Sportsfest returns to Del Monte Beach with new events

September 16, 2015

Waterman Challenge, Ikaika Dash and kids’ event are new offerings for on-the-beach festival in Monterey

Monterey, CA — Returning for its second year on Del Monte Beach, October 3 and 4, the Monterey Beach SportsFest has added new events and an expanded Expo to its unique on-the-beach and in-the-water festival of events.

This year’s SportsFest offers new sporting events including Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) events, a non-swim Ikaika Challenge (run-strength-run), and even a beach run for kids.  Adjacent to the beach, more than 20 non-profits representing ocean and wellness organizations will showcase their information to the public.

“This weekend celebration of wellness of the oceans, beaches and human athletic potential is intended to draw both athletes and anyone interested in learning about our local beach and ocean community by engaging in activities,” said Terri Bilbro, founder and director of the event.

Bilbro and a team of dedicated volunteers have created new events to enhance the sports offerings.  In addition to several distance open-water swim events (.5, 1 and 2.5 miles), participants can now enter a 2-mile SUP race or take part in the Waterman Challenge of three loops where athletes first swim, then paddle in a prone position, followed by a final loop standing up. Other events include a Splash and Dash (swim-run) on Saturday morning, the multi-distance Ikakia Challenges which combine swimming, strength activities and beach running on Sunday, and 2-person beach volleyball both days.  A schedule of the event competitions and links to registration can be found on the event’s website:

Throughout the weekend, various health and wellness activities are offered free to the public.  These include beach yoga, Pilates, stretching, beach running and others.  Wellness-oriented organizations from chiropractors to joint specialists to integrated health practitioners will be on hand with information for the visitors.  Focusing on ‘ocean wellness,’ organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation, Camp Sea Lab and Save the Whales will be exhibiting on Saturday.

Key event sponsors include Rox – a performance volleyball apparel company, FINIS – a swimwear and gear company and local companies and organizations including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

For more information about Monterey Beach SportsFest visit

Free Community Events

September 29, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Armstrong, 831-521-0704

Inaugural event focuses on “Healthy People, Healthy Oceans” with ocean and beach activities

You don’t need to be an avid athlete, open water swimmer or team player to enjoy Monterey Beach SportFest.  The October 4-5 weekend offers a variety of on-the-beach activities for everyone.

The inaugural SportsFest event is focused on bringing awareness of the beach and ocean through both athletic events and educational outreach.  Plus, there’s beach yoga, family ‘movement’ activities, outrigger canoe landings, food trucks, Taiko drumming, massage, face painting and more.

With local temperatures predicted to be in the eighties over the weekend, the beach should be a welcome venue for all events.  Saturday morning kicks off at 8 a.m with three distance swims of 2.5, 1 and half mile distances, plus water polo and beach volleyball.  At 11 a.m. ocean advocate and endurance swimmer Bruckner Chase will be leading “First Splash” to inspire local youth to engage with the ocean, at 2 p.m. feature local trainer Jennifer Pilotti will lead a free strength and mobility flow class, all levels welcome, and at 3 p.m. Chase and event sponsor Finis will hold an Open Water Clinic and Equipment Demonstration for the public.

Throughout the weekend, beach-goers can visit booths to learn about The Wahine Project for girls’ surfing, Reef Check focused on healthy reefs, Camp Sea Lab, the Pacific Grove Hyperbaric Chamber, Surfrider Foundation, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and more “Healthy Oceans” organizations.

A variety of exhibitors will focus on “Healthy People” including the Monterey Sports Center, Monterey Pilates Project, Monterey Spine & Joint, Terrapin Physical Therapy, Monterey Bay Center for Integrated Health and others.  MPC Massage Professionals are offering on-site massages for $1 per minute.

Endurance sports activities continue on Sunday, kicking off with a Splash and Dash event combining ocean swimming and a beach run.  At 10 a.m. the Ikaika Challenge begins with the three distances (full, relay and mini), combining swimming, strength activities (push-ups, sit-ups and squats), and a beach run.  Taiko drummers will be on hand starting at 10:00 am to pump up the runners in this challenging event.

Beach volleyball, ocean waterpolo and the “Healthy People, “Healthy Oceans” Expo continue throughout the day, Sunday.  At 1:30 p.m. local yoga instructor, Stacey Johnson, will lead a free one hour beach yoga session.  Participants are encouraged to bring mats for this event.

The weekend will wrap up with a ‘last splash’ encouraging the public to take a dip in Monterey Bay.

“It’s all about connecting people to this awesome resource we are privileged to live around,” said Terri Bilbro, co-founder of the event.  “We hope that SportsFest serves as a first step to give people a better understanding of our connection to the ocean.  Some will immerse, others engage, and hopefully all will be touched.”

For more information and registration for sports activities, visit

Top Endurance Athletes On Board

September 8, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Armstrong, 831-521-0704

Top Endurance Athletes On Board for First Annual Monterey Beach SportsFest

Key sponsors also join in to kick off new event

The inaugural Monterey Beach SportsFest, set for October 4-5 in Monterey, CA, is a festive mix of competitive and non-competitive ocean and beach activities that has lured some top athletes to compete in the events.

Headliners for the first-ever event include ocean advocate and endurance swimmer Bruckner Chase, and local athlete Ian Deyerle, a top contender in the upcoming Spartan World Championships later this month.

Bruckner Chase’s athletic career has included the most challenging land and aquatic events from his first Ironman distance triathlon in 1985 at age 19 to a 100-mile run in 1998.  He has completed multiple ultra-distance swims and paddles in some of the harshest conditions imaginable from wetsuit- less swims around islands in Alaska to a 22-mile swim along Lake Tahoe to historic swims connecting villages in American Samoa.  In 2010, Chase was the second person to complete the 28-mile swim from Santa Cruz to Monterey.

His ocean swimming prowess has launched a new swim event for Monterey Beach Sportfest, the Chase Challenge.  Currently the two-day Sportsfest includes three swims at distances of .5, 1 and 2.5 miles.  Any experienced swimmer that takes part in all three swim distances is eligible for to win the Chase Challenge award.

The open-water swimming events are just one in a series of activities planned over the weekend.  Other sports include beach volleyball, ocean water polo, a Splash and Dash and the Ikaika Challenge (a swim-strength-run event that draws competitive Crossfit athletes as well as strong swimmers and runners.)

Ian Deyerle of Carmel is one of those. Deyerle, 31, was a high school athlete in Pacific Grove who stayed active by running and weight lifting.  A year ago, however, Deyerle found his passion and a real talent in obstacle racing.  He finished first in his age group in his first-ever Spartan competition in Monterey and quickly moved to the Elite Division where he’s proved a top contender.  On September 20 in Killington, Vermont, Deyerle will compete in “The Beast” division which consists of a 13-mile trail run with daunting obstacles such as carrying 100-pound cinderblocks, rope climbs, barbed wire crawls through mud, sand bag carries, and more.

Then, on October 5, Deyerle will compete in the Monterey Beach SportsFest’s Ikaika (meaning ‘warrior strength’) Challenge.  He will participate in the two-mile beach run as part of an Ikaika relay team, and will take on the full Ikaika Challenge of a 500-meter swim, a series of strength events including 100 push ups, sit ups and squats, and a two-mile beach run.

The athletic activities of Monterey Beach SportsFest are complemented by the “Healthy People, Healthy Oceans” expo, bringing a variety of ocean stewardship and human wellness organizations to the beach.  Representatives from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, The Wahine Project, Reef Check, WOWSA (World Open Water Swimming Assn.) and others will be present.  The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has signed on as a key sponsor of the Monterey Beach SportsFest and other supporters include Finis, Xterra, Oberto and GU.  Locally, the Portola Hotel, Peter B’s restaurant, Monterey Signs and the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau are sponsoring SportsFest.

Public events include beach yoga on Sunday and movement activities on Saturday.  In addition, Bruckner Chase and sponsor Finis are holding a swim clinic for local area youth.  Adding to the festivities, mid-day Saturday the local Outrigger Club will be finishing a cross-bay race from Santa Cruz, and kayak and paddleboard rentals will be available from Monterey Bay Kayaks.

Information on the event and registration for the various sport competitions can be found at

Monterey Debut

July 27, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Armstrong, 831-521-0704

Inaugural Monterey Beach SportsFest
Makes October Debut in Monterey

A one-of-a-kind event is coming to the beaches and oceans of Monterey this October 4-5.  The Monterey Beach SportsFest is a celebration of wellness of the oceans, beaches and human athletic potential through a series of sporting events, educational displays, and free outdoor activities.

From beach volleyball and ocean waterpolo, to cold-water swim competitions, a Splash and Dash and a unique triathlon called the Ikaika Challenge which combines swimming, strength activities and beach running, there is competition for teams and individuals during the two-day event held at Del Monte Beach in downtown Monterey.

A robust Expo featuring ocean-focused conservation and education  non-profit organizations along with wellness groups and businesses will embody the “Healthy People, Healthy Oceans” theme that anchors the event.  Among the current Expo participants are the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Wahine Project, Reef Check, Peninsula Pilates Project and others.

“The Monterey Beach SportsFest is an event unlike no other on the shores of the Central Coast,” said Terri Bilbro, co-founder of the event. “It encompasses many aspects of human athleticism, but it is also an event in learning how to take care of ourselves and the ocean. SportsFest celebrates the beauty and majesty of the Monterey coastal and ocean environments through the importance of a healthy human mind, body and spirit.”

Bilbro’s organizational partner and open water swimmer, Pete Albers, echoed her comments saying, “The inaugural Monterey Beach Sportsfest is an event that brings together different athletic disciplines on a common field of beach and sea. The components of ocean conservation and wellness complete the circle of environmental stewardship and health for all athletes their family and friends.

“This festival is unprecedented in its vision of athleticism, wellness and conservation,” he added.

Bilbro and Albers have teamed with Jason Companion and Ric Araida, co-founders of the Monterey Beach Open, a competitive beach volleyball competition now in its second year.  The Open, which takes place on Del Monte Beach August 2-3, will launch promotional efforts for the October Sportsfest.

Registration is now available for any athletes interested in competition and can be accessed through the event’s website, Individuals that want to keep to dry land can participate in free activities including beach yoga on Sunday and a strength and mobility session on the beach on Saturday.   Exhibitors at the Healthy People, Healthy Oceans Expo will be on site both days, and a hospitality area is planned in conjunction with The Wharf Marketplace.

Saturday events kick off with 2-person beach volleyball competition and the 2.5 mile swim at 8 a.m. Albers noted that this longest distance swim is for experienced swimmers who are accustomed to cold water.  Wetsuits are strongly recommended and swim caps will be given to all competitors.  Following the 2.5 mile swim are the 1 mile and .5 mile distances.  The water polo tournament begins at 10 a.m.  A maximum of 12 teams will be competing in a round robin format with the finals taking place Sunday afternoon.  A complete schedule of sports activities can be found at

The inaugural Monterey Beach SportsFest is organized by volunteers from throughout the community.  Individuals involved in local running clubs, water polo and volleyball teams, swim groups and health & wellness fields have taken on key roles in the organization of the event.  Bilbro, a registered nurse as well as a trainer and coach, also teaches a variety of classes at the Monterey Sports Center.

This new event, welcomed by the City of Monterey, hopes to ‘bring people to the ocean and the ocean to people’ through its varied activities. The organizers note that this event is especially suited for spectators and families of the participants to view and enjoy. Everyone is encouraged to visit the beach, tour the expo, cheer on the athletes and soak in the beauty of Del Monte beach and the sea.

To learn more about the Monterey Beach Sportsfest, visit, email, or sign up for the event’s Facebook page.