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Encinitas Beach Run brings community together

On Sunday September 17, one of North County’s most iconic beaches will serve as the backdrop for the fun, competitive and locally supported Encinitas Beach Run.

The 5K and 10K races will be put on by Excelarace and take place on the hard-packed sand at Moonlight Beach, starting and finishing just West of the infamous palm tree. 

With scenic ocean views, ample room for onlookers to wait and watch and local businesses nearby ready to host post-race meals and deals, the 2023 Encinitas Beach Run will be a chance for athletes and runners of all abilities to compete.  

Excelarace owner Steve Lebherz is a longtime Encinitas resident and is eagerly anticipating the impact the race will have. With support from area businesses, locals and San Diego residents who know and love Encinitas, the race serves as a chance for many different pockets of the community to come together. 

“Our runs are enjoyed by runners of all abilities and experience levels,” Lebherz explained. “I have been running on the beach at low tide since 1976. It has lower impact on my body, and it just a great run to be a part of.”

With a strong opportunity for community support, it seemed a natural fit for proceeds of the race to fund a local charity. A generous portion of money raised will go to the The Encinitas Lifesaving Association, a non-profit arm of the Encinitas Ocean Lifeguards teaching ocean safety and water awareness.

“The Encinitas Beach Run will take place between 1 and 5 PM on a Sunday. It is a flex start time because of the tide swell and potential wind that day,” Lebherz explained. “Even if you are not a runner, it is fun to come out with friends and family and just go for a walk. It is competitive for some, but there will be plenty of room for other activities as well.”

Hand-in-hand with supporting local causes comes excitement from athletes and those looking to get moving this fall, with runners, walkers and joggers eager to compete. Many participants are Encinitas Run Club members, urged to get involved by the club’s president. 

“When I was telling my run club about the race, many of them were very excited about the competition aspect of it. A lot of them are in top shape and are really excited about competing for the top places,” Encinitas Run Club president Dennis Miguel explained. 

The run club meets weekly, and the runners are no strangers to the beauty of the Encinitas coastline. Competing amongst athletes from across San Diego and beyond will be an exciting way to share a slice of their territory. 

“This is worth coming out and competing and running and just overall having a great time. There are not many races that are on the beach, so this will be a unique experience,” Dennis said. “Being a community-based run club, we want to get the community as involved as we can.” 

$1,200 in total prize money will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both men and women runners. In addition to the competition, kids under 10 are welcome for a free 1k run  taking place before the 10k. T-shirts and medals will also be passed out to participants. 

Enrollment is now active at The 5k is $62.00, the 10k is $72.00, children 10-17 is $45.00 and kids under the age of 10 run free. Registrants can save 20% thru August when using promo code “Coast20” at checkout.

In addition to the Encinitas Beach Run, Excelarace will also host the 10th annual Encinitas Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving morning, another chance for local runners and potential sponsors to get involved. For more info on Encinitas Turkey Trot sponsorships, email [email protected].  

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