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Council reverses decision, 10/20 race back on in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — The California 10/20 race is back on again, as the Encinitas City Council made an about face and unanimously approved the musical-themed, 10-mile foot race, along with the rest of its major events calendar for 2015.

The race, which is scheduled for Feb. 15, is named for the 10-mile course, which last year spanned from the Del Mar Fairgrounds to Cardiff-by-the-Sea and back to the fairgrounds, and the 20 bands that perform to the racers on stage throughout the course.

The City Council majority in June blocked race organizers from using its stretch of Coast Highway for the event, citing a lack of commitment to contribute to local nonprofit groups and closure of Highway 101 only two weeks after the Cardiff Kook Run as the chief reasons for denial.

Since the first meeting, race organizer Peter Douglass addressed both concerns, one of which — the philanthropy question — he said was a misunderstanding.  To quell concerns about the Coast Highway closure, Douglass modified the course to stop short of the intersection of Coast Highway and Chesterfield Drive. The original course ran just north of Chesterfield to the San Elijo State Beach campsite before turning around and heading back down to Del Mar.

“I am happy the council reconsidered their vote and appreciated that they gave us another shot,” Douglass said.

Douglass said he has worked with the cities involved with the race to be good neighbors, and he made the change to the course to demonstrate this to the Council.

“We had gotten word there was concern about the Coast Highway closure, and we felt that it was best to remove that stumbling block,” Douglass said.

The City Council appreciated the gesture.

“With his willingness to alter the course, I can now support it,” Councilwoman Teresa Barth said. Barth originally opposed the race because of concerns that merchants would feel the pinch of having their key traffic artery closed twice in the same month, once for the annual Cardiff Kook run.