Ultra distance sports athlete, father and Hermosa Beach resident Christian Burke talked to Patch about how he has trained to run 24 hours straight Sunday to raise money for the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation in the final installment of a two-part interview.
Hermosa Beach Patch: What's it going to be like for those 24 hours?
Christian Burke: The luxury I have [is] being here at Hermosa pier and having a support group, and having laps only 3.4 miles long. It means every 3.4 miles I get to see somebody. It's so close to everything, so if there's something in particular that I want that I wasn't prepared for, I can grab.
Patch: Will you eat while you run?
Burke: Yes, and there are public bathrooms along the loop.
Patch: What are you doing to prepare?
Burke: Training is obviously a high priority. My training will stop the Wednesday before the event. And then I'll just rest. But I'm doing two-a-days right now, which means I'll train in the morning and train in the afternoon anywhere from five to 15 miles at a shot … Just get in a lot of miles.
Because it is such a short timeframe, eight weeks, that's all I had to train for this. As much as I'm in good shape, the sand brings a completely new element that's very, very different. You can take a world-class athlete, put him on the sand and they go, "Ugggh!" Now a world class athlete will get in shape for it quickly, but that first shot is just misery.
Patch: The two-a-days are on sand?
Burke: Yeah, it's exclusively now on the course between Hermosa pier and Manhattan pier in the soft sand.
Other than training, it's literally been organizing this event. I got a great team of volunteers and friends and family that are helping, but it's requiring a ton of my time. I would love to just be thinking about the even—it's impossible.
Patch: How much money are you hoping to raise from this event, and how much have you collected so far?
Burke: Everybody asks and I say the same thing: I don't want to jinx it. I have picked a target in my own head. And the consensus is if I get 20 percent of that it'll be a success. So I don't want to do a thermometer, because it could potentially show failure and this project is not a failure by any means. So however much money gets raised, it'll be a success.
Patch: How does someone donate?
Burke: You can go to Hermosa24.com. On the website there's a donate now button and you click on that and see all the different ways to donate, including PayPal, credit card and text messaging.
We've brought text messaging to the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation. If you text hb to 20222 you can donate a paltry $10, and if you actually type hbinfo to 20222 you'll be able to get more information about the event as well.
The other donation means is coming down and participating. I'm inviting anyone and everyone who wants to come down and run a lap with me or two or three to come down. Donate $20 for adults. Kids and students donate $10.
There is stuff to do for the entire 24 hours, different themed runs. Kids run at 6 p.m. Sunset Run [at] 9 p.m. After Dinner Run. Then there's the Midnight Run. Insomniacs Run at 3 a.m. There's very vocal support for that late-late night section.
It's going [to be] quite a spectacle to watch. And you're going to see this pack of wolves going back and forth, back and forth, and we drop people off and we pick people up and we keep on going and the wagon train rolls and we just keep going.
There's only one thing that's static about it — I don't ever stop.