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Miracle Performed on West Coast!

The Bagel Run gallery
& the Peace Pipe Ultra

The first annual Bagel Run to benefit the University of California Santa Barbara Hillel is now safely in the history books.

If ever there was a dubious proposition, the Bagel Run 5K on December 8 was it. The Wanderers have enough difficulty organizing any type of event even in the club's own backyard. But then to produce a race on the West Coast? Well, that is courting disaster.

Runners Await Start of Bagel Run 5k

But then Wanderers' West Coast Bureau Chief Laura "Smoke" Kalman and Rabbi Steve Cohen stepped in, and something unexpected happened. The Bagel Run actually worked!! There were more than 50 runners, 52 to be precise, and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Smoke was an absolute whirlwind contacting virtually every organization and newspaper to promote the race, and Rabbi Steve took care of business on race day handling everything from registering runners to giving out medals, and in the process making everyone feel good.

Smoke would have been named race MVP except for the directional arrows with which she marked the course. The arrows ended up looking often like hyroglyphics and sometimes required a magnifying glass to understand. Click here for an example.

The MVP honors instead went to her husband Randy Garr, who was in charge of traffic control at the first intersection from the Hillel. Randy performed with such authority people wondered whether his true calling might not be with the LAPD instead of on the faculty of UCSB.

The top finisher was Matthew Popiel of Isla Vista who scorched the course in 19:39. Second and third in the men's division went to Ronan Dulberg and Elie Braun in 20:00 and 20:02 respectively. Lindsay Steele captured the title in the women's division with a time of 22:31. Finishing second was Jessica Sherr in 23:44, and Rachel Levine was third in 23:53. The youngest runner was Daniel Richman who finished in 35:29.

The only person missing from the event was the Wanderers own Michael "Eminem" Mugman. Eminem, who is living in Santa Barbara this year, missed the race because he was visiting back East.

The course for the Bagel Run was absolutely beautiful. Starting at the Hillel house, the route then crossed the UCSB campus and circled the lagoon on the campus and briefly touched the shoreline before returning to the Hillel. The race took place in bright sunshine with temperatures reaching an almost perfect 70 degrees.

The bagels were supplied by the Bagel Cafe of Isla Vista, and the t-shirts were made by Magic Mark of Roxborough with another dynamite t-shirt design by Gary Sobalow of Philadelphia.

The Bagel Run gallery
& the Peace Pipe Ultra
Snake Bite checks out directions during the run. With a few wrong turns the marathon was turned into an ultra.

Rock takes a break to enjoy a view over the Pacific.

It was lucky that the Bagel Run was such a success because the Peace Marathon held the day before was definitely being organized out of the Murphy's Law operational manual. The race pitted Rock Steady in a rematch with Snake Bite to determine control of the running club between the Wanderers and the splinter group Witches.

Measuring the race somehow went awry and the marathon morphed into an Ultra of at least 30 miles. By the end of their almost seven hours of labor, the pair had developed a new running stride called the marathon shuffle where the feet are elevated by an inch or less above the ground. This allows whatever little motion is produced, to at least be directed forward.

The Ultra started in the foothills above Santa Barbara as Rock and Snake raced through the neighborhood of the Rich and Famous, then descended down to the coast before a few more hills were encountered and another neighborhood of the Rich and Famous was traversed. The duo finished up near the UCSB campus. The actual time was not recorded because Rock forgot to click the stop watch at the finish, but it is believed to be somewhere between six and a half and seven hours.

During the race, Snake and Rock decided to smoke the peace pipe and settle differences between the Wanderers and the Witches, and now they are all one big happy family. The race was renamed the Peace Pipe Ultra!!

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