It’s starting to get warmer in Southern California (in other words, it has gone from 60 to 65 degrees), and you’re probably starting to feel that itch to get out and exercise. Running is a popular activity for Angelenos, with abundant sunshine and great views/trails. With that said, there’s no better melting pot of runners than in Santa Monica. Head over to the beach for a run, and you’ll likely encounter some or all of the following characters.
1. The extremely attractive female who wants nothing to do with anyone
Gorgeous, in shape, glistening and wearing next to nothing — you’ll see plenty of these ladies, and they will all avoid eye contact at all costs. They are out for one reason: to get in their 3 miles to balance out any calories they may consume at the impending happy hour of their choice. If you're a heterosexual guy, you’ll most likely find yourself puffing out your chest and quickening your pace while running by these types, as if your posture and pace will suddenly make her stop and chat you up.
2. Trendy Tommy
This gentleman loves whatever the latest fitness craze is, and he runs like he’s modeling it at a trade show. Last week, it was a new fit-watch and bracelet so he can accurately track his sweat output per quarter mile. This week, he’s wearing a hideous running mask that will benefit his lungs. Next week, he’s likely to have enormous balance shoes that make him look like he’s snowshoeing. Jog by Trendy Tommy with a smile, knowing you two are basically getting the same workout, but your wallet is a lot happier.
3. Meat Head Rob Lowe
He’s not just starring in amusing DirecTV commercials, he’s everywhere on the beach in Santa Monica. Why? Because he’s got to get his cardio in before his post-breakfast, pre-lunch workout. He will most likely be in a tank top (brank) or just completely shirtless, look unnaturally tan and will inexplicably be wearing hair gel. Try not to catch a beefy elbow in the face as you run by him. His arms are physically incapable of staying by his side due to his killer tricep regimen.
4. Guy doing a running hand-stand
No seriously – he’s running on his hands. You’ve officially run too far and now you’re on the Venice boardwalk. Try to avoid slowing down due to marijuana fumes or getting caught up watching the guy jumping on glass.
OK, we get it. You went to Ohio State. We’re all for school spirit, but your matching shorts, shirt, bracelet, headband and iPhone case are a bit much. You’re going for a jog, not tailgating for the big game. Breeze by this runner with a chuckle…unless you went to their rival school, in which case, prepare your iciest glare.
6. People wearing the same shirts
Whether it's the Santa Monica Running Club, Team In Training, the L.A. Leggers or just a pack of UCLA sorority girls, if you hit Palisades Park on a Saturday morning, you're bound to see packs of wolves all wearing identical dry-fit. Don't get scared. These people aren't in a cult. Not to say running groups aren't a bit cultish.