Manzanita, this weekend, will be full of people who enjoy long walks on the beach. Or long runs on the beach.
By Jordan Wolfe
The 26th annual Manzanita Beach Walk & Run begins at 9 a.m. on the beach at the end of Laneda on Saturday.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Jeremy Mulcahy-Hill, race director, “Everyone always seems to be in a good mood, assuming the weather cooperates.”
The event functions primarily as North County Recreation District’s largest fundraiser for the fitness center, according to Mulcahy-Hill, the funds are used for necessities such as purchasing new equipment.
“I think the race shows a community focused on the health of each other,” he said. “Before we just looked at it as a fundraiser, but it brings people to come to our area and more people to see our quaint little location on the beach and get people into the businesses.”
Since Mulcahy-Hill became involved in 2011, the beach run has evolved in many ways.
“We have had a record number of participants, every year,” he said, noting that the 25th event in 2015 had a turnout of 380 people.
“It’s always nice to have more participants. Bigger is always better, but it needs to be done in a manageable way.”
Many of the participants plan their summer vacations around the annual event, Mulcahy-Hill said, with people coming from areas such as the East Coast, Texas, Canada, Germany and Italy. “It’s impressive to see where everyone comes from,” he said, jokingly adding that he might as well add “International” to the event’s title.
Another upgrade the annual race was given, in recent years, made the race itself more efficient. Gone are the days of stopwatches and grabbing popsicle sticks at the finish line, Mulcahy-Hill said.
“Their bibs auto-clock them all and print out their time and place,” he said, “It makes it all streamlined so we can sit back and enjoy.”
Leading an event that has been ongoing since 1990, Mulcahy-Hill said he enjoys looking through books and seeing the locals that have been participating since the beginning.
“It’s a legacy. Something that brought the community together.”
The 26th Annual Manzanita Beach Walk & Run begins at 9 a.m. and continues until noon. The race begins at Manzanita beach at the end of Laneda. Day-of registration occurs at 8 a.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Jeremy Mulcahy-Hill at 503-368-4595, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event website beachwalkrun.com.