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.