Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Santa Monica Runabout!

I realized not so long ago that although I have lived in Santa Monica for about a year and a half, I really haven't been to most of the city. I live 3/4 of a mile from the ocean and that is where I have been running primarily and yet there's a whole lot more city to see.

I came up with the idea of doing a bunch of "Runabouts", where basically I just point myself in a direction and go. I've read about the parks in
the city and so I thought this might be a good place to start. And so, with that in mind a couple of weeks ago I ran to the Airport park. Pretty cool little park with a dogpark and lots of picnic area and barbeque grills and a small walking path. More importantly it lead to my discovery of this:

The first time I ran by here I didn't have my camera so I thought this morning I would backtrack my route and get a shot. This is a DC3 nicknamed "The Spirit of Santa Monica". How cool is that?

From this point, I headed north on Bundy towards downtown Santa Monica. Funny, but I always thought downtown Santa Monica
was the 3rd Street Promenade or Main Street but to those who have been here all their lives, not so!

I ran up Bundy towards Santa Monica Blvd and when I say up... I mean up. I have a couple of hills between my house and the beach and yet thats it... pretty much downhill to the pier. Going in this direction from south Santa Monica where I live to Bundy and Wilshire or even San Vicente is all up hill. There are days when I really notice this and fortunately today was not one of them. I just kind of got in a zone and the running came easy even if it was uphill!

Once I hit Wilshire Blvd it was back the twenty-some blocks to the ocean for the final stretch home.

As I'm writing this it has turned into a beautiful sunny SoCal day, however as you can probably see from this picture, we were socked in by "June Gloom" when I reached the Oceanfront Walk near the Santa Monica Pier. In fact as I ran past wearing only a tank top one of the parking attendants asked me if I was cold (after 9.5 miles I was anything but cold).

As one would expect on the 4th of July at 11 am the pier parking lots were full to overflowing and the beach was crammed with umbrellas as far as the eye could see! Definitely standing room only at the beach! A couple of miles later and I was back home. After plugging in the route, turns out to be a nice little 11 miler!

All in all, another pretty cool Santa Monica Runabout! Tomorrow... maybe a run through Culver City. I'm in need of a good of a good twenty miler and that should just do the trick! Watch for picks from La Ballona bikepath (one of my favorite routes).

Happy 4th of July!


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