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Wharf to Whart FINAL 2022

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Wharf to Wharf Race celebrates 50 years SANTA CRUZ -- For 50 years, the Wharf to Wharf Race from Santa Cruz to Capitola has drawn tens of thou- sands of runners both locally and interna- tionally, amateurs and Olympic athletes alike, and touched the lives of thousands more over the years such as the life of Wharf to Wharf Race president, Dave Murphy. "When I think about the race, two things come to mind, family and community," said Murphy. "Like me, there are hundreds of thousands of other people that have made this a family affair, and generation after generation there those that either run the race or work the race. It's a chance to get the whole family together, and it's a unique event where the community itself is the venue." The original Wharf to Wharf Race was one of a number of events or- ganized in the summer of 1973 to celebrate the dedication of Camp Capitola's Superinten- dent's office as a state historical landmark. Jim Reding and Wayne Fontes organized the race and Ken Thomas, track coach at Soquel High School, served as the race director. There were about 300 participants at the first race, which began on the morning of July 28, 1973. One of the run- ners that day is current treasurer of the Wharf to Wharf Race, Mark McConnell. "The first race was an unofficial competi- tion between me and a teammate of mine at Stanford, Jack Bellah," said McConnell. "I had helped Ken Thomas lay out the course, so I knew where it went, but when we got to Capito- la, Jack was in front of me and turned and ran onto the Wharf instead of heading to the Espla- nade, and I followed because I thought that the course had sudden- ly been changed." After about 20 runners had turned onto the Capitola Wharf, race officials redirected them to the actual finish line on the Esplanade, and Bellah was made the official winner of the first race. Motivated by the initial loss, McCon- nell went on to win the second Wharf to Wharf Race in 1974. The family of Jed and Helen Myall family moved to Santa Cruz in 1969, and became involved with the Wharf to Wharf Race from its outset. Megan Fisher, the oldest of the four Myall children ran the first race when she was just 11 years-old. "My parents put us all on the track team and when the Wharf to Wharf first came about, we all ran it," says Fisher. "Even my youngest brother par- ticipated in the race, who was five at the time. He got a trophy for the youngest runner the first two years." Like many Santa Cruz residents, participating in the race became an annual tradition for the Myall family, which continues with Fisher, who pushed her son Graham through the race in a stroller before he could even walk. Fisher's father, Jed My- all, a marathon runner and Wharf to Wharf veteran, underwent triple-bypass heart sur- gery in May, but is still committed to walking the race this weekend. "I am really hoping to get my dad across that finish line," said Fisher. During the last five decades the Wharf to Wharf grew until it had to cap the number of runners at 16,000. The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for the race in the past few years, forcing it to become virtual, but it is back to an in-person event this year. Orga- nizers like Murphy are committed to keeping the Wharf to Wharf Race alive now and for generations to come. "Everyone's done a phenomenal job of nav- igating these uncertain waters and staying true to our mission, and I am really looking for- ward to being back in person this year," said Murphy. Contributed Photo By Aric Sleeper asleeper@santa cruzsentinel.com Contributed Photo alkaline still & $ 2 4 FOR WHARF TO WHARF RACE SANTA CRUZ TO CAPITOLA JULY 24,2022 •8 : 30 AM partnering to save the planet Contributed Photo

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