My sleepy little beach town of Santa Barbara has not just one – but two! – weekly summer evening splash n’ dash series. Nite Moves, now in its 23rd season, is Wednesdays at Leadbetter Beach, and involves a 1000m swim and/or a 5km run up Shoreline Drive. Reef & Run, a more recent addition to the local scene, is Thursdays at East Beach and offers the choice of a 500m, 1000m, or 1-mile swim followed (select weeks only) by a beach run.
Last week I participated in the season-opening Reef & Run, which was free to all comers. From a swimmer’s perspective, it has a lot to recommend it:
- meatier, 1-mile swim (plus 500m and 1000m options)
- locker room and showers at the Cabrillo Bathhouse
- more affordable $120 season pass (or $15/day)
- large, easily-sighted buoys
- East Beach is, quite simply, a great beach – one of the best in town.
Neither series distinguish between wetsuits and skins in the results – which is an argument I may never win. In the organizers’ defense, these events are logistically complicated enough without sorting out who’s wearing a wetsuit and who isn’t, week in and week out.
Anyway, it was a glorious evening – about 24 hours before the summer solstice. Air temp in the mid-70s with lots of sun. Water was 63F with incredible visibility – close to 15 feet, which is almost unheard of close to shore in this region.
I finished 4/104 in the 1-mile swim, in 19:52. The 500m and 1000m swims attracted 79 others – a tremendous turnout.
Looking forward to next week!