When the early afternoon tide is low, participants in the Surfing Madonna "Save the Ocean" 5K/10K line up waterside on Moonlight Beach. The scenic run takes athletes of all stripes along the shore to their respective 5k and 10k turnaround points, at which point they must loop back to the finish. Each runner has three hours to complete his or her route, which features aid stations stocked with food and drink along the way. The top 20 male and female finishers divvy up $8,000 worth of prize money, while the top ladies and gents in each age division receive handmade mosaic medals by artist Mark Patterson.
Those awards are distributed during the run’s all-day after party, where vendors supply free snacks and drinks as live music resounds across the shore. In addition to awards for the race, the after-party includes a presentation of $20,000 in scholarships to local students. Likewise, Surfing Madonna—a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the world’s oceans—donates an additional $20,000 to local beach- and ocean-related projects, which are voted for by race participants.
H2O Trash Patrol has a singular mission: to keep sand and water free of trash. The nonprofit was borne out of a family exercise in picking up debris from the beach, but the influx of garbage was soon too much to keep up with. So H2O Trash Patrol was formed, and its members float atop the waters in and around San Diego county waterways on standup-paddleboards, lampooning marine debris before sorting them and recycling what they can. H2O Trash Patrol's goals are big. Its 50-50-50 challenge aims to clean 50 waterways in 50 states over the course of 50 days, and its efforts have been recognized by the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, which gave the organization an Environmental Hero Award in 2011.
To raise funds for its mission, H2O Trash Patrol offers standup-paddleboarding lessons to the uninitiated, teaching pupils how to balance, paddle, and maneuver their boards as they cruise on flat water. Lessons traverse the coast at various locales such as Oceanside Harbor, Carlsbad Lagoon, and San Diego Bay.
At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
The patter of gloves against heavy bags and the paced breathing of circling sparring partners fills The Boxing Club with energy. That's amplified by trainers, who lead classes in everything from cycling to kickboxing. There's muay thai, for example, an MMA fighting style that torches calories with flurries of flying elbows, knees, and fists, or jiu jitsu, which focuses more on grappling.
Martial arts are, in a way, just one more way of working towards physical fitness for many at the studio. Fitness goals are helped along by a full weight room, cardio area, and pilates studio. There's also a full locker room for cleaning up afterwards.
Colossal cuisine portions tip the scales of both locations' menus. The fresh spring rolls ($5.50) burst at their rice-paper seams with vegetables, tofu, and shrimp and come served with a peanut sauce, perfect for dipping and liquid-diet elephants. Poultry patrons can cast a vote for the panang curry chicken ($7.50), which mixes coconut milk with sweet, spicy, and thick curry, adorned with plump bell peppers, sweet pineapple, and affable basil. In the realm of classic tastes, the pad see iew ($7.50) allows noncommittal noodlers the choice of thin rice noodles or flat noodles with a savory synthesis of chicken, broccoli, carrots, egg, and sweet black sauce. The kitchen team can spicy up your dish as sweltering as your devil-may-care tongue can handle, and in emergencies, smoldering stamp-lickers can be extinguished with a tasty Thai iced tea ($1.95).