More than 2,000 runners are expected to race down a new scenic course through Santa Monica Sunday, April 30th, in an event to help keep Southern California coastal waters safe and clean.
The first-ever Carpe Diem Santa Monica Classic, a 5k and 10k run on a newly designed racecourse, is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at Ocean Park Boulevard and Barnard Way, Santa Monica.
Event registration is $35 and available at www.carpediemsm classic.com; on race day at event start from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.; or 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 29th, at Forster Physical Therapy, 427 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 656-8600.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Santa Monica Bay and Southern California coastal waters safe and healthy for people and marine life.
Organizers say this 10k run is the only one currently held in Santa Monica.
The new race courses will take runners from Santa Monica Beach, up Main Street, on to San Vicente Boulevard and will finish atop the Santa Monica Pier. The 5k course will turn around at California Avenue.
Mark Gold, Heal the Bay executive director, said the Santa Monica Classic is the culmination of Earth Month and will celebrate the environmental organization’s “connection to the ocean.”
“It reminds people what we’re all about,” Gold said.
“We’re very excited and flattered to be the recipient of the proceeds from this first-time event.”
Peter Abraham, who has been involved with Heal the Bay for 20 years, including 11 years on the board of directors, said he decided to organize the Santa Monica Classic two years ago as a way to raise money for Heal the Bay.
But Abraham said his goal was also to bring a “better kind of running event” to Santa Monica.
“I wanted everything about the event to be first rate,” said Abraham, who has worked for 20 years in advertising, sports, marketing and film production. “Every aspect of the event I wanted to try to make very high quality.”
The Carpe Diem Santa Monica Classic will stand out from other running events because of its picturesque route near the beach and the many different amenities it offers to participants, he said.
Event amenities include an environmentally-themed expo on the Santa Monica Pier and a recovery lounge, where runners can relax and receive a massage after the race.
Other event amenities and activities include a technical running shirt, tours of the Santa Monica Bay Aquarium, kids’ play area, concierges in the event parking lots, free pre-race coffee service and an interactive Web site featuring streaming video.
The awards ceremony will also be held on the Santa Monica Pier.
Abraham said he chose to hold the running event in Santa Monica because it is a “city with its own identity,” but has no real “mass participation” sporting events.
He said he worked with city officials for a year to get the course approved, and he designed the course specifically for the Santa Monica Classic event.
“I thought it would be great to cover all of the areas that people train on all the time,” Abraham said. “I wanted to be able to highlight the great areas in Santa Monica.”
While the first-time event will benefit Heal the Bay primarily by raising money, it will also help the organization by raising awareness, he said.
Race organizers are hoping to raise about $10,000 for Heal the Bay in this year’s event.
“Ultimately we want people to come out, have fun and enjoy themselves,” Abraham said.