Feel the Love

In hindsight, 1986 turned out to be a fortuitous year for creating road races. Several debut events that year – big ones and small ones, over long distances and short ones - would go on to enjoy enormous success. This year marks the 25th anniversary for many of our favorites.

In Southern California, the Los Angeles Marathon drew thousands of runners, and the Carlsbad 5K began its reign as the World’s Fastest 5K. Closer to home, the Big Sur International Marathon started from humble beginnings to become one of America’s top road races. Demand for this April’s 25th running was so overwhelming that the race has already sold out.

Another of our favorite local races keeps a lower profile, but is equally successful. The Together With Love 10K and 5K in Pacific Grove is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – and best of all, there’s still plenty of room to enter. All you have to do is show up at Lover’s Point in time for the 9AM start, and you’re good to go. The race is always held on the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day – and this year, the run falls exactly on February 14th. A special anniversary on Valentine’s Day at Lover’s Point; what could be more romantic?

Together With Love features everything that makes our sport great, and supports a very worthy organization. The Monterey Rape Crisis Center provides counseling, crisis intervention services, and community prevention education programs. Clare Mounteer and her staff do noble work at the Center, and they do a superb job in organizing the race as well.

This is the largest 5K/10K race in our area and often has as many as 1,500 entrants. For the last six years they have also hosted a 1-mile children’s race. The kids’ race starts at 8:15 AM, and each runner gets a medal and goodie bag. It’s a great way for kids to have fun while enjoying some healthy activity.

Befitting the race’s title, the 5K/10K course is absolutely lovely. It starts near Lover’s Point and goes around Ocean View Blvd toward Asilomar before heading back. The gently rolling course on the cool, scenic coastline is a perfect venue for fast times.

This year each participant receives a long-sleeved technical performance T-shirt, as well as the usual post-race refreshments and entry into a random drawing for a whole lot of prizes.

Together With Love also celebrates the Valentine’s Day theme in a unique way, with couples divisions in addition to the usual age division awards. Ceramic Heart awards are given to the fastest 10K couples in various age divisions. There are male/female, male/male, or female/female categories – but if you want to participate in the couples division, you have to register before January 31st, so don’t procrastinate.

Race registration for couples and singles alike is on www.active.com or www.mtryrapecrisis.org. You can also register in person on race morning if you arrive before 8:30. If you have any questions, call the Rape Crisis Center at 831-373-3955.

Mark your calendar for a fun morning, a fast race, and a great anniversary celebration on Valentine’s Day. Enter the race, and feel the love!

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