FITNESS: MB 10k donates 16k for new parcourse to City

Former mayor Russ Lesser, one of the founders of the MB 10k, speaks at the unveiling of the new parcourse donated by the race to the city. Photos by Kevin Cody

by Mark McDermott 

Sometimes a race is more than a race. 

In 1978, when a group of running enthusiasts got together and decided to organize the inaugural Manhattan Beach 10k, they weren’t thinking about the runners who would be at the lead of the pack. They were thinking about the entire pack, which in this case, meant the health of the entire community.  

People who run together tend to live healthier lives together. The MB 10k will celebrate its 46th anniversary next month, but on Tuesday, race organizers did something few races do. They gave the City an updated fitness facility, renovating the “parcourse” on The Strand at the end of Marine Avenue where people can work out together.

“The Manhattan Beach 10K run was founded to encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle,” said Russ Lesser, former mayor of Manhattan Beach and a co-founder of the race. “The Parcourse on the Strand is one of many examples of contributions the 10K committee has made through the years to help accomplish these goals.” 

Manhattan Beach Councilmembers David Lesser and Steve Napolitan, Manhattan Beach 10K founders Russ and Charlotte Lessere, MB10 president Michael Weisberg, Councilmembers Richard Montgomery, Amy Howorth, and Joe Franklin, and City Manager Bruce Moe. Testing the new chin-up bar is Parks and Rec Director Mark Lehman. Photo by Kevin Cody

The parcourse improvement, which cost $16,000 to refurbish the equipment, was par for the course for the 10k. The parcourse was originally installed by race organizers back in 2001, and has since become a landmark and place of congregation on the Manhattan Beach Strand. The race organization has always made a point of using proceeds to fund fitness enhancements in the community. The 10k has donated over $675,000 for improvements, which include the Mira Costa Track refurbishing, installations of an exercise facility at the Manhattan Beach Middle School, and a climbing wall at Manhattan Heights Park, Strand mile markers, the play structure at Polliwog Park and artificial turf at the AYSO field on Marine. 

“Us being able to give back to the community stems from the partnership we have with the City,” said race director Michael Weisberg. “The resources they give us enable us to put on a successful race and make money we can in turn give back to the community.” 

Mayor Richard Montgomery thanked Lesser and his wife Charlotte, who was also instrumental in founding the 10k, as well as city staff and current leadership of the 10k. 

“This, with the beach view behind me, is one of the best parts of being the mayor, “Montgomery said. 

The MB 10k takes place October 7 and remains the only of the top 100 road races in the U.S. that foregoes corporate sponsorship. The Road Runners Club of America has designated this year’s race as the California 10k State Championship race. 

“This is a really special opportunity to make for a very competitive race,” said Weisberg.  “While the MB10K has been and always will be a local community race, our Championship race designation and that we are providing prize money for the winners will attract top runners from throughout Southern California.” 

City workers check out the new parcourse.

Race registration is open until 6 p.m., Friday, October 6  either online at mb10k.com or at the Village Runner store in Manhattan Beach.

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