VIA – U
T SAN DIEGO
NEARLY 2,000 PUT ON THEIR KOOK FOR FUND RUN
12:01 a.m., Feb. 6, 2012
They came in Spandex, feathery boas, wigs and Asics. For the nearly 2,000 runners and walkers warming up in the Moonlight State Beach parking lot Sunday morning, the inaugural Cardiff Kook 5K/10K Run was as much about sartorial splendor as it was preserving the statue that has become something of a public art plaything in recent years.
Conversely, the Cardiff Kook — a wobbly looking surfer riding a spluttering wave whose official name is Magic Carpet Ride — was clad only in his usual duds, bronze board shorts.
For once, pranksters had not dressed him as a clown or royal bride or Michael Jackson or Zorro. Nor was he peeking out from the gaping maw of a papier-mâché shark or made up to resemble Madonna — the religious figure, not Super Bowl XLVI’s halftime entertainment.
“It’s such a fun part of our community,” said Maria Alshamma, who came to the run in a red robe and green cloak with rays of sun emanating above her collar, not unlike the community’s other cause célèbre, a mosaic called the Surfing Madonna. “It’s very positive and silly.”
Although good natured, all these wardrobe changes have been a little hard on the Kook, which was erected about four years ago near the entrance of the San Elijo State Beach campgrounds on Highway 101. Steve Lebherz, a Cardiff resident since the mid-’70s, and his buddy, Seth Brewer, came up with the idea two years ago for the costume contest and 10K as a way to raise money for the Kook’s upkeep as well as shine a spotlight on the area’s clime.
“It was a high-tide day and we were jogging past the Kook and I said, ‘You know, more people should do this. It’s just too pretty,’?” Lebherz said. “Then it kind of clicked that we should have a Kook run. It was one of those ‘a ha’ moments.”
To accommodate the runners, one lane of southbound Highway 101 was closed between the Self Realization Fellowship and Moonlight State Beach, the start and finish line. Run proceeds will go to Cardiff 101 Main Street, a nonprofit community organization dedicated to maintaining the beauty of the area, and to physical education programs at Cardiff Elementary School.
Scott Destafney, a 6-foot, 4-inch Marine helicopter pilot and…
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