Dolphins steal the show at Reef & Run

Swimmers head for the water at the start of the 1-mile and 1k swims at Tuesday's Reef & Run Series at East Beach. (Photo by Randy Weiss)

Aquatic participants at the Reef & Run summer series got a special treat tonight — a school of dolphins swimming just inside the first buoy.

“Looks like four of them,” said community dude Ernesto “Ironman” Paredes, Executive Director of Easy Lift Transportation, a local non-profit agency. Paredes also coaches with the Moms in Motion training group and was making his first appearance at these Tuesday competitions.

The dolphins were easily spotted just before the 6:25 p.m. launch of the combined 1k and 1-mile swimming contests.

“Looks like double-dolphins to me,” added Megan Cotich, a life science teacher at La Colina Junior High School — only a few days into the fall session.

She wasn’t referring to the famed Double Dolphin catamaran, which made its regular appearance a little later in the evening, but rather, the two real dolphins she spotted bobbing in the surf less than 100 yards from shore.

Dolphins — even to brave ocean swimmers — are a measure of good luck, as their appearance usually means nothing too dangerous lurking under the surface (please don’t use the S-word).

With the ocean water temperature hovering in the low 60-degree range and with the sea nearly seaweed-free, the swimmers — and especially those “trunkin’ it” (aka bathing suit only) — could focus on one of the best venues of this summer season.


In the 1-mile swim, Andria Martinez took top honors in 18:18, Jerry Mahoney finished second in 19:39 and Peter Burns was third in 20:18.

Mikael Sneward (17:04) edged 12-year-old Erica Schroeder (17:11) in the 1k swim, and Erica’s mom, Dawn, placed third (17:23).

A couple of preteens took two of the top three places in the 5k run. Natalie Widmer, 12, was the winner in 22:46 and Ballie Odell was third in 24:12. Marco Robles finished second in 23:02.

J. Ritterbeck won the swim-run duathlon in 39:31, followed by Oxnard’s Dan Frost (42:32) and local Whitney Bruice (43:10).

And with the sun setting earlier as the summer and this beach venue draws to a close (last nite is Sept 13), the soft sounds of Kat Devlin, a local performing artist put just the right touch on this special (and lucky) night.