When runners die and go to heaven, they go to Redondo Beach.
A little over a week ago I received a last minute request to speak at a conference in Los Angeles and I was immediately fantasizing about the palm trees and sunshine. Winter has been brutal in Portland (the worst I can ever recall) and while normally running in the rain is somewhat pleasurable for me, this year you couldn’t pay me to run outside.
But let’s not dwell on the shitty Portland weather, shall we? Flash forward to my oceanside hotel in Redondo Beach, a place I have never visited.
My initial plan was to get in an afternoon run after working all Friday since I would fly out the next afternoon, but I was spent when I finally made it back to my hotel on Friday night. Instead I wolfed down some grilled salmon, got good night’s sleep, and woke up at 6:00am ready for action. Right outside my room at the Crowne Plaza was a paved running/biking path that was already teeming with people by 7am.
Normally, I hate California, but Redondo Beach had me realize that clearly I have been to the wrong parts of California. People of all ages and shapes were running, walking, biking, skateboarding, surfing, playing beach volleyball, and swimming. I saw a fitness video being made, and partially ran through a 5k. These were my people. I even saw my Uber driver from the day before walking with his wife.
And yet, it didn’t feel crowded.
I decided to basically just run up a couple miles (even though I think the path stretched a marathon length) and then turn back, giving me time to hit the breakfast buffet, take a shower, and catch my flight.
The route was incredibly safe and easy with a great view…and I stopped for a moment to watch the morning surfers.
So ok, I’m going to stop bagging on California. The sun was out, the people were friendly, and the breakfast buffet had bacon. My only complaint is that I didn’t have enough time to visit Venice Beach so perhaps a follow-up trip is in order.