Meet Mike Ward
Mike Ward is a South Bay local and owns the Village Runner stores in Manhattan and Redondo Beach. We are privileged to have Village Runner as one of our race sponsors. The Village Runner, Manhattan Beach provides sponsorship by distributing bib numbers, graciously providing us a place for in-store registration, and providing food at the Expo. It would be difficult to put on this event without them.
Our Q & A With Mike
You were a star track and cross country runner in high school and college. Give us a little background about your personal running career.
I ran cross country and track at West Torrance High school. I also played soccer for West. I always felt that the cross country, soccer and track combination always worked out very well for me. In other words, “Cross country got me in great shape for soccer and soccer kept me in good shape for track.” I was an 800 meter runner in track which I feel is a great event for soccer players (and basketball players).
After West High, I attended El Camino. I also ran cross country and track there. Our cross country team was very good my freshman year and I had a great time, but I must admit that my true passion was running the 1,500 meters on the track. I really looked forward to track workouts (the more challenging the better). I ran a 3:52 and came in 5th in the State. I got injured in the summer of 1989, so I took a break during the 1989-1990 season. I came back to run in 1990 and 1991 but never got close to the times that I ran my freshman year. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t wise to gain 30 lbs.!!
You have 2 Village Runner locations, tell us how you got your start in the running business.
I started working at the Village Runner in 1989. By 1992, the owner decided that she was ready to sell the store. Although, I was only 23 at the time, I expressed interest in buying the store and we began to have a conversation. By August of 1992, I was able to borrow enough cash from family and friends to purchase the store. I often tell people that I went from working at the Village Runner for $8 an hour as an employee on July 31st, 1992 to owning the Village Runner and paying myself about $3 an hour on August 1st, 1992.
Over the years you have donated over $200,000 to various South Bay causes through proceeds from your races. Why is it so important for you to give back to the community in this way?
I think that part of the reason the South Bay is such a great place to live is because of the great support that all of the local businesses do to enhance the local schools and other local non-profits in the area. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family.
This year you are generously giving money towards Mira Costa High School’s running programs with our upcoming Bib Promotion - when people purchase a $140 Village Runner gift certificate, $40 will go to Mira Costa. How do you hope that money will benefit their programs?
I think that running is a great sport/activity. I’ve seen people throughout the years that have had life altering experiences because of running. I think that supporting local running programs such as Mira Costa gives them a better opportunity to touch the lives of more students in a positive way.
How did you first get involved with the Manhattan Beach 10K?
I opened up my current location in Manhattan Beach in 2004. With some help from Scott Guerrero, we started hosting the packet pick-up for the race in 2005 or 2006. Since that time, we’ve had a great relationship with the MB10K. I am proud to be associated with such a great community event that is enjoyed by thousands of Manhattan Beach residents every year.
Have you ever run the MB10K yourself?
I have run the MB10K a few times.
If so, what do you love most about the race?
I love the great sense of community and the positive energy that surrounds you as you run in the MB10K. Also, although the course is somewhat of a challenge, it’s always fun to run through downtown MB and I love the last mile of running with a beautiful ocean view.
The running industry has seen it’s ups and downs over the past few years, what is your secret to success with your popular stores and races?
Support from the local community is the reason that the Village Runner stores and events have succeeded and it is greatly appreciated. I also give a ton of credit to my staff for offering knowledgeable, friendly service throughout the years.
Online Registration for the MB10K is going on NOW at www.mb10k.com and ends October 2, 2017.
In-store Registration is now open at Village Runner, Manhattan Beach and ends October 6th at 7 pm.
EARLY REGISTRATION PRICING NOW - SEPTEMBER 25TH:
$30 Youth (14 & under)
VILLAGE RUNNER, MANHATTAN BEACH
1840 N. Sepulveda Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Join Us Tomorrow!
We will have a booth at the Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market tomorrow, September 12, 2017! Stop by and say hello and check out what we have going on:
- Race poster with the history of our 10K t-shirt artwork
- Buttons and pins with our 1978 retro running man*
- $3 online registration discount coupons*
- Show up in an MB10K race finisher tee from the past & let us post a photo on social media to earn goodies*!
*Limited quantities, while supplies last.
Let’s get social!
Share with your friends on social media that you have registered for the race and invite them to run or walk with you.
Anytime you post about the race, use our hashtags:
Image Credit: Mike Ward & Manhattan Beach Farmer’s Market
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.
COME CELEBRATE OUR 40TH BIRTHDAY WITH US AND RUN OR WALK - OCTOBER 7, 2017 AT 7:30 AM!
We'll see you at the starting line!
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