There are no trophies for the early morning runner but there is something that lives a little closer to the heart.
Your trail is somewhere between the ocean and the land.
Mornings in the Sandbridge are the sunsets of California.
Not a bad way to begin a run as you walk through the dunes.

Ahh, summer weather you are finally here!

Summer is always a time for me to relax and recharge, especially when it comes to running.  After coming off hard fall and winter training seasons, I am looking forward to running just for fun again.  I’m ready2 to completely unplug.  No headphones, no Garmin beeping at me to run faster/longer/stronger, no shoes or socks rubbing at my feet.  The place I go to do this is Sandbridge Beach.  Beach running is one of the best things about summer, and there’s no better place to run than Sandbridge.  Miles of gorgeous hard packed sand (as long as you go at low tide) and scenery like you can’t even imagine.  The cross-training effect of running in the sand is an added bonus.

My favorite time to run Sandbridge is early in the morning.  I will creep out of my house before anyone wakes up to steal some time alone with my thoughts as I pound away on the sand.  Sometimes I’ll invite my dog, Bay, to join me since we share the same passion about beach running. Technically you are not allowed to let your dog run without a leash on the beach, however since we are out there so early there is hardly ever anyone around. 

I typically park at the Market (because I always stop in for a donut afterwards), but there’s always plenty of street parking that early too.  If you go later in the day, you can usually always find street parking down past the “S” turns, or at Little Island Park.  It’s just a quick hop over to the beach and off you go. 

One thing that always takes my breath away when running in Sandbridge is the silence.

  There is literally no noise except for the roar of the surf.  Nothing to distract you from your thoughts and enjoying the sunrise as you put one foot in front of the other.  Either way you chose to run, whether it’s north up to the Dam Neck Naval Base or south towards Little Island Pier, there’s nothing but homes & beach. 

If you get there early enough you can catch the sunrise over the ocean.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing a Sandbridge Sunrise, than you know what I mean when I say it’s legit.  You would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place to watch the sun make it’s daily appearance.  It’s like someone lets out a flock of pelicans every time the sun comes up over the horizon, I swear!

It’s impossible to end a Sandbridge run without feeling like everything’s going to be ok.  Whatever troubles you brought with you just seem to melt away.  Whether it be the silence, the soothing sounds of the ocean, or that darned flock of pelicans soaring over the water, it just seems to have a healing effect.

Hopefully you’ll set your alarms and try it some time.  I promise you, you won’t regret it.  Especially if you stop for that Market donut afterwards. 

About The Author

Josh is a long-time resident ambassador of Surf and Adventure. He works with every aspect of S&A from building boards with Jake to leading bike tours to False Cape. Ask him about longboard fins to find out more than you ever wanted to know. [@jausch]

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