To Know Her Is To Love Her
Meet Coach Renee Williams-Smith who heads up the Girls Mira Costa Cross Country team. Read on about this inspiring woman who is an exemplary role model for those who run like a girl!
Our Q & A With Mama Reniz
How long have you been the Girls Distance Running Coach at Mira Costa?
I was an assistant coach for 2 years and have been the head coach for about 15 years.
In 2014 you were chosen as the Inspiring Coach of the Year by the Brooks Running Company. What did that award mean to you?
It was really special because girls from my team nominated me and sent 3 videos to Brooks all without my knowledge. It was very thoughtful and heartfelt and the fact that they understood my commitment to their growth meant the world to me.
You are an amazing leader for girls and make quite an impression on your athletes, how do you go about choosing your team captains?
It’s an evolving process. Some girls are natural leaders who are inclusive by nature and comfortably assume the role. Sometimes it’s girls that I believe in that haven’t quite seen it themselves yet. In both cases it is very rewarding to watch them learn and grow as people, runners, and leaders.
When you attended Mira Costa there was not a girls distance running team. How did you persevere in the face of adversity?
I didn’t really see it as adversity, I was not going to get a lot of playing time as a soccer player and I wanted to do something so I started running and brought my friends out to run too since it was only boys at the time.
You are the Race Director for the upcoming Dick Fitzgerald 2 Mile Beach Run. Tell us about this race and how it benefits Mira Costa’s cross country program.
It’s a fun 2- mile sand run starting at Hermosa beach Pier. It’s a mile out on the soft sand and a mile back on the hard sand. It’s a real community event with families with kids, parents, even some grandparents. We’ve had quite a few of the same people run it for the past 20 years. It’ a short fun family and community event that is part of the International surf festival. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and is a great chance for us to actively engage the community.
What do you look forward to when you take your team to Mammoth for training?
Great team bonding and great training. It’s an excellent opportunity to get all the kids together to train and start forming their team. I’t an opportunity for the athletes to challenge themselves and get to know each other by sharing this experience.
What do you love most about the Manhattan Beach 10k?
That it is a huge community event. I am in my happy place while running and I get to do it with so many friends and kids that I have coached over the years. Plus, it is so well organized.
When you aren’t running, how do you like to spend your time?
Talking about running 😊
I love to spend time with my family mostly laughing and watching my son play water polo and my husband ocean prone paddling.
Support Mira Costa Cross Country
The Dick Fitzgerald 2-Mile Beach Run will be held on Saturday August 3rd, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. This fun race is very challenging because of the soft sand on the first half of the race and the hard pack run on the return trip. The gentle sea breeze is a welcome relief to the runners . This is a great way to get some exercise and participate in one of the first events of the Surf Festival. 100% of proceeds benefit the Mira Costa Cross Country teams.
MB10k Early Registration
If you missed our Extra Savings window for the 42nd Annual Race on October 5, we’ve got you covered! Right now we have Early Registration going on until September 23, 2019.
At this time we have online registration open. Visa/Mastercard payments only, processing fee applies. In-store registration opens September 1st at Village Runner, 1840 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 Cash, check, Visa/Mastercard accepted, processing fee applies to credit card purchases. If you have any questions about the race please visit our Event Details and FAQs pages.
THE MB10K IS A NON-PROFIT EVENT AND THE PROCEEDS ARE DONATED TO COMMUNITY FITNESS-RELATED CAUSES & SCHOLARSHIPS. THE RACE COMMITTEE ORGANIZERS AND RACE STAFF ARE VOLUNTEERS.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT THE STARTING LINE ON OCTOBER 5, 2019!
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Image Credit: Endurance Sports Photo & Renee Williams-Smith