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Aquathon Laguna Beach


There’s no shortage of insanely fun things to do in Laguna Beach. Not to sound like a braggart, but with world-class beaches, ocean-view hiking/biking trails in the Canyon, mouth-watering restaurants, sunset-view pubs, awesome real-estate agents (ha!), well the list goes on, but it’s safe to say, if you’re bored here, you should go back to knitting.

As for me, I want to try everything and do it all. That’s why I was surprised when during a conversation with Gary Cogorno about helping with a fundraising event for the Laguna Canyon Foundation, he said he would be slammed for the next month getting ready for the Aquathon (side note: When you need help doing good in the community, Gary is one of those rare individuals who is always able and willing to pitch in). “The what?” I responded. Incredulously, he asked “You don’t know about the Aquathon?” “Uhhh, sorry. Tell me about it.” Here, I’ll do my best to paraphrase his explanation: “The Aquathon is a walk-swim that extends the entire eight miles of Laguna Beach’s coastline. It takes place every year, although it has frequently been cancelled, yet always takes place. This year, the event will happen on Sept 17, unless it doesn’t, in which case it won’t. (But it will.)”

I blinked a few times trying to comprehend what he just said. Disoriented by the doubletalk, all I knew was “I want in!” The thought and challenge of walking, hiking or swimming the entire length of Laguna’s coastline was too much to resist. It turns out that over the 30 years the event has taken place (or not taken place), there have been instances in which the event has been cancelled by officials citing the inherent dangers of such an undertaking. At these times, the organizer (usually Gary) will announce to the crowd of approximately 200 intrepid adventurers that the event is off. This is typically met with raucous cheers and applause as the participants rush to the waves to begin their southbound trek. Now THAT is my kind of crowd. Here’s a link to the website, check it out: www.aquathon.com.

There was no such cancellation yesterday as my wetsuit-clad daughter and I took to the surf in Emerald Bay heading south toward Three Arch Bay at the other end of town. Conditions were great: 69 degree water, small surf, temperatures around 72 and some welcome cloud cover. Donning our fins and goggles, we swam around the southern tip of Emerald Bay to Crescent Bay, pointing to the plethora of tropical fish as we swam. The group of people around us ranged from pre-teens to septuagenarians and could not have been more helpful, happy and exhilarated. By the way, all fees for participating (they’re minimal) go toward supporting the Junior Guards program.

Before the event, I heard the hype about how you’ll discover all these new sights and places, but I was still shocked at the many geological formations along the way. Here my words fail me, so I’ll include some pictures that, hopefully, pique your interest in participating next year when it takes place (or doesn’t) again…

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