Tailwind Awards

The award show season doesn’t start for a few months, but these are slow times around Running Life headquarters, so we decided to start our own brand of accolades and jeers. Oscars and Razzies. Roses and thorns. You get the idea.

Since we’re runners, we’ll give “Tailwinds” to local groups or individuals who make positive contributions to our running community, and “Headwinds” for the opposite.

Please note that these designations are determined by a committee of exactly two people – the ones pictured above. When we disagree, we flip a coin. It’s a very scientific process.

So without further ado, we present the first annual Running Life Tailwind awards! (Drumroll please …)

1. Big Sur International Marathon: No doubt about this one. The Big Sur Marathon organization puts on several world-class races, gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities, and supports the outstanding Just Run program to prevent childhood obesity.

2. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital: A tie here. Both support local races with financial and volunteer support. They also put on valuable health related clinics and provide their facilities to host information programs about running. Both are generous supporters of the Just Run program as well.

3. City Council of Monterey: For sponsoring and hosting two new Just Run races for families over the past year.

4. Rio Grill and The Monterey Rape Crisis Center: For organizing and maintaining popular races for over 20 years. The Rio Resolution Run on New Year’s Day and the Together with Love Run near Valentine’s Day are long established races and have inspired many locals to start and maintain running programs.

5. Mahir Agha and Karen Nardozza: Both are behind the scenes establishing groups to create more races on the Central Coast. Mahir is trying to bring back the Carmel Valley Fiesta races. Karen is working to create a Salinas Valley Half Marathon and resurrect the Salinas Main Street Mile. Good luck and Tailwinds to both of them.

We’re putting a stone in our slingshot and taking aim at a local Goliath for our first Headwind awards. (Kazoo noises please …)

1. Pebble Beach Corporation: For posting signs – and even hiring a guard - to keep runners, joggers, and walkers off the Pebble Beach golf course cart paths. For 30 years, the most popular local Saturday morning group run starts on Ocean Avenue in Carmel at 7:15 AM, enters the Carmel Gate and crosses the golf course cart paths near the 11th hole, long before any golfers are playing those holes. Now instead of enjoying the ocean view and beauty of the course, runners must use the dangerous (and shoulderless) 17-Mile Drive, watching for traffic and dangerous blind curves - just so we don’t leave footprints in the morning dew.

2. Pebble Beach Corporation: A two-time winner, for “advising” Robert Louis Stevenson School not to have a youth race in association with the school’s annual Run in the Forest. The school implemented a youth race in 2007 to promote youth health but was then advised to discontinue it. It was not held this year.

We called the Pebble Beach Company and were told that both of these issues were “insurance and safety” related. They’re also worthy of our fiercest Headwinds.

Feel free to contact us with nominees for future Tailwind or Headwind awards.


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