Several hundred runners turned out for the June 18 edition of the Manhattan Beach (MB) 5K, This twice-a-year event, run from the MB Pier to El Porto and back at low tide on the hard-packed sand, has become a local beach-racing institution (or maybe it’s just that anyone who wakes up early Saturday morning to race along the beach is ready for an institution?).  Whatever – we came, we saw, we ran and tried to kick sand, and when the sprinting was done, another fun race was in the books.

This year’s June version was a tough one – just the first 5 finishers broke 19 minutes, and jus the first 14 broke 20, Ezekial Glass (17yrs old) of Victorville got the victory in 18:11, followed closely by our own Humberto Sanchez (18:20), on his way back from the Boston Marathon. Humberto led the Club Ed charge, with Rich Gust (4th in 18:46), Jake Courtney (6th in 18:58), Nathalie Higley (9th in 19:11), Will Longyear (13th in 19:50) rounding out the top five club racers. It was Nathalie’s second race back from a basketball back injury, but showed she is quickly returning to form, as she was the First Woman to finish.

The race was notable for several reasons, among which was a local appearance of Masters running legend Shaheed Nolan, who at age 63, is still faster than most mortals; he finished in 18:51, good for 5th overall.

Working his way through the pack was Coach Ed, making his return to racing after almost a year of assorted injuries. The coach finished 25th overall, in 20:58, and was happy to win a first place age group Becker’s Bakery Cookie.

Over a dozen club members ran in the race (complete race results at The Coach had this perspective on the race: “Two things showed me I have more training to do…At first, I thought I was moving well from the start, but I realized I was running with a bunch of kids half my size and a fraction of my age. After several more minutes of running and breathing, I looked up and saw I was just getting to the Marine Station (only a half-mile into the race)… so I still have some training to do.”

Do YOU have some training to do? Come on out to the next club run, and let’s get going!