Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Race Report

The Green Girl and her friend, Janey, ran their very first race on the sand at the Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Saturday evening.

The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k is the sister race to the annual summer Manhattan Beach 5k.

The Manhattan Beach 5k takes place each June and coincides with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of sunlight for the year. The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k was scheduled for the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of sunlight for the year.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k at the Manhattan Beach Pier
A solstice occurs when the part of the Earth’s equator that faces the Sun is tilted at its highest or lowest point. The day of the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the Winter Solstice is the shortest day.

The solstice provides an extremely low tide, creating ideal running conditions for on the hard-packed sand.

Sunset at the Manhattan Beach Pier
The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k consisted of a 5k run/walk on the sand and a Little Elves Dash.

Each participant received a cotton t-shirt and a glow necklace. The timing chips were conveniently attached to our bibs.

Christmas Tree at the Manhattan Beach Pier
The evening was unusually cold and on occasion, a raindrop would fall. The sunset faded into the horizon as the runners shivered and waited for the race to start.

The Manhattan Beach Pier glowed with holiday lights which reflected on the dark waves and the wet sand.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Starting Line at the Manhattan Beach Pier
Spectators lined the pier from above and cheered us on as we started the race.

In the darkness, you could see the fluorescent glow of the necklaces moving along the beach.

The course was an out and back loop along the water. The well-packed sand was the perfect surface for running since it was just like running on a dirt trail.

Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k Mile 1
Volunteers shined bright lights on the mile markers so they could be easily seen.

I had so much fun running on the beach. The Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k was the perfect race to get me into the holiday spirit.


  1. How fun! I've not had the opportunity to fun on the sand, but this sounds like a perfect way to do it.

  2. Looks like so much festive fun! It's been years since I did a night race. Can't wait for the days to start getting longer!

  3. I think running on the sand would be major calf burners! I hope you didn't step on any washed up jellyfish in the dark.

    Oh, wait....you had running shoes on! Doh.

    Merry Christmas my sweet friend.



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