People have been moving to California since the Gold rush to take advantage of the Sun, Surf, and opportunity.  Well, maybe not the surf…..  But we are blessed with a pretty rocking climate here in San Diego that is filled with opportunity especially in our beautiful North County.  Runner of the Week Dahlia Bonilla is no exception and has been leaving a great impact through a longstanding commitment to the running Community.  


Hearing the word community is powerful.  We, all types of runners, walkers, and fitness fanatics alike make up a special bond.  Dahlia who has been managing the Running Center-Carlsbad, which has been proudly supporting North County for over 15 years and helps keep our bond together and growing.


“I always wanted to run - there was just something so refreshing about runners - great attitudes, awesome physique, genuinely happy people.” Dahlia explains.  That’s why in 2010 she “got off the couch.”  She didn’t stop there.  Her first race was a Full Marathon.


Having crushed a marathon first race out it gave Dahlia a newfound confidence in herself.   “A ten-mile run along the coast? Sure, a fifteen-mile hike through some tough rocky terrain? Why not?”  Hard work, dedication, and the success of achievement can strengthen your Brain (one of the hardest muscles to train).


As any runner can attest, it’s not overnight that we build the strength in our bodies and mind to achieve these lofty goals.

Little by little, dedication, consistency, and education and anything can be possible.

The best part is we have amazing people in our community who are literally making a career out of helping you achieve these goals.  Whether it is the gear, guidance, or just another running nerd who wants to chat it up with you.  Take advantage of our beautiful community.  

Running stores give us a place to gather, become gear geeks, and learn to better move our body forward in a more efficient, or faster way! “The Running Center understands runners and knows exactly what he/she needs because we are all runners here. We work hard to ensure that we have happy runners/customers. Anything less than excellent is just not good enough!”

Dahlia can be found enjoying runs along the Pacific Ocean amongst the palm trees, especially from the Oceanside Pier up to the Harbor.  With goals of getting better, faster, and stronger for 2017 she falls right in line with every runners dreams.  But beware; her #1 goal is to enjoy each and every run! 



This week's Runner of the Week comes from a Runner with all the heart, all the dedication, and the personality to call himself a Boston Qualifier (BQ)

  Scott Mills Johnson has been recreationally running since the age of 16.  “I loved sports as a kid but I was not very athletic, I had to work really hard just to be decent.”  A look back and Scott reflects joining the high school track team for the simple camaraderie and ability to enjoy time with friends.  It wasn't until 3 years ago when a few life events unfolded that Scott began picking up the mileage, finding local group runs, and admiring his son racing competitively in high school.

" I liked the social aspect as much as the fact that others push you to run a little harder than your immediate comfortable pace.  Group runs make running that much more fun and the fun makes you willing to work harder too.”

The same time Scott began to stack his mileage and completing his first marathon here in Carlsbad (4:05) he had a little eye on the Boston Marathon.  Mostly for the idea of running around Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

Having since completed 5 other marathons and numerous other race distances all over Scott has had fair share of trial and error.  Pushing 53 years young Scott knows its not age that holds you back, its the ability to be well rounded, sacrifice here and their and don’t give up on your focus.  As Scott puts it, his “freedom.” It takes long solo runs as much as the fun runs that end in beers, chicken wings, or donuts!  and yes, those kind of runs exist!

If very runner can take one piece of experience from Scotts running style it should be his smile.  No matter the day, the mileage, the suffer, Scott is doing it because he wants to.  

When asked to leave some tips for anyone wanting to take their running to the next level, Scott states  "Build more mileage very gradually. Do intervals, hills and tempos. Variety of running locations. Have Fun, because if you don't like it, you will give up on the work.”


You can find Scott enjoying the entire North County Coast weather it is road or trails,  from Oceanside to Torrey Pines.  He is also a regular at Pannikin, and lululemon Run Clubs! 

Congrats on you BQ and thanks for being part of our community!



Or should we say Runners of the week! Its our first ever Running husband and wife.  Their story is perfect, simple and strong.  2 runners with a passion for their community.  Their personalities will always make them stand out and it also led them to find Run North County.  They had no idea of all the runs available through the week and how they can get more involved in the community through running!

Sandra and Jim Hettick are not shy when it comes to weekly run groups, and they always bring their A game. Complete with smiles conversation and motivation.  Its a refreshing presence to have during the week to see two people, so excited to simply run with new friends and new places!


 As regulars at the Tuesday night OMG Run out of Endurance House Oceanside the Hetticks were introduced to Run North County and learned of all the North County group runs throughout the week!

"Group running give us a sense of community in which we all share the same goal, It keep us motivated, and with all the fun you have, you never know who you meet.” Sandra explains and with a light hearted smile she continues "We run because is simple, is fun, it keeps us healthy and we can be as competitive as we wanted to be.”  

You can see Sandra always pushing the pace or encouraging a little sprint to the next corner.  Just as Sandra is out wrangling up the pack in front her other half Jim is keeping the conversation light in the back of the pack.  


Even newer to running Jim found running as a way to stay connected with Sandra, and as he puts it, he’s still chasing down his love!

The 2 are residence of Carlsbad and love running in their backyard at Calaveras Trails!  The 5k distance is their race distance of choice, but being slowly introduced to long runs has them getting more interested in longer endurance runs. "Our goal is to continue running to get faster and build endurance"

"Now we both look for new groups to have fun doing what we think is the best outdoor activity. North County Runners are exactly what we need to keep us motivated."



A 42-year-old father of three, Rentch is somewhat of an enigma. One look at him—shaved head, thick beard, muscular arms covered in tattoos and black nails—and you’d be forgiven for wanting to get on the other side of the road. But Rentch is a reminder that a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover. “Cam’s kind of a softy. He’s always telling me how much he loves me,” says Brian Peterson, one of Rentch’s best friends from the San Diego ultrarunning community. “I mean, you look at the guy and think ‘he’s a real badass,’ which he totally is, but he’s also a devoted father and a wildly successful businessman.”


Rentch, whose intelligence, kindness and thoughtfulness manifest within minutes of meeting him, had been working tirelessly for the last decade building a business that generated new-client leads for attorneys. “I was logging 70, 80 hours a week,” he says, “really just grinding.”


But near the end of 2014, his near 10-year marriage came to an end.  “It was so unexpected. The thought of not having my family together really tore a deep hole in my heart.”  Following the split with his wife, Rentch didn’t want to talk to, let alone be with, anyone.  


The outcome of crashing from such a high to this low, carried the weight of depression with it.   Then, oddly enough, the urge to be alone drew him to the trails.  Ironicially, it was there where he found friends and serenity were the theraprutic medicine that his heart needed to heal.  


Follow Cameron's story, one that reminds us just how much running and life transcend one another, and his race in the Kodiak 100 in this article by Brad Stulberg;  "The Perfect Race"

San Marcos


“I want be like you when I grow up” is common talk when we look up to someone. But what if that someone is a 12 year old with a passion to change her community?  Sydney Benedict is a student at The Rhoades School who like most kids, enjoys spending her free time shuffling between sports, activities, and the beach!  Sydney has found a way to combine her love for cruising around the outdoors the fastest way she knows how: running!   “I love exploring different places outside and spending time with my family and my aunt Stephie. I also love to take pictures of interesting things on my running adventures.” 


With only 3 years of running under her braids, Sydney wanted to connect her joy of running, family time, and camaraderie of her peers into something enjoyable.   “A lot of the running we do is because we play soccer or other sports.” Maybe we do spend too much time running “because of”, instead of really learning how to enjoy running.  It’s funny how a 6th grader can really simplify life for you.    


Sydney herself has had the last 3 years to explore a few race distances including The Encinitas Mile, Carlsbad 5000, and one of her favorites The Del Mar Mud Run!  It’s really the obstacles and the teamwork that brings the fun out of the run for her.  This concept has turned most of her runs into what she likes to call, adventure runs.  Finding new places with the focus of gathering the family and a new finish line photo.


With the help of her entire family Sweet Feet is born.  Free community group runs for kids and their parents! “I started Sweet Feet because I love running and wanted to turn it into something more and run with my aunt and friends as a team.”  You can hear it in her voice how simply and so innocently she is passionate about the community around her.  There will always be different groups or meet ups, but you don’t change the future without leading the next generation with motivation and passion!


Sydney wanted to leave a message for every kid out there, young or old “Have fun, and never give up on your passions”



Run North County continues to pride itself that we have the best damn running community on the planet!  This week Tania Tuluie stands out as we found her volunteering her time as a Race Guard at the Encinitas Mile!  Race Guards is a San Diego based organization that is helping athletes stay on their feet nation wide!


“I loved the thought of 'racing for good' and helping participants ‘keep on’ and finish their race. It’s a tremendous reward to have a finisher come up to you after a race and thank you for being there to assist in a time of distress.”


The multi talented Cardiff-by-the-Sea Resident now calls the beach home.  Originally from Stuttgart, Germany Tania was first exposed to running after moving with her family to the San Francisco area.  She reflects beautifully on the times spent running around Lake Merritt in Oakland California with her mother at the age of 18.  Soon the unstoppable duo found their way into the redwood forests developing a passion for the trails!

It wasn’t until her brother-in-law surprised her with an entry into the New York City Marathon that Tania first ran an official race.   She received the race packet only a few months after giving birth to her daughter Camilia.  Let’s just say it was all the motivation needed to get out on the road and dedicate sometime for training.  The marathon distance is still her favorite race distance.


Tania has been training this year for the Boston Marathon and can be found on her favorite trails in the San Elijo Lagoon, Torrey Pines, and even the sometimes dreadful climbs at Double Peak! “The view at the top is absolutely worth it at sunrise.”


Run North County wants to send out a special thank you to Tania at Tania Tuluie Graphic Design for creating our new logo, which we as the entire community share.  As we all have something special to bring to the table we always invite everyone to help us make our running community stronger and louder!


Tania leaves us with a little quote on how to enjoy running and invites everyone to apply to !

“Have fun and run with friends! Take care of yourself and invest in good running shoes. Seek out a coach if you get in a rut. Don’t stop, #keepon”



With a goal of Running 3,000 miles for the 2016 year, you would have never guessed Kevin Hopp use to find himself winded from climbing the stairs. Poor habits got the best of him and he wanted a change.   "I just started running from my front door to the stop sign a few houses down the street.  I did not know that the technique was called run/walk, but that is where it all started.”   From an early start Kevin mentions that he would run for what seemed to be 3 to 4 miles but soon found out it was actually just one mile.  But he never gave up, although he says he might have if he knew that mile was taking him about 30 minutes :)  


With the support of his family and dedication to himself he continued to see success.  Health, Positivity, and miles got stronger with time.  Kevin has now completed races of all distances from 5k to the marathon.  Even this month taking down back to back Marathon and half marathon in the same weekend.  He is now chasing down a 1:30 in the half marathon and looking to do his first 50k.  


His running is strong but his motivation is stronger.  Running gives Kevin an extreme high to the point where even on a day off  if you invite him for a run he will probably be there, even if it is a double day.  Might I suggest his favorite run from Fletcher cove to the top of Torrey Pines and back.  You can find Kevin weekly at Pannikin on Saturdays, Carlsbad Coastal run on Sundays, and with his training team Seaside Striders! "Running has given me a connection to myself... nothing makes me feel more normal then a run.  Running burns off the crazy”

San Marcos, CA

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