Encinitas sports fest goes the distance

ENCINITAS — The annual Encinitas Sports Festival hosted athletes of all ages, skill sets and abilities May 19 and May 20. Approximately 3,000 runners, cyclists, swimmers and paddle boarders converged on Moonlight Beach for various competitions and a sports expo.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted the 19th annual family friendly 5K and 1K race. “It’s always a good day when you can ride your bike with your family to the beach and run a race,” said Perry Delaney. His two youngest daughters, Jenna, 4, and Alise, 6, and his wife Amy joined the father of three. “We love to run and the excitement of the crowd really gets the girls pumped up,” Amy said.

Terri Plunkett took first place in the overall three-mile women's stand up paddle division at the Encinitas Sports Festival Moonlight Beach Paddle & Swim on May 19 Photo by Wehtahnah Tucker

“I got a prize,” Jenna said as she proudly displayed her medal after the race. “It was fun but I’m tired.”

Other athletes had a longer haul of the weekend packed with triathlons, a duathlon, the San Diego Century Bicycle Tour, a stand up paddle board and one mile open swim contest all in play.

The USA Track and Field certified course was placed through downtown with plenty of room for supporters to cheer on participants. “I’m so proud of her,” said Patti McConohough, as she yelled to her daughter, Serena. “She’s been training so hard.”

“It was a great time,” said Debbie Church, who competed in the 4th annual Stand Up Paddle race. “The waves were good, the weather’s great,” she said. “What more could you ask for?”

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