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, www.montereybeachsf.com. 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 http://www.montereybeachsf.com/schedule-of-events.
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.