, highlighted by the perseverance of Margaret Tollner and Christy Borza. Sam’s got a great blog post, and so does half marathon winner Pat Sweeney; I encourage everyone to link to their own story on our blog or Facebook page.

(2) Results
Results are now posted at Gemini Timing.

(3) Photos
They're  Off
Photos from Doug Brenizer are being uploaded to his SurfDaddy Photography website, and photos from our Montana Berg will be uploaded there as well. So far several hundred photos have been uploaded and that number should double in the coming week. As noted in an earlier blog post, we’re making the photos available for much less than race photographers typically charge. With a donation of $10 to Operation Jack, you can download 10 medium resolution photos (more than large enough for sharing via email or Facebook), and with a donation of $25 you can download 10 high resolution (great for printing). 100% of the proceeds benefit Operation Jack. Simply make a donation, then send an email to jake@core4you.org with the list of photos you want. I’ll send the photos or instructions how to download them in about a week– I’ll try to get them sooner, but that’s the best I can promise. Full details are in the blog post, just remember that if we raise $1000 then everything is free.

Until then, everyone can view them on site, and easily share your favorites with one click with your Facebook friends. We’re working on tagging the photos to make them easily searchable, hopefully that will be complete by the time this post goes officially live. In the meantime, you can also check out photos from another supporter that was near Mile 4.
Operation Jack

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VIRTUAL GOODIE BAG ITEM #1
The Hermosa 24 is an ultramarathon & relay held on the soft sand between the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach piers. Last year nearly 100 runners participated, running through the night and camping on site while watching the World Record be set for the 2nd year in a row. Collect your team & sign up today at: https://www.hermosa24.com. If you want to participate but don’t have a team, contact jake@core4you.org.
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(4) News coverage
Check out this news report from ABC7 here in Los Angeles, and read more about the race in the Manhattan Beach Patch. Finally, the most popular weekly in the beach cities also published an article.

(5) Huge worldwide success
The short: over 300 runners & 50 volunteers and dozens more spectators. Likely over $40,000 raised by the time it’s all over with. Perfect weather. And thousands of smiles. It was a ton of work for the volunteers & organizers, but seeing the results made it all worthwhile & then some. In addition, 20 runners in Houston, 20 soldiers in Kabul and about 50 athletes in Portland, Oregon completed Operation Jack Satellite events. And nearly 100 more did satellite races on their own or with a few friends.

(6) Stay connected
Like us on Facebook, and follow Sam on Twitter and via his Operation Jack blog. If you want to raise money for Autism charities while training for a marathon or triathlon, learn more about Train 4 Autism on their website & like the Facebook page. And if you live in LA’s South Bay, like the CORE page to stay in touch with the local recreation news.

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VIRTUAL GOODIE BAG ITEM #2
Celliant is a revolutionary technology that harnesses the body’s natural energy through the use of minerals and fibers. Products containing Celliant have been clinically proven to increase blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the tissue and help balance temperature. Learn more at: http://www.celliant.com/.
——————————————

(7) 2012!
Obviously there’s a lot of planning to do. The Operation Jack Marathon & Half will return in 2012, most likely on December 29. We’ll update everyone once the date is finalized and registration opens. In addition, there will be more satellite events– not only in Oregon & Texas, but supporters have already expressed interest in hosting events in Arizona, Vermont & Mississippi. We’ll have an update on that later, ping sam@operationjack.org if you’d like to host an event in 2012– we’ll handle the t-shirts, medals, registration, bibs & marketing. You just need to find a course!

(8) Donations still welcome
You can still donate through the event page through any runner, and funnel it through our photos page to help Free the Photos! All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, etc.

Operation Jack Marathon 2011: Final Instructions

These instructions are posted at: http://core4you.org/2011/12/operation-jack-marathon-2011-final-instructions

Thank you for signing up for the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon, http://ojmarathon.com . Please read the race instructions below. The race begins Monday Morning (December 26) at 7:30 AM in Manhattan Beach near 4498 The Strand. There is an optional early start (marathoners only) at 6:45 for athletes that need a little extra time. The time limit to finish is 1:30 PM. You can connect with your fellow runners by liking us on Facebook. Plan to arrive by 6:15 (early marathon starters) and 6:45 (everyone else) to allow time to park & pick up your bib.

(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) Bib Pick-Up
Bib pick-up will take place at the start line, adjacent to the north end of the El Porto parking lot. Bib pick up will begin at 6:00 AM and will continue until shortly after the race begins. THE RACE IS SOLD OUT. THERE IS NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION.

(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 begins, do not block the bike path as many cyclists will be passing through. 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.

——————————————
VIRTUAL GOODIE BAG ITEM #1
The Hermosa 24 is an ultramarathon & relay held on the soft sand between the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach piers. Last year nearly 100 runners participated, running through the night and camping on site while watching the World Record be set for the 2nd year in a row. Collect your team & sign up today at: https://www.hermosa24.com .
——————————————

(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, Powerade and GU products (energy gels or chomps) will be available. 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 will be signs marking the first 6 miles, and these will include approximate mileage for the return leg & 2nd lap of the marathon.

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. Results will be posted shortly after the race at http://ojmarathon.com & Gemini Timing within a day or two.

(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. Half marathon awards will be presented at 9:35 (subject to change) and marathon awards at 11:30 (subject to change). Trophies will be given to the top 3 overall men & women in each race, and age groups will be posted in 10 year increments.  Plenty of food is available nearby, with a couple dozen restaurants on Highland Ave. between 33rd St & 45th St.

(8) Post race party
Food will be provided for the volunteers as well as marathon finishers starting at 12 Noon. We’ll hang out near the timing clock or the beach adjacent.

——————————————
VIRTUAL GOODIE BAG ITEM #2
Celliant is a revolutionary technology that harnesses the body’s natural energy through the use of minerals and fibers. Products containing Celliant have been clinically proven to increase blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the tissue and help balance temperature. Learn more at: http://www.celliant.com/ .
——————————————

(9) Race photos
We have 2 professional photographers that will be volunteering at the race, photos will be available at SurfDaddy Photography. If you donate $8 now, you can download 10 medium resolution photos (1 megapixel) for sharing. Donate $20 now & you can download 10 high resolution photos (10 megapixel) for printing at any size. If $250, is donated all medium resolution photos will be free, and if $1000 is donated all high resolution photos are free. If we don’t get any photos of you, please request a full refund. Prices will go up after the race, so jump on this deal now! More details: http://core4you.org/2011/12/free-the-photos .

(10) Village Runner Coupon
The Village Runner, located less than 2 miles from the race finish, has been a great supporter for the past 2 years. This year they have offered all Operation Jack Marathon & Half runners a $5 off $25 coupon printed right on your race bib. It’s good anytime, but if you’re visiting Manhattan Beach I highly recommend heading to 1840 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 and buying some great gear after the event.

(11) Additional donations welcome
Additional donations are welcome! Please visit http://ojmarathon.kintera.org/ and support your favorite runner.

(12) Other awesome stuff
You’ve really got to check out our medal & t-shirt. These are nicer than what you’ll get from a lot of major marathons. Click for full size pics. Beer not included!
Operation Harpoon Jack Operation Jack Marathon t-shirts
The Operation Jack Marathon has gone global! For the 2nd year in a row, the Operation Jack Northwest Challenge, a timed race of up to 6 hours, will be held in Portland, Oregon. Also returning for 2011 are the satellite runs. You can still sign up at http://ojmarathon.kintera.org/  and you’ll get the t-shirt & medal shown above. New for 2011 are the Houston edition with about 30 runners, and perhaps most awesome of all, the Kabul edition which has already attracted 20 runners and raised more than $600 (and counting).

Good luck! Oh, and if there’s a tsunami, all you have to do is turn east & keep running!

Free the Photos!

I’m a photographer with a running problem. Or a runner with a photography problem. One or the other. So I have a love-hate relationship with race photos. On the one hand, I understand how hard it is to take hundreds of great action photos, process them, upload them. Not to mention the extended hours required, the talent that is required and the necessary equipment. On the other hand, no matter how much I pay to enter a race, it does burn a little bit to get charged $15 or more for a small 4″x6″ photo, and up to $50 or more for a digital download of sufficient quality to actually print. There’s got to be a better way!

Since our volunteer photographers for the Operation Jack Marathon — Doug Brenizer or SurfDaddy Photography & Montana Berg of Montana Berg photography– have been so generous to donate their time to this race, we have the flexibility to try something new, and that’s what we’re going to do. I’ll bullet point this to make it easier to catch at a glance.

  • 100% of the proceeds go to Operation Jack– the photographers are waiving all their normal fees.
  • Go to the Race Photos page on the registration site & donate $8 or more before the race and you’ll get access to download any 5 photos at a size great for sharing on Facebook or via email. [Prices will increase after the race.]
  • Go to the Race Photos page on the registration site & donate $20 or more before the race and you’ll get access to download any 5 photos at extra large size, which you can use to print photos of any size and is still perfect for sharing on Facebook or via email. [Prices will increase after the race.]
  • If we receive $250 or more in donations, then ALL the photos will be available to EVERYONE at sharing size.
  • If we receive $1000 or more in donations, then ALL the photos will be available to EVERYONE big enough to print.

This is a PHENOMENAL deal for everyone involved. These prices are less than you’d pay for even 1 photo from a normal race photos company. And because the photographers are so generous, ALL the proceeds will benefit Operation Jack. It’s a win-win. Let’s show everyone how well this can work! Here are some photos from last year’s race.

OP JAck

Operation Jack #61

101226-100500_200 mm

Operation Jack Satellite Runs

So you all remember the 2010 Operation Jack Marathon, right? You can check my recap on the CORE blog. And watch the great video reviewing the race and Sam’s epic achievement of running (and running HARD) 61 marathons in 2010.

So we’re back in 2011. The race itself, held right in Manhattan Beach, is set to be a sell-out. Which is awesome. At the same time, we are trying to raise more than $30,000 for autism charities and we need help across the country & the world. And here’s how you can help:

 

 

1) Enter one of the satellite races. We have an awesome medal for 2011, 4″ die cast metal. And an excellent t-shirt and stellar bibs. Want to get all 3? Sign up for the 2011 satellite runs, 6.2 miles. Just register by December 16 for $35 to get all the gear by race day. You can read more about the satellite runs on Sam’s blog and then register to run as part of Team CORE. Choose the Satellite Run option.

 

2) You can also donate through my fundraising efforts. I’m matching the first $5 of every donation and another $5 for each runner on Team CORE. If you donate $25 or more through me, you’ll get a t-shirt too (just remind me).

For LA locals, there’s still time to register to run or sign up as a volunteer.

T-shirt

Operation Jack Marathon 2011- Preliminary Instructions

Thank you for signing up for the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon. 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 at 6:00 AM and will continue until shortly after the race begins. Late registration may be 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 and at the start/finish for marathoners. 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. Plenty of food is available nearby, with a couple dozen restaurants on Highland Ave. between 33rd St & 45th St.

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

(9) Post race party
TBD

Good luck!

The Hermosa 24 Ultramarathon Was Awesome!

It’s 3:30 AM, I’ve been awake about 20 hours and I’ve already run 20 miles, barefoot, in the deep soft sand between the Manhattan & Hermosa Piers. My knee is starting to bother me, and I’ve returned to base camp ready to pass the baton to the next relay runner. But none are here– 2 gone home with burnt feet, 1 left limping with leg cramps, one half wrecked knee, one gone due to nasuea along with a medical transport. Among the 17 members of the Team CORE and Team Structures relayers, only 3 of us remain in the wee hours to run back & forth. So I turn around head back for another 3.4 mile lap. Without getting so much as a sip of water.

Staggering along the beach, forced to walk and unable to run due to ITB tightness. There I sat, on a swingset not far from Longfellow, trying to massage the pain away. No go. And so on I went, finishing the lap in 67 minutes and still with no one to run the next lap. I was half delirious due to knee pain, dehydration, sleep exhaustion, cold, sweat and lightheadedness. The dream– organize & run on 2 teams and keep them both on the course for the entire day– was slipping away. How the heck did I get myself into this?

Tent city

It all started nearly a year ago when Christian Burke set out to run 24 hours and set a new world record of 83+ miles on the soft sand. And he did it! A few months later, I was helping to organize the Operation Jack Marathon and Christian gave us a lot of useful advice. And then Christian won the dang thing! BTW, we’ll back for the 2nd Annual Operation Jack Marathon on December 26. Christian was already planning the inaugural Hermosa 24, and I asked what I could do to help.

Clapping for Patrick Sweeney

That’s when I started running on the soft sand, Januaryish, quickly building to 20 miles, later running back-to-back 15 milers. I knew I’d be ready for anything, but I needed a team. So after 3 months of cajoling co-workers, I had convinced 10 to join the race. Meantime, CORE co-founders Todd Dipaolo & Chuck Trucker helped formed the core of the CORE team, and Todd recruited 4 friends to join and I found another runner, so we had 8. Of course, that meant I’d be running for 2 teams. More on that later. Of these 16 other team members, I think about 3 ran regularly. So we had our work cut our. The day began inauspiciously, as the sun was out full force at noon and despite the cool temperatures and strong breeze, the sand was hot. Hot enough to burn the feet of the first 2 runners for the Structures team– the last 2 to run barefoot. Well, besides me. My feet were tough enough to run an hour at a time, although they got pretty toasty too. And then we got in a good rhythm.

Keep on truckin'!

Through all that, I was running for 2 teams, 5 laps by 9:30 before a much appreciated rest. The running, I could do. Problem was, I hadn’t slept well the night before. I didn’t know what the heck to do for fuel besides drinking Gatorade and sucking down junk food. And I was spending all my down time walking around chatting & trying to coordinate our next laps as one runner after another went down with various ailments. So after lap 4, I was looking pale and forced myself to sit in the shade for an hour and consume some mad calories. Much better. After lap 5, I took a break and had some tortilla soup, chips & dip then laid down to rest. And as I rested the team disappeared.

Scott finishes lap 2!

So let’s see. While I rested Vinay’s leg cramped up, causing him to fall and forcing him to crawl for a bit– trooper that he is, he finished the lap. Eron tweaked his knee pretty bad yet volunteered to run more– thankfully we talked him out of that. Jenny had some pizza with ill-advised timing, and left along with Daniel for medical transport. Instead of 5 people to cover the 2 AM – 6 AM shift, we were down to 3 across 2 teams. And I was alone for structures. And that brings us back to the first paragraph. I had just completed my 7th lap, and normally I could easily stretch a 7 mile run to 10. But these weren’t normal times. So I had to just sit and wait. Chuck went to retrieve some fluids for me as I was splayed out on a chair and to check the tent for any hidden runners. No dice. Just then, Nathan returned from his run and we’d have to game plan together.

Last steps

And just like that, Nathan (above) volunteered to run a lap for Team Structures as Chuck headed out for Team CORE. It’s a Festivus miracle! As Chuck & Nathan complete their laps, I dragged a stranger off the street to run for Team Structures and I headed back out for Team CORE. Upon our return, the morning crew (mostly) arrived and our little drama was ending. Oh sure, 3 or 4 or 5 backed out of their last lap, but at the same time others stepped up, as Matt covered 3 laps in the morning. Dave (below), who almost didn’t start because of a bad knee, ended up volunteering to fill a hole in & running our fastest lap of the day as Team CORE completed our 26th & final lap. All the totals for Team CORE and Team Structures are now permanently stored on our Google Docs.

Dave toughs out lap 3!

Let's see how good you look after being up for 26 hours and running 27 miles in the soft sand!

While our drama was unfolding, another drama was playing out as Patrick Sweeney chased down Christian’s 2010 record. He needed 25 laps, and looked solid to take it. I had hoped to run with Patrick the first lap, but he surprised me by blazing through lap 1 in a ridiculous 34 minutes– hard to do running all out, let along simply as a warm up. Of course, Patrick slowed as the race progressed, but he still looked set to run/walk 25+ laps. Patrick was finishing his 25th & record setting lap just as I was heading out for number 9. Pretty cool! I passed Patrick about 16 times on the course, none more memorable than the last lap.

High five!

Patrick Sweeney breaks the 24 hour record for running in the sand
I missed that mini-hoopla, but caught it after his final lap. Was glad to pass Patrick again on my return, and seeing him running lap 26 with 3 of the other solo runners was pretty awesome. What was also awesome was Mickey’s Winners completing 39 laps, 131 miles. Alex Mendoza running over 60 miles… more amazing upon realizing he’s only 15! Many other stories, one sure to follow soon from the verbose one Bourbon Feet (aka Patrick Sweeney) and possibly from Christian Burke. Before closing with a few pics, I’ll throw a quick link to the results & official race photos. I survived pretty good, legs not a touch of sore after 30+ miles barefoot in the deep soft sand (more like 40 effort wise on any other surface) with some tender feet and a sore back. The kids found a good use for those red balls that lined the course, all had fun and the whole group seemed to catch the sand running bug, already setting up monthly runs now and weekly runs later. Enjoy!

BOUNCE!

The once & present kings!

Stellar!

Meanwhile, back at camp...

Matt & Sara

May Update


May Update

sand dune, moai, bike racks

Wow – seems like the summer we missed in 2010 is finally here!

Before reading on, I was hoping you could indulge me here for a moment:
Q.  What does our Sand Dune and contemporary civil rights have in common?
A.   Unless you remain active and participate in the process, access to both tend to slip away!
While this may sound a bit of a stretch, thanks to your collective effort in 2010 by writing city council, attending meetings, and even writing to the local media, we were able to say “yes to exercise” and re-open the Sand Dune (albeit with significant restrictions).

This Tuesday, the City Council will be revisiting the Sand Dune once again (agenda here).  While we are genuinely happy that the local neighborhood is satisfied with last year’s compromise, we nevertheless, feel that an 80% reduction in usage was draconian and simply overkill.  For example, if you live in Manhattan Beach and must commute to work (like a large number of us), the opportunities that you can use the Dune practically do not exist as the reservation system only has a few slots per day that exclude most of those who must drive to work.

During the next couple of days, we urge you to write to our city council to express your personal experience as well as provide any constructive suggestions you may have since the Dune has been re-opened.  Also, feel free to include CORE’s three basic requests as well.   Please copy the city manager, David Carmany, and include your Manhattan Beach address.  Don’t forget, each letter has significant impact to our city leaders.

In the meantime, here are a few events that some CORE founders have been personally involved in and encourage your participation:

Vitality City / Blue Zone in partnership with Beach Cities Health District

  • Manhattan Beach residents have a very unique opportunity to involve themselves in many new recreational and exercise activities that will be sponsored by our very own Beach Cities Health District.  While you can read about the entire program and its founder in this great article, we encourage every single one of you to sign up for the Moai initiative that just began last week and is still open.  These are local walking groups offered at different times within your neighbors that occur right in your own neighborhood!  It turns out that creating these type of long term social connections may have just as much impact on health and life expectancy than what you eat!

Bike Racks

  • If you or your family do not bike, than you probably do not realize how few bike racks there are in this city!  Next week, this year’s Leadership Manhattan Beach class will be installing 45 new custom bike racks around town.  As other cities have proved, increased bicycle infrastructure not only encourages more people to leave their cars at home and exercise, but also increase local economic activity as well.   If you would like to be more involved with improving Manhattan Beach’s bicycle infrastructure, we would encourage you to sign up at the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and be part of the development of the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan.

Hermosa 24

  • About six months ago CORE helped organize and support Operation Jack, the first charity marathon here in Manhattan Beach.  On June 18th, join our CORE team in another charity run – the Hermosa 24.  Last year, Christian Burke, set a Guinness Book of World Records by running in our sands for 24 hours.  This year, run on your own, field your own team, or join our team for a unique experience on our beaches!

As usual, free to contact us with any thoughs, ideas or suggestions about other local outdoor issues.

On behalf of CORE,
Bill Hory, co-founder
Manhattan Beach

Hermosa 24 Ultramarathon & Relay

Last year, Christian Burke ran 24 hours on the soft sand between the Manhattan & Hermosa piers and set a new Guinness World Record by jogging 83 miles. This year, he’s back with the Hermosa 24, an event that will be even bigger & better. It’s both an ultramarathon for solo runners, and a relay race for teams of athletes. All on the weekend of June 18-19. CORE is going to enter a team of 10 runners, and we’re still looking for a few more people to round out the crew. If you’re interested in joining, just leave a comment below or send an email to jake@core4.org. Christian is a long time ultra marathoner, and even won the Operation Jack Marathon held in December right in Manhattan Beach. It will be a great event!

Manhattan Beach City Council Questionnaire

As you probably know, there will be an election on March 8th for two city council positions.  Each of the winning candidates will serve four years, rotating one of those years at the position of Mayor.  Unlike larger cities, these are not what we would consider salaried positions and specific income information can be found here

Why vote?  Believe it or not, your vote actually matters as only 43 votes separated last city council elections.  Not only does City Council decide upon the most important issues affecting our city, once elected, incumbents typically seek and win a second term – extending their service to the year 2019!

CORE offered six question to three candidates, Amy Howorth (contact), David Lesser (contact), and Kathleen Paralusz (contact) regarding some of the issues that are relevant to CORE members (#4 & #5 relate to the Sand Dune)

We would enjoy hearing about your comments so feel free to contact us direct or post a comment .


Question #1 – During the next four years, how would you support making Manhattan Beach a more bikable and pedestrian friendly city?

Amy

Manhattan Beach has the natural qualities to be a very bike and walk friendly city.  It’s good for the environment and good for our health to encourage such activities.  Vitality Cities is currently conducting a walkability survey, which will provide data that help us make some improvements. Information such as traffic light timing, location of crosswalks, and peak traffic routes will help determine safe and accessible walking routes.  Encouraging bike use is a complicated topic as our roads are pretty narrow here in the city.  I support painting “sharrows” on major thoroughfares to alert drivers to the presence of bikers.  Another partner in these endeavors is the South Bay Bicycle Coalition. They are doing great work that will help guide our council’s bike policies.  Of course, I support putting more bike racks in the city so it is easier to secure your bike once you ride it.

David

As a Council member I would actively support the work of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition  and South Bay Cities Council of Governments to make Manhattan Beach a more “bikable” city.  For the past seven years as a City of Manhattan Beach Parking and Public Improvements Commissioner and Planning Commissioner I have repeatedly urged our city leaders and staff to be more proactive in developing interconnected bike routes beyond our beach bike path.  My family and I are avid cyclists.  A preliminary network could allow our city to qualify for funds to develop additional bike routes.  Our city has an extraordinary pedestrian-friendly infrastructure based on our Strand and Veterans’ Parkway.  We need to continually explore ways to encourage residents to take advantage of opportunities when possible in their busy lives.

Kathleen

I’m pleased to be supported and endorsed by Todd Dipaola (former Environmental Task Force member and co-founder of the South Bay Bike Coalition) and have had frequent discussions with him and other residents about how to make Manhattan Beach more bike and pedestrian friendly.  I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of the SBBC since they formed.  As we all know, change starts at the grassroots level.  SBBC has given Manhattan Beach a huge edge by obtaining a $240,000 grant from the LA County Dept. of Public Health to pay for the South Bay Master Bicycle Plan for the South Bay, I plan to work closely with SBBC and strongly support and advocate on behalf of their efforts to develop and implement a bike-network not just for our city, but our neighboring cities as well.

Being bike-friendly and being pedestrian friendly go hand in hand.  Once you bike to your destination, you need a place to park so you can then walk (rather than drive).  Another priority must be on installing additional bike racks around the city, including on public property (our parks, and our downtown and North Manhattan Beach areas, as an example).  I would also strongly encourage our local businesses to include bike racks, including Manhattan Village Mall.  The Mall is planning a renovation (which has been on hold for some time now due in part to the economic downturn).  I would like to see a design that not only includes bike parking but a plaza-type arrangement similar to what El Segundo did with Plaza El Segundo, only better to encourage more foot traffic.

A third item which does not get as must attention as say, bike lanes, is the continuity and upkeep of our current sidewalks.  Anyone who tries to walk around town knows that there are sections where there simply are no sidewalks or just as bad, there are streets where the sidewalk suddenly ends or is interrupted.  This makes walking more of a hazard and therefore discourages residents from walking at all.


Question #2: How concerned are you about safety for cyclist and pedestrians?
David
Safety for cyclists and pedestrians is an ongoing concern, particularly as we explore interconnected bike routes.

Kathleen

Very.  It’s one of the reasons the city needs dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks, particularly along our main arterial routes.  I’ve already had initial discussions with Jim Hannon of the Beach Cities Cycling Club, which not only leads bike rides but trains cyclists on safety.  They need to be a part of the conversation when the Council begins evaluating and implementing the Master Bicycle Plan.

Amy

Public safety is a top concern


Question #3: Do outdoor festivals like Concerts in the Park and Volleyball Tournaments need to be rolled back, expanded, or maintained as is?

Kathleen

The short answer is yes but it depends on the nature of the event, whether we can afford to add more events, and whether they would put the public safety of our neighborhoods at risk.  Ideally, it would be great if we could have more events like Concerts in the Park or Movies on the Beach, which are truly community and family-oriented events that everyone can enjoy.  However, the nature of those types of events is markedly different from and poses less public safety challenges than say, the Six Man Tournament, where we’ve seen tens of thousands of people converge in recent years – sometimes irresponsibly – on the beach and downtown neighborhoods.

The other challenge will be paying for the events – including Parks and Recreation personnel dedicated to staff and clean up afterwards – at a time when the City will be looking at additional ways to cut expenditures.  One option will be to solicit more private support to pay for the events (much like the case with Movies on the Beach).  It will likely be easier to obtain such support where the event is more community and family-based.

Amy Howorth:

Concerts in the Park is wonderful summer tradition for our city.   Downtown businesses are pressuring Council to limit outdoor events downtown because their revenues suffer during events like the Fireworks and the Pumpkin Races.  I love all those events and want to see them continue, but we need to manage them well so they don’t negatively impact residences (Concerts in the Park) and businesses.  I would not roll them back, but I would think carefully before adding more.

David Lesser

Concerts in the Park are terrific and should be maintained.  The Manhattan Open volleyball tournament is the subject of ongoing negotiations with a new operator and sponsor following the liquidation of the AVP.  I am excited by the opportunities.  The six-man tournament was properly policed last year to maintain a classic community tradition.


Question #4: Now that there is a fence and quota of users for the Sand Dune, would you support increasing the morning, evening & weekend hours to accommodate those working Manhattan Beach residents that must commute to work and currently cannot use the Dune?

David

I would like to have data for a full year of usage at the Sand Dune, including the summer months, before taking a position on increasing quotas. As one who used to love using the dune freely for exercise when I was not commuting to work, I am receptive to the issue.  But I would want to carefully consider changes to current use restrictions with solid data to avoid the circus of two years ago

Kathleen

Yes, I think it’s a reasonable request and I support reviewing the current system and making tweaks that make sense.  This includes exploring an increase in hours to allow residents to access the park but not pose additional burdens on the neighborhoods.  I think that’s one of the reasons why the quota is so important – it limits the number of users and minimizes the impact during the hours of operation.

Amy

The Sand Dune compromise has brought relief to the homeowners who live nearby. Council must take into consideration their quality of life. However, it seems that a working group  or committee made up of a few homeowners and few representatives of CORE could get to  an understanding whereby people who exercise could have limited expanded time before or after work. It’s a delicate balance.


Question #5: Given that city staff has determined that the local neighborhood can handle 50 Sand Dune users, would you be supportive of increasing the current quota of 20 if there is more demand?

Amy

As I said above, it’s a delicate balance.  50 is more than double the current amount of users, and I would say that if any discussion of upping the amount of users began, doubling the number would not be the place to start.  I would need to see all the data to fully understand the problem

.

David

As with my earlier response, I would like to have data for a full year of usage at the Sand Dune before taking a position on increasing the quota.

Kathleen

Possibly.  I am not opposed to it but this I think will be a more difficult issue to address than increasing hours.  We know from the previous usage pre-closure that the demand far exceeded 20 so I don’t think that’s the issue.  The issue is whether and how an increase could be implemented without having a negative impact on the adjacent neighborhoods.


Question #6: Following on the success of the inaugural event, as a city council member would you support the continuation of the Operation Jack Marathon half/full marathon which starts and finishes in Manhattan Beach (no public funding required)?

Kathleen

Yes, especially as a former marathoner myself (including San Diego, LA, NYC and Marine Corps). but I don’t agree that no public funding is required.  We’ll still have public safety costs associated with monitoring and ensuring the safety of the event.  However, I think the City has a great opportunity to support and add a fun, healthy, positive addition to the list of annual events that our community enjoys together.

Amy

In general, I’m supportive of charity events (marathons, walks, etc).  Many organizations apply for permits to use the Strand and so we have to look at the whole picture.  We can’t have an event every weekend, because again, that affects local businesses. Frankly, I was shocked to see that our businesses suffer as a result of these types of programs.  I guess not everyone eats a large breakfast at Uncle Bill’s after the Pier-to-Pier like I do…..

David

It sounds like fun!