As if it weren’t already one of the biggest annual events in the city, the 37th Annual Run Seal Beach race went and got bigger.
The April 2 5K and 10K races draws about 5,000 runners each year and raises upward of $100,000 for community programs. This year, race organizers have added another component aimed at promoting local businesses.
Called Run Back to Seal Beach, the new program is a partnership with the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce that allows runners to use their runner’s bib as a coupon for discounts at dozens of Seal Beach businesses throughout the month of April. The deals range from 25 percent off at Subject Clothing to 15 percent off a meal at Finbar’s Italian Kitchen. It also includes service discounts for massages, bookkeeping, and oil changes.
“For the month of April, that bib is the key to the kingdom,” said Run Seal Beach President Marc Loopesko. “I am waiting until April 3rd and then I am shopping up a storm.”
Run Back To Seal Beach encourages race participants to return to the city to shop and dine and seemed like a great way to get the business community involved in the race, Loopesko said.
“I am not a business owner, but I am a community member, and I like to find ways to support our local businesses,” he added.
The race has always been a very community-oriented event with most of the runners coming from Seal Beach, Rossmoor and Los Alamitos, said Elizabeth Kane, the race’s treasurer. The race is made possible with the help of 500 volunteers, and all of the proceeds go to grants for local athletic programs from Los Alamitos High School booster clubs to scholarships for the Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard program, Kane said.
Since 2003, the race has raised nearly $700,000 for local programs, she added.
Athletics have always been important to Loopesko and Kane. He is a tennis instructor and has been a nationally ranked player and she is runner, who completed the L.A. Marathon.
Kane got into running several years back on a whim. Completing the LA Marathon was one of several random things on her “bucket list,” and one day she just woke up and starting training for the race.
“When I don’t run, I feel the effects of not running,” she said.
And that is the whole point of the race—encouraging people to get active and supporting local athletics, said Loopesko.
Toward that end, the race is organized as a family event with a kids’ 1K Fun Run. The event also includes a Fun Zone that offers supervised play, arts, crafts and face painting for children while their parents run in the race.
“It’s unique because it lets the kids and the parents run,” Kane said. “The kids can play in a secure environment while their parents get to do their run. It’s very secure. The parents and the children have matching armbands, and the children can’t leave with an adult unless their armbands match. It’s been a big hit.”
- Registration: March 30 is the deadline to register online. Race Packet pick-up is April 1, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on April 2, 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
- Cost: $35 for adults and $18 for children, $26 for groups of ten or more
- Race Date: April 2
- Race Time: Kids’ race starts at 7:30 a.m., the 5/10K runs start at 8 a.m., the 5K walk starts at 8:05 a.m.
- Where: The race starts at First Street and Marina Drive and ends at the pier.
New this year
- The Run Back to Seal Beach local business discount program
- On their application, runners will tell a little about themselves so the announcer can tell the crowd about the runners as they approach the finish line.
- The fastest male and female runners will have their names engraved on the William T. Ayres plaque in honor of the race’s longtime president. The plaque will be posted at City Hall.