Run, MB

By Dave Fratello | December 9th, 2010
Our location is great for surfing, paddling, volleyball, and the list goes on.

Our climate here in MB is also ideal for running, year-round. Cool Summer days, moderately cold Winter days. So it's no wonder that we have so many runners, and even so many races here in town.

Later this month, you've got 2 interesting race options.

A newcomer is the Operation Jack Marathon & Half Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 26.

This is the first marathon we're aware of to begin (and end) in the city of Manhattan Beach.

The race kicks off from northernmost El Porto and goes along Dockweiler State Beach up to Marina Del Rey.

The out leg is just over 6.5 miles, with half-marathoners completing one loop back to El Porto, and full marathoners retracing their steps to the Marina and back before earning a medal.

Besides the novelty factor of an MB marathon, there's a good cause at the heart of the race.

This will be the 61st marathon of the year 2010 for Sam Felsenfeld, father of a 7-year-old boy (Jack) who's severely autistic.

Sam committed to this intense schedule of runs to raise awareness and funds to help the all-volunteer group Train 4 Autism, which funds local autism-related charities. (He's also putting up pretty fast times, almost all in the 3 1/2 hour range, with several quite a bit faster.)

Entry fees are among the lowest you'll find: $55 for the full marathon, $45 for the half. (All proceeds to Train 4 Autism.) That, plus you can probably walk or jog to the start line from home – it's a 7:30am start.

If you're out of town, they've got you anyway: Register for the "Satellite Option" (donation of $25) and join a group from around the country – and a couple other countries – in running 6+ miles in common cause with the MB marathoners.

The annual Yuletide 5k, starting on the wet sand by the MB pier, is switching to an afternoon event with a 2:00pm start. This year it's on Saturday, Dec. 18. After the 2pm race for grownups, 3 separate kids' races start at 3pm.

In past years, this has been a sunset run with luminarias spread along the course, but the 2pm start is more of a kickoff to a well-deserved holiday happy hour.

The course runs along mostly flat, wet sand at an ultra-low tide. This and a companion 5k in June along the same course are both very MB experiences. Baby joggers are welcome – your blog author pushed one in this race once upon a time.

Registration for the Yuletide 5k is $25 for grownups, $20 for kids. Bonus: Jingle bracelets.

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