WeissCrax: Carpinteria & ‘The American Way’

We interrupt this WeissCrax column for a real sports story. Randy Weiss – our self-proclaimed “Sports Geraldo” – went deep undercover in search of “truth, justice and The American Way” at Saturday’s Orchard to Ocean Race.

He filed this exhaustive, exclusive, investigative report:


Carpinteria, CA – It’s the look that first grabs you. That carefree expression of sheer enjoyment that makes everything seem so right in the world.

[imagebrowser id=13]The innocence of youth showcased on Grand Scale — kids just having fun. Yes, exactly what they‘re supposed to do.  And for a very few shining magical moments, time seemingly stands still to embrace and celebrate the real beauty of sport.

Of life.

Of hope.

This insider’s view comes from the track’s finish line for the One-Mile Kids Fun Run at the ORCHARD TO OCEAN RACE – the third and last-leg of a benefit for the wonderful Carpinteria Education Foundation (CEF). These young spirited athletes are finishing four laps and raising critical funding to help their schools.

To help themselves.

To help their community.

“It’s an incredible day!” beams Patricia Alpert, CEF Executive Director.

An absolutely gorgeous, sun-drenched, Chamber of Commerce Saturday morning in Avocado Heartland. And life couldn’t be more better…

Oh, “big kids” of all ages ran earlier, too – among the youngest was already-seasoned runner – Peter “Rocket Man” Bermant, age 12.  Some, like him, did the first race – a 10K. Others ran the second one, a 5K.  A few ran both.

Over 400-plus altogether, here for fun, sport and a great cause – helping others. And for those rookie runners – they received some surprises and a little more than they might have expected….

Along the routes, magnificent views blasted the senses!!

Starting with over the tracks and through the woods on a cozy dirt trail….

And from high above on the natural bluffs, the glorious Pacific Ocean could be seen and heard with its rolling waves crashing on California’s safest beaches ….

The majestic foothills with the avocado orchards kissing its greenery are nearby, yet off in the distance…

Then it’s the baseball diamonds and the young players in their colorful uniforms warming up, and their parents waiting patiently and politely to park their SUVs with runners zooming by…

Next are the driving range golfers concentrating on perfecting their swing, aiming for the yard markers and ocean beyond…

Alongside the cyclists in their bold, fancy gear – their tight fitting shirts emblazoned with NASCAR-like sponsors and causes – graciously and carefully sharing their road route….

Passed the nice people walking their nice dogs saying encouraging, nice words to the runners….

Cruising by the local students and athletes in their school colors and all the many helpful volunteers with the great smiles, all teaming together to keep runners on course…..

Waving to the mom with her baby nustled in her front-pack, and her pointing from the street’s quiet intersection and saying, “Go this way. You’re almost there!”

By the very young boy a little further up in the cozy neighborhood, with his hand raised up high-in-the-sky to give sweaty runners, what for them is, a “low five”….

Over the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright-like wooden pedestrian bridge, with its lush underbrush natural vegetation and running brook, near the home-stretch for one last explosive blast of Mother Nature…

And, finally, beyond the wildly-enthusiastic, cheering fans at The Finish Line.

Carp’s heartbeat, life and natural beauty was truly everywhere.

So it’s only fitting that here today in small town America – at this very special and vibrant seaside village along California’s Golden Coast – that a very powerful lesson is fittingly served by it’s Education Foundation, a non-profit organization assisting in ‘the teaching world.” In the helping world.

A simple lesson, never more clear.

And its elected local leader – Mayor Gregg Carty, while greeting all in the fun-filled, crowded reception area, perhaps, summed it up best:

“This is what ‘community” is all about.”

Indeed it is. And it’s surely more than enough to make one smile.

Especially if you’re just a little kid at heart …

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Randy Weiss is a regular contributor to Presdiosports.com. Read more of his columns by clicking here.