Manhattan Beach Singles Event Again A Big Party
I did not know if I was in shape for the 10K, but I KNEW I was in shape for the beer garden.
In the end, I finished both, and it was another great party on the first weekend of October.
I am referring to the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, one of the best times of the year in this Los Angeles South Bay beach city. It’s a big party and and annual reunion when just about everyone who has ever lived here comes back to town, when people who do live here really live it up.
The focal point is a big beer garden, which is nothing more than a fence around a patch of grass with about a thousand people doing nothing but, well drinking beer.
They – well, I should include myself in this, too, so WE – also make conversation with friends and are trying to pick on, and pick up, other singles in the crowd. There are always many to choose from, by the way.
And my day (well, night, really) ended where it practically begins, at Shellback Tavern by the Manhattan Beach Pier. After the beer garden, people file into Shellback with such passion that there’s a line nearly a block long to get into the place. (Since I know the owner, I was able to talk the guy at the back door to letting me in this year.)
Several hours earlier, I was also in Shellback, having a Bloody Mary after the morning’s 10K run. And I was hardly alone; the place was packed.
I was actually somewhat concerned about being able to go the 10K distance, for this year I did not actually run six miles in preparation for the event. The most I did was about 5 1/2.
This is not an easy run; it has hills, several uphill grades and the mental challenge of circling back to the start line so after the first two miles you have really run nowhere. The toughest part is the 4th mile and it nearly got me; there’s a tough uphill grade followed by a very big hill up Rosecrans Ave.
I arrived at the top barely moving – but still running! – and nearly out of breath. But when I headed down the big hill I suddenly became energized, and when I turned onto The Strand for the final 1 1/4 miles, it was refreshing. The beach and Pacific Ocean glistened in the sun, a band was playing rockin’ music at the lifeguard station and residents were cheering us on as we passed their beacnfront houses.
I crossed the finish line in 1:01:03 but my actual time was about 30 seconds faster, accounting for the time it took to get to the start line. Earlier in the week, I was certain it would be 1:10 or even 1:15, so I was thrilled to do it in an hour.
At least initially. Soon afterward, I was a bit ticked at myself for not pushing it and not just breaking an hour, but getting down in the 57-minute range.
No matter; all such emotions were later dulled in the beer garden and Shellback.
Hometown Fair – another great Manhattan Beach weekend!