Runners competing in five- or ten-kilometer races in Santa Monica will now have a view of the ocean as part of a new race route through the city.
The Santa Monica City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday, August 9th, that establishes a new beachside race route in the city for five- and ten-kilometer races.
The new race route will start in the south beach area at Ocean Park Boulevard, continue east on Barnard Way, north on Main Street to Colorado Avenue, west to Ocean Avenue, and north along Palisades Park to San Vicente Boulevard, then loop back to finish near the Santa Monica Pier entrance.
The city currently has four race routes, but they are not near the ocean.
The two routes in the southern part of the city near Santa Monica College (SMC) have not been used for many years, but the two routes in the northern part of the city near St. Monica Catholic Church are used annually, city officials said.
The adopted ordinance eliminates the two routes near SMC and modifies the permitted race time for other race routes.
Trinie Garcia-Valdez, community use administrator at the city office of open space management, said the routes near SMC are no longer usable because landscaped medians on Pico Boulevard have created problems for runners alongside traffic.
“The route doesn’t work anymore,” she said.
City staff has also received numerous requests from race organizers and nonprofit organizations about holding races near the ocean.
After recognizing the need for a more appealing race route, city staff proposed the new route, which will provide a “signature” Santa Monica route with an ocean view, city officials said.
“It seemed like a good thing to do, being Santa Monica with the beautiful ocean here,” Garcia-Valdez said.
The race routes near SMC were also a problem because of a lack of parking spaces, but the new beachside route will allow for “plenty of parking” for race participants, Garcia-Valdez said.
The new race route creates no financial impact for the city, she said.
In order to minimize the impact on traffic, residents and businesses along the new race route, city staff proposed to restrict the day and time of the week that the new route can be used, she said.
Races are limited to Saturdays and Sundays, and all races must start no earlier than 7:30 a.m. and end no later than 11 a.m.
There must be at least eight weeks between races.
Race organizers are required to pay all city costs associated with the race, including traffic control, bus rerouting, mailing of neighbor notices and event and insurance fees.
The new beachside race route ordinance is scheduled to take effect Friday, September 9th.