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Siesta Key hosts Summer Beach Runs (and a sidebar on Moroccan hiking)

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beachruncrowd2011Go ahead and mark Tuesday evenings on your outdoor calendar for the rest of summer.
Each Tuesday afternoon, you need to grab the kids, pack a few beach towels and head out to Siesta Key before 6:30 p.m. We’re talking about the Summer Beach Run Series, which just might be the best racing event on the Gulf Coast.
If you missed the first Beach Run this week, don’t worry about it. There’s still plenty of time for your children to run four 1-mile races and earn a free T-shirt.
If you don’t have kids, you can still head out to Siesta Beach. The Manasota Track Club offers adult races that start when the fun runs finish.
After everyone jogs up and down the beach, lots of families hang around to swim and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.
If there’s a better way to enjoy the beach with your kids, I’d like to know what it is.

beachrunribbondetailMoroccan hiking
Speaking of kids, I have a Go! girl update and an explanation for missing last week’s column.
First, my wife and I met some friends in California for a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. What a beautiful week of vacation.
We enjoyed fruit stands, farmer’s markets and spectacular scenery.
Then, when we got back to Florida, we got a phone call from my daughter Marie.
The good news was that she had gone hiking on vacation with a friend in Morocco. The bad news was that she’d broken her ankle.
Ouch.
After her nightmarish flight home, and then ankle surgery back in Miami, we heard the whole hiking story.

beachrunsmileMoroccan first aid
Marie and her college friend, who just finished a semester abroad, met in Paris and flew to Tangier. They stayed in a cheap hotel outside the city and went for a hike in the Rif mountains.
This guy from the hotel asked if they wanted to see a waterfall. They did. They hiked and hiked, wading through streams and covering rough country, before finally reaching this waterfall and taking a swim.
So far, so good.
Then this guy asked if they wanted to see another waterfall. Of course they did. And, on that long, long hike, Marie slipped on some loose rocks and snapped her ankle.
She does not have fond memories of Morocco, obviously, but I tell her that things could have been far worse.
I’ve seen iPhone photos of the Moroccan guys who took turns carrying her halfway down the mountain.
Finally, they took two long poles and a prayer mat to fashion a stretcher and carry her the rest of the way. That was some top-notch improvisation and wilderness first aid.
Good for them. Good for her. Good for us.
I hope things are much less eventful for families enjoying the Beach Runs this summer.
If your kids want to run twice a week, or if you live in South County, there are Wednesday evening runs at the Venice Municipal Pier. Those start at 6:30, too.
Have fun out there.

Last modified: June 12, 2013
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