WEISSCRAX: Ho, Shalhoub & local fare ‘eat up’ Chuck’s 33rd Fun Run

Steve Hyslop, owner of Chuck’s steakhouses, addresses a crowd at Leadbetter Beach on a sunny Sunday morning. Chuck’s Steakhouse has been running the 10k race for 33 years.

It’s a special fraternity of sorts…

The Santa Barbara sports community, that is.

Shalhoub-Ho

Mike Shalhoub, left, and Ricky Ho pre-race. The pair ended up being the top two finishers in Sunday’s run.

And already aligned within its seasonal summer line-up:

Nite Moves… State Street Mile… Reef and Run… Goleta Triathlon/Biathlon… McConnell’s Endurance Events… Westmonster 5K… SB Triathlon… Pier to Peak… Carp Tri…

Over 200 of the running crowd — from the ‘zoom-zoom’ speedsters, to the casual joggers, to those hairy four-legged creatures — show up on this solstice Sunday morning.

Queued up is Chuck’s of Hawaii’s 33rd Annual Beach Fun Run — a free 10K run/walk on the sand from beaches Leadbetter to Hendry’s (round trip) that attracts all skills, shapes and sizes.

Men. Women. Little kids. Big dogs.

COMPLETE RESULTS COMING SOON

And more than the actual race itself, it’s more like a good-natured celebration and reunion – compliments again, of Larry Stone & Co., the cool hombre behind Chuck’s and its delicious spin-offs a la Chuck’s at the Beach… The Waterfront Grill…

What started a looong time ago to informally bring buddies together (like Randy Rowse) for beach jog, barbeque and a few refreshing beverages …

Is now a full-blown team effort with business partners like Steve Hyslop and associates a la Brad Shuette … spouses … friends … servers … and even some lucky dogs.

Registration is a low-key affair where participants provide personal 4-1-1 critical for race timing and insurance – and are handed a surplus bib from assorted races not mentioned earlier – all believed courtesy of famous race guru Jake Clinton of Nite Moves fame and fortune.

But nobody seems to notice or care about their bib …

What everyone does seem to care about here is catching up with friends and acquaintances from all walks of local life…

Hey, how are ya?

Great to see you! What have you been up to?

There’s hugs … handshakes … high-fives all around … and for one shining star, Kelly Knowles – even happy birthday wishes!

There’s also a quick photo op with those two good buds and long-time running partners, Ricky Ho and Mike Shalhoub – followed by 60 Minutes-like drilling:

WC: Hey, which one of you guys is going to win this today?
RH: Um. I don’t know, ya know …
MS: I don’t know, either – I’ve never done this race before. Should be fun!
WC: WOW, DUDE!! You are kidding me!?!

Then, as is his custom, Race Chairman Hyslop shares bullhorn race instruction before everyone lines up at the shore.

Next thing, it’s:

“Ready? Go!!” and they’re off…

Thirty-three minutes later, they’re back!

And leading the pack is no surprise.

It’s local faves Ho, then Shalhoub … then everyone else.

“Incredible conditions. Think best ever,” offers one seasoned runner afterwards. “Even a cool little head wind on the return trip.’

Time for food and awards for the overall and age group male and female winners!

Plus a raffle where nobody leaves empty handed.

And perhaps participant Eric Widmer best puts the day in perspective:

‘Where else can you get a free hot dog on the beach – for breakfast?”

Right now in Santa Barbara, like every year, Chuck’s Fun Run is the only place …

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