Judy and JT relaxing with the 'Road Food' on the trip up to SAnta Barbara!
Night Moves in Santa Barbara.It was somewhat of an unusual request. An eve r increasing group of novice women, in the Santa Barbara area, who call themselves "Mom's in Motion', had asked a group of us to come up and chat to them one Wednesday evening this summer. They where all ears to listen to anyone with encouraging words in their new pursuit of getting involved in multisports. So with schedules clearing out - myself, Judy Molnar Wilson, JT Clough and Janet Wendle headed up to SB this Wed to chat to the group, and take part in the weekly Night Moves event that they do every Wed evening in SB.
As is always the case - the horror of LA traffic, made the decision to take the Amtrak from Solana Beach to SB an easy choice. We had somewhat of an idea of what we were in for, but it turned out to be quite a surprise. On our arrival in SB we headed up to the local TV station, where we were to meet the group that had invited us. This group started out as 15 women last year, that informally got together to work out and encourage one another. This year there are about 90 women, with another 100 expected to join over the next year. They call themselves the 'Mom's in Motion'. Most are first timers, and with support from one another and family they are all getting involved in 'the lifestyle'. Some just want to run a 5K, others want to do their first sprint triathlon.
It was one of the most enthusiatic crowds I have been amongst. It made me stop and think back to how, I , had gotten myself into this whole triathlon thing over 15 years ago - what had motivated me, and drawn me. It was wonderful to get up and talk about the basic joys of doing all this, rather than the very convoluted details of training, heart rate etc etc. Judy and I were in our element amongst such spirit and commitment.
Part of the Wednesday routine, as I understood it, was to then head down to the beach and do the weekly event -1K ocean swim and 3.5 mile run. I know, I, JT and Judy asumed that it would be this large group of women getting out for an upbeat workout. I guess not. As we hurried down to the beach - our chaperone (Dawn) told us the evnt went off at 6.25pm. There was about 15 minutes to spare. As we neared the beach I saw a few MEN running around with bib numbers on. "oh", I said, "do some of the men do the event as well?'. Silly me - this was the infamous Night Moves that goes on every Wed. Between 500-600 local enthusiasts show up every week, to take part. Some just do the swim or run, and some do both.
I was amazed and awed. Certainly I know how popular many of the group workouts are around here, but this was fantastic. A weekly event to get together and challenge one another, as well as provide a low key way for people to get into the lifestyle. There are no road closures - local supporters paddle boards to monitor the swim, and there are a few cones along the bike lane to mark the run course. The 'transition area' is just a big grass patch - put your stuff wherever. Once the event is over - there is a local restaurant (each week it is different), that supplies some great food and a band to entertain.
When we left later that evening to come home - I have to say that I was uplifted to see that even with the growth, and Ironman, Olympic commercialisation of our sport - the 'real thing' is still alive and well. The good old concept of getting together, encouraging, supporting and providing a venue to pursue the lifestyle we hold very dear. Hat's of to those Mom's in Motion and to the community of SB - we should all be so lucky as to have a summer of Wednesdays like them!