Kevin Cody

16th Street Ironman upholds Hermosa Beach July 4 tradition

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16th Street Hermosa Beach residents socially isolated together in preparation for the First Annual 16th Street Ironman Competition.

by Kevin Cody

When Hermosa Ironman veterans’ Mark Koenigsknecht, Florencio Mendoza and Ambrosio Avestruz learned the Fourth of July tradition was cancelled because of the difficulty social distancing in a drunken mosh pit, they enlisted their 16th Street walk street neighbors in a mini Fourth of July Hermosa Ironman. Social distancing wasn’t an issue because the tightly knit block had been quartentining together since the start of the pandemic.

Photos by ​Brooke Koenigsnecht and Becky Inskeep

Instead of an individual event, like the full Hermosa Ironman, three four-man teams were formed by drawing names out of a hat.

Because the beach was closed over the Fourth, the Hermosa Ironman one mile beach run was replaced by a .366 mile relay (from Hermosa Avenue down 16th Street to The Strand). Instead of a one mile ocean paddle, competitors paddled skateboards the length of the walk street. For the final, most challenging leg, instead of individuals chugging a six pack, teams collectively chugged 17 beers.

Anyone who pukes in the full Hermosa Ironman is instantly disqualified. In the 16th Street mini Hermosa Ironman, if a team member puked, another team member had to chug the puker’s beers.

Mendoza’s and Koenigknecht’s strategy developed during their previous Fourth of July Ironmans paid off in the final leg with a come from behind, first place finish for their team and MVP honors for Mendoza, who chugged six beers after a less experienced teammate puked. ER

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