Oh, summer—the season for bathing suits and running shorts. Gone are the chilly nights and dragging feet of winter, and here to stay (for now) are the Wednesdays of Nite Moves, a weekly exercise/race program bringing together both health buffs and workout amateurs for fun, food and fitness.
Also known as the Run Santa Barbara Summer Sunset Series, Nite Moves started as a bi-weekly running event, organized by fitness enthusiast Jake Clinton. The idea sprung in 1989 on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, where Clinton and two friends brainstormed ideas on more Santa Barbara-based running events and races. They decided on a locals’ run, and Nite Moves has been a neighborhood favorite summer pastime ever since.
Now, 25 years later, the series has grown into a community celebration, with hundreds of participants—spanning children to seniors—coming out each week for this energy-exerting event. Participants either take the competitive edge and race against each other or just enjoy the adrenaline rush at their own pace.
Weekly Nite Moves athletic meets include a five-kilometer run, a one-kilometer ocean swim or Aquathon, a biathlon-style event, with clearly defined routes by land and by sea. Whether swimming between buoys off the coast or jogging along Leadbetter Beach and Shoreline Park, movers are rewarded for their exercise efforts with an expansive spread from a local “buffet host,” a beer garden and performers strumming along as the sun sets in the Pacific and the Wet Wednesday fleet of sailboats races across the horizon. Each week also has a different presenting sponsor, and this year introduces a kids-only 1K run in addition to the sand sprint for the youngest.
Clinton is exceptionally proud of how Nite Moves has taken off over the years: “[It’s a] great community event, with excellent participation from the traditional running and triathletic communities and from the families who have grown together with the event—children expect to be at the beach Wednesday evening throughout the summer, quite often with parents who met at Nite Moves.”
Nite Moves continues every summer Wednesday until August 28, with fitness events starting after 6 p.m. Pre-register for each race either online or in person and opt for a seasons pass for a discounted rate.
For more information on Nite Moves and other Run Santa Barbara events, go here.