Huntington Beach Delivers stunning backdrop for the return of Orange County’s Oldest Race


SURF CITY, USA – September 25, 2022 – On a quintessential Southern California morning that should have stopped, bottled and frozen in time – sun-splashed, palm trees swaying, waves lapping into the Huntington Beach pier – some 4,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes turned out for Sunday’s Surf City 10.


And on the 66th edition of the oldest race in Orange County and the nation’s oldest 10-miler, it was left for visitors from Boulder, Colo., to steal the headlines.


Roots Running teammates Lucio Ramirez and Jennifer Bergman won the 10-mile main events. Ramirez, who grew up in nearby Santa Ana, crossed the finish line in 50:48, two minutes ahead of SoCal veteran Roosevelt Cook.


Jennifer Bergman won the women’s 10-mile in 56:35. Alyssa Block took second in 1:00:20.


“Boulder sweep!” Bergman exclaimed minutes after winning.


Both winners gave major props to the thousands of fans that lined Pacific Coast Highway to cheer the runners.


“Coming back (on the out and back course), all the people were so supportive, cheering me on, helping me push the pace,” said Ramirez, who ran collegiately for Adams State. “I just felt bad. I didn’t have time to say good job back (to the fans) because I’m just gunning for it. I congratulate everyone that ran today.”


Bergman said the spectacular scenery inspired her late.


“All the way up to mile nine when I started to hurt and was ready for that finish line, I looked over at the (ocean) and thought, ‘Life could be a lot worse,’” said Bergman.


The Surf City 10 features three out-and-back races on the Pacific Coast Highway, including a 5K and 10K. The Surf City 10 is one of only three days of the year when the PCH is closed for foot traffic. The others are the Fourth of July and Surf City Marathon.


“This is a chill environment,” said Bergman. “There’s (a distance) for everyone.”


Barely two months after delivering a baby, Rachel Miuri of Laguna Hills won the women’s 10K in 40:51, one minute, 48 seconds ahead of Ashley Dustin.


“It was a good crowd. A lot of people, a lot of competition,” said Miuri.


Jonas Enders of Irvine took the men’s 10K in 33:28. Enders grew up in the Bay Area and is now earning his doctorate in chemistry at UC Irvine.


“I had a couple people running with me the first few miles, then I had to break away on my own,” said Enders, who is enjoying the Southern California running scene.


“There’s tons of people (running), tons of clubs,” he said. “I love it. I’m getting more exposure to fast people. That helps me improve, keep running faster.”


Youth was served in the women’s 5K as 17-year-old Lauren Grace of Washington won in 18:33, 10 seconds ahead of Gabrielle Rinnie.


“I loved how (the course) was out and back,” said Grace. “I was tucking in behind some guys, then I tried to push it on the last stretch.”


Dakota Kruczyski, a former Cal State Long Beach student, won the men’s 5K in 16:32. Luke Carter took second in 16:41.


“With the recent heat wave, it felt good to come to the beach and get a nice cool race in,” said Kruczyski.


In addition to celebrating running, the Surf City 10 is about community and giving back. All proceeds from beer garden sales over the weekend went to Ainsley’s Angels, which pairs specials needs riders with able-bodied athletes, enabling those battling challenges to share the joy of sport.


At the finish line festival, finishers received a free Handel’s ice cream cone and their choice of a free Michelob ULTRA beer or seltzer.


Given the picturesque setting along the PCH, the famed Huntington Beach pier, the sunshine and surf, few, if any, races offer a better Southern California vibe than the Surf City 10.


Or as Bergman, the women’s 10-mile winner said, “After I get my (free) beer, I’m heading to the beach.”


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Image credit: Credit Ryan Bethke / @RWBMultiMedia