Santa Monica has seen its fair share of themed crawls over the years. Some of the bar variety, food versions, and yes, even a zombie crawl. This weekend, however, a crawl returns to Santa Monica with no bells and whistles. This crawl’s goal? Introduce residents to their Pico neighbors. And ya know, help out with the whole New-Year-New-Me-getting-in-shape thing, too.

The Pico Improvement Organization will host the third annual Pico Fitness Crawl this weekend, starting at Virginia Avenue Park and ending at the beach.

While fitness is the key component of the Crawl, the Pico Improvement Organization says shining a light on the Pico neighborhood is part of the day’s heavy-lifting.

“It’s such a fun way to get to know a neighborhood,” Magdalena Davis, coordinator of the Crawl said. “You get to see the street in all its diversity. Check in at the Farmers Market, hit up resistance training on the beach down to yoga and Folklorico by the freeway and everything in between. Pose by a mural, bike down the paths. It’s a great way to get a Saturday morning sweat in by discovering and supporting your local businesses.”

Instead of, say, bouncing from local watering hole to local watering hole, the 2.5-mile long Fitness Crawl will be peppered with pit stops featuring local fitness studios offering health stalwarts such as boxing, CrossFit, pilates and offbeat fitness such as Folklorico, belly dancing and kundalini yoga.

For Pico fitness practitioners, the crawl has been a boon for them. If not a monetary boon, at least a rewarding, intrinsic one.

“Last year[‘s Crawl], no one had heard of kundalini yoga when they walked in,”  Bonnie LaVallo, owner of Breath of Life studio, said. She has participated in the Crawl since its inception, her studio offering meatheads (or anyone, really) a yoga routine infused with singing and self-expression. It’s one of the stranger stops, and LaVallo takes pride in that. “But everyone that came in left peaceful and centered, relaxed. They knew more about me and the neighborhood, and that’s a success to me.”

Davis says businesses like LaVallo’s are key to the crawl. The Pico neighborhood and their relationships with their surrounding businesses are important and intimate she says, and the Crawl and it’s diverse businesses — even just within the fitness community — is proof of that.

Last year attendance capped out at a sold-out 150 people running down Pico, a number Davis says will be hit again. Residents in Santa Monica and abroad, she hopes. Will find something to like in the Pico neighborhood.

“The whole day is choose-your-own-adventure,” Davis said. “If you feel ambitious, you can do a lot and if not, you can do as little as you want. There’re enthusiasts and amateurs and so much more to this event than just working out. We want people to discover Pico. Everyone’s welcome.”

The Pico Fitness Crawl takes place Saturday, January 12. Check-in is at 8 a.m. while the crawl takes place between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. An afterparty occurs from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Admission is $10. For more information, visit www.PicosFitCrawl.eventbrite.com

angel@smdp.com

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