Congrats Kate!! Kate is fast at both long and short distances, trail and road. This weekend she ran the SB She is Beautiful 10k and crushed it. Kate finished third! A beautiful course for a road 10k. Starting at East Beach the course winds past the bird refuge, around the Santa Barbara Cemetery, along Butterfly beach, and into Monecito before turning around and running back the same way. Plenty of views of the Pacific Ocean.
She is Beautiful is a fundraiser for Girls Incorporated of the Greater Santa Barbara area. According to the organization, it’s mission is “to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.” What a great cause for our SB Mountain racing ladies to support! Other fund-raising partners include Every Mother Counts, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, and Girls Rock Santa Barbara. She is Beautiful is an all womens race and encourages runners to wear their “sassiest (and pinkest) outfit.” Congrats on a great race Kate!!
Island View Trail Race supports the Franklin Trail which starts near Carpinteria High School and continues up to Divide Peak road. A relatively new trail, more work is needed to fully finish the upper section. This race acts as a fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Country Trail Council so they can continue their efforts. Nancy Kaplan, a local SB trail runner, mountain biker, and hiker, organized the race. The distance options included both four miles and ten miles.
Franklin Trail begins relatively flat as it follows the school facilities into nearby farms before reaching the base of the mountain. An uncountable number of switchbacks take runners up to the four mile turn around with views of the coast and the city of Carpinteria. The single-track trail turns into a fire road and features rolling hills and steep climbs. There are even a few benches available if you want to sit and enjoy the view. The ten mile race ends at the base of the single-track into the Los Padres National Forest.
The race had perfect weather and a good turn out. There were 33 finishers for the four mile race and 68 for the ten mile distance. The majority of the runners were local to Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, including 10 mile race winners Curly and Mariann. The day started off foggy and cool. While the fog slowly started dissipating, it remained long enough to provide runners with relief from the warm temperatures accompanying the beautiful sunshine later in the day.
The Santa Barbara Mountain Racing team represented as volunteers and runners. Heidi worked registration, Ken marked the trail, and Stephanie helped man the 10 mile turn-around aid station. Thankfully her fellow aid station volunteers were not eaten by bears when they camped overnight and no one got lost during the race. Patty raced the 10 mile distance. Despite missing breakfast, she looked strong at the 5 mile mark. Congrats on a great race Patty!
Heidi, Karen, Patty, and many local Santa Barbara trail runners headed SLO Ultra at Wild Cherry Canyon. For Heidi, the marathon at Wild Cherry Canyon was the first tune up race leading to her 100 at Rio Del Lago. Karen has been battling an injury but decided to head to SLO with her friends. Back from the Summit for Danny in Norway, Patty tackled the half marathon. And such a fun race! The Wild Cherry Canyon races take place on the trails near San Luis Obispo and offers stunning coastal views. Distance options include a half marathon, marathon, and 50 miler. Other Santa Barbara runners include Elliot Reese, Andreas Hampp, Sam Howland, Terry Wong, Sandy Sanger, Annie Reese, Phil Nigh (50 miler), and Simone Kleinschmidt (50 miler).
The course consists of a big loop with several out-and-back sections. It’s a difficult marathon with about 4900 ft of elevation gain. The terrain consists of a mixture of single-track trail and fire road. These trails are on private land and only available to runners for this race. A great opportunity to run somewhere new. Native wildlife includes cattle and horses (much better than mountain lions!).
Heidi and Karen did fantastic! Heidi cruised through this race despite running high mileage the previous weekend. Karen wasn’t going to let an injury ruin her day – she and Patty finished the half marathon together. Local race director, Luis Escobar, was there to capture many of the moments – check out the race pictures and videos posted on his Facebook page. Heidi came home with some hardware, taking 3rd in her age group. She is looking strong and will be ready for Rio in November. Congrats Heidi, Karen, Patty, and all of the SB runners!!
Here are a few of Heidi’s finish line pictures:
Heidi Heitkamp: 5:12:30, 39th overall and 16th GP (marathon)
Karen Boris: 2:45:55, 144th overall and 76th GP (half marathon)
Patty Bryant: 2:45:55, 145th overall and 77th GP (half marathon)
Pier to Peak half marathon takes place the Sunday of Labor Day weekend every year. The race begins next to the dolphin fountain at Stearn’s Wharf, travels through the city streets of Santa Barbara, up Gibraltar road, and ends at La Cumbre peak. The total elevation gain is about 4000 ft. The entire race is uphill minus about half a mile (between the miles 11 and 12). Temperatures tend toward hot. Past years have easily topped 90. It is a unique and challenging half marathon even if it consists solely of pavement.
This year prior events through a curve ball at the race. About two weeks before race day a serious forest fire broke out in the Santa Barbara back country. The Forest Service closed parts of East Camino Cielo and Gibraltar so the fire fighters could stage their operations. Thankfully the fire was contained a few days before the race and the roads re-opened the day before. However, the 0.1 mile out-and-back section was cut in case fire fighting operations needed to resume. The total distance was closer to 12.8 than 13.1 miles.
Temperatures on race day were surprisingly mild. The fog held for the majority of the race and even the finish remained almost chilly. Perfect weather for running up a mountain. The first four miles are relatively mild and the next three to four start to get steeper and the last miles are just painful. I was the only Santa Barbara Mountain Racing team member to participate, however, other notable SB runners include Daniel McLeod, Phil Nigh, Daniel Scarberry, Scott Young, Jennifer Miller, William Adams, Michael Freedman, and Marcus Baker. Nevertheless I finished the course in a little over two hours.