ENCINITAS — This year’s Kook Run – a 5K and 10K with costume contest – will begin at 7 a.m. Feb. 12 along North County’s Pacific Coast.
The Pro/Elite race was the fastest 10K on the West coast in 2022 and will include an international field of runners, as well as top runners in Southern California. In 2023, all will be racing for a cash purse of $3,000.
The youngsters will get their own day to run at the Junior Kook Run Feb. 11 with a course modified from 400 yards to one mile for ages 3 to 11 at the Ecke YMCA, during packet pick-up, starting at 10:30 a.m.
The costume contest is an entertaining aspect of the event – and makes this event fun. Costume contest awards the top three in each of the following categories: “Football Fan,” “Group Costume” and “Individual Kook.” Costume contest participants need to register/check-in at the costume contest registration table between 6:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. The costume award ceremony will immediately follow the 5K race. Winners must be present to win. For rules and more information, visit thekookrun.com.
This year, The Kook Run will donate portions of proceeds to Cardiff 101 Mainstreet and the Encinitas Ecke YMCA. The Surfing Madonna Oceans Project will be the beneficiary of the event’s Beer Garden sales. Race partners include BUBS Naturals, BUMP, vuori, Bindle Bottles, Mooski, and Cardiff 101 Main Street.
Registration is now open – $55 for the 5K (3.1 miles), $75 for the 10K (6.2 miles) and $12 for the Junior Kook Run. Each participant receives a premium T-shirt and finisher’s medal, and this year’s theme is “Alice in Wonderland.”
The course starts under the world famous “Encinitas” sign on the historic Coast Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas. This scenic loop passes by the famous “Cardiff Kook” statue, rises above popular surf breaks and heads down to Cardiff State Beach. Water stations are provided throughout the course.
Race Day and Costume Contest registration opens at 6 a.m. Welcome and introductions take place at 7 a.m. The Elite/10K race start is 7:30 a.m., while the 5K and Costume Division race starts at 7:55 a.m. The awards ceremony is at 9:15 a.m.
Advance packet and T-shirt pick-up at the Ecke YMCA, 200 Saxony Road, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 11. There will be fun events including sponsors expo, complimentary classes, and the fun and inspiring Junior Kook Run presented by Bach to Rock, and Cali Cream Homemade Ice Cream.
One of the “coolest” aspects of the race is its post-run festival, including a beer garden – featuring Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Juneshine, and Pena – along with live music featuring Paging the 90s immediately following the race festivities. For more information on the event, visit thekookrun.com.