Caren Ware's Blog

May 30, 2010

WAVES crashing in on me…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 7:08 pm

Jeff puts on two Manhattan beach races a year. This is YULETIDE.

Yes. This close to the surf.

We will time 6 events this Memorial weekend. I grabbed the opportunity to be at the Manhattan Beach 5k. One of my staff said,” I don’t like that race. You have to trudge through the sand.” I LOVE IT! I like watching the moon cast shadows on the surf, watching Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes Pennisula take form as the hues of morning show up. I proudly took a picture of my outside office. But did I account for the rising tide? Did I comprehend my pillars would be in the surf by the time the race finished? Not. Not again!!

You have to admit this is a GRAND outdoor office!

The race is directed by Jeff Atkinson, a Manhattan Beachresident and surfer dude till he dies. But what a mixture of laid back and Olympic talent. Jeff Atkinson won the Olympic trails in the 1500 and represented our country in Seoul, Korea coming in 10th. A World Class runner that graduated from Stanford University. He ran an American Record mile at 3:55 and the list is endless and almost ageless. He is still hammering top wins and runs. And, yet. He is Jeff. A beach boy, shirtless and shoeless, moving like the waves. I got a rare window of time and an opportunity to join him and his cronnies at the self-claimed hang out, The Shellback on Main Street closest to the Pier. Through pitchers of beer, they declared the rest of the day…DAYCATION. In my book, they had things to celebrate. Jeff was giving back. He took a school that just recently reopened and in 4 short years trained up a State Champion team. Palos Verdes High School Cross Country Boys not only won State this past year…they shattered a long standing record! And the girls came in third. That doesn’t come from ‘bumming’ around. Surfs up to them. And him. He is married to an equally talented runner. Allison Atkinson, in her forties, is shattering age division records in all kinds of distances. So this group of buddies who all became life pals through Club Ed, a running club that has been around for over 30 years, mull over surf stories then declare a round of beach volleyball as the next activity for DAYCATION. They scamper out. Check Jeff’s amazing bio out on his website:

So, just that morning I am in my outdoor office and a rogue wave dashes up the sand and snatches a grab at my generator. We react fast enough to save the electronics, but the chutes and spindles and etceteras were salt bathed. This was an all too close reminder of a night race we did for Jeff that did crash in on us. Races take place rain or shine. As we set up for this one, a huge demeaning storm came blackening in. It dropped immediate inches of rain. The surf became out of control and smashed over the pier and into the finish line where we were hunkering down in a gully beneath the pier. Unbeknownst to us, the gully was an LA storm control wash and they let the flood gates open in the middle of our race. Needless to say, we were literally and instantly washed out to sea…all 40,000 worth of timing equipment and everyone’s bag checked gear with their cell phones and car keys. We heard the sound of a ringing phone fading and esculating as it got sucked back and forth in the angry waves. It finally silenced when saturated. So did we as we hung ,dripping in our clothes , and tried to take in the incomprehensible facts that all our equipment was somewhere out in that sea.

So I txted someone about my rogue wave this morning. “So much for my outdoor office. Rogue wave just hit me. Waves don’t seem to crash in on you” Txt back. “What a metaphor.” Not the one I want to get tagged for my life…just is the way it is right now.

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