Just over 400 athletes came out for the first Nite Moves race of the year on Wednesday night at Shoreline Park. The weekly run/swim event, now in its 22nd year, runs through September 1st and features live music, a beer garden and more for competitors.
This week’s winner was Matt Organista, a track star from SBCC. Organista, a Carpinteria resident, was one of the 64 athletes who competed in both the swimming and running legs of the competition. He finished the half-mile swim and 5K run in 37 minutes, 17 seconds.
“It was hard. I came out of the water in second to some kid who came out flying. I hit the run, and oh man it was hard,” he said.
That kid was 12-year-old local Walker Bell, who finished the swim in 15:44 and ended up in 22nd overall.
Organista said that he went surfing over the weekend and the water was extremely cold, but it wasn’t as bad on Wednesday night. Race organizer Jake Clinton felt differently.
“I swam the buoys out personally with a wetsuit and neoprene hat on, and I still had an ice-cream headache. Plus I could only swim with one arm because I was holding the buoys,” he said.
He was encouraged with the turnout and the fact that everyone seemed to be having a great time. There were 243 competitors pre-registered in the event.
“I’m looking forward to good weather every Wednesday, and no fires this year,” he said smiling. “We just want everyone to have a good time.”