Red Rock 50

Congrats Joe on surviving the elements and finishing well at Red Rock 50!! Red Rock is a difficult out-and-back 50 mile race with a large but unknown amount of elevation gain (~16,000ft +/-), long stretches with no aid, and technical trails. The race begins in the Santa Barbara backcountry at the first crossing parking lot and follows Arroyo Burro fireroad to Mathias trail. Matias dead ends on a paved road and the first aid station. The road leads to Red Red day use area and a gently sloping fireroad. The fireroad winds around to Gibraltar Dam and turns into single-track as it approaches the old mercury mine. More beautiful single-track trail flows through trees, meadows, and rocks with many stunning vistas. Eventually the real climbing cross the water-filled grotto and then it’s up, up, up to Camino Cielo where a welcoming aid station awaits. Then 4.5 miles of steep, technical downhill on San Ysidro ends at Heidi’s Ultra Cafe, a happy refuge before runners turn around and return along the same route.

Awesome Ultra Cafe Volunteers Photo Credit: Heidi Heitkamp

Red Rock is a local trail event run by the famous Luis Escobar. Always providing better aid and trail markings than advertised. This race was no exception. The volunteers were amazing, including our own Heidi and Karen at the San Ysidro aid station. Many other local runners also participated in the 50 miler, marathon, and half-marathon.

An Amazing Group of Ladies! Photo Credit: Heidi Heitkamp

Weather and trail conditions were not on the side of the runners. The day began chilly with several early, deep water crossings. Temperatures warmed only a little and then the rain began. Torrential downpours. Santa Barbara is rarely treated to rainfall. The trails became slippery rivers of runoff water. The cold rain caused temperatures to drop even lower. Ken and I succumbed to hypothermia and were forced to end our races early. Joe pushed on through the rain & cold and survived washed-out Mathias to finish 4th overall! Congrats Joe!!

Joe & Mike Photo Credit: Monica DeVreese
It’s a river!  Photo Credit: Heidi Heitkamp

Official Results:

Joe DeVreese: 4th overall and 4th GP, 9:48:14


Thanksgiving 4-Miler

Congratulations Tyler on a great SB Thanksgiving 4-Miler. The course is flat and fast. It starts in Goleta on Hollister Ave. Runners quickly merge onto a shaded bikepath, continue through the nearby neighborhoods and finish in Thunderbird Park. Very scenic for a road race. This race honors the holidays and provided a late start at 9:05 am. The late start combined with the popularity of Thanksgiving day “turkey trots” draws a large crowd. Tyler flew through this course with a fast time of 21:33, good for 6th place. Great race Tyler!

Photo Credit: Jill Deering

Official Results:

Tyler Hansen: 6th overall and 6th GP, 21:33

Ray Miller 50K

Congrats on a first place finish at Ray Miller 50K Kate!! Ray Miller 50/50 begins and ends at Point Magu at the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains off the Pacific Coast Highway. Not an easy 50k, this race contains 9000 ft of elevation gain. To make up for the difficulty, runners are treated to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, California coastline, and the flora/fauna along the trail.

The course begins at the Ray Miller trailhead where switchbacks help runners through the first climb. The remainder of the course consists of two small loops and one larger loop before finishing with a fast decent back down Ray Miller. The terrain is a mix of single-track trail and fireroad. Runners even get to spend some miles on the famous Backbone trail.

Photo Credit: Kate Elliot

Kate is on fire this year! This is her third trail 50K win since August!!

Official Results:

Kate Elliot: 4th overall and 1st GP, 4:42

Rio Del Lago 100

Congratulations Heidi!! Heidi finished her first 100 mile race! She is a rockstar! Karen brought her home to the finish, pacing the last 25 miles. Rio Del Lago starts in Folsom, CA and is a last chance qualifier for Western States. Heidi was joined by a large crew of SB runners including Andreas, Simone, Nick, Steve, and John with pacers including Karen, Terry, Lisa, and Melissa. They all had amazing races.

Ready to go!  Photo credit:  Heidi Heitkamp

Rio Del Lago likes to make course changes. Once again, they altered the course from previous years changing the lollipop loops to one big loop. The race starts with a roughly 20 mile loop on the pavement (boo!), returning runners to the start/finish line. Runners then traverse the rock garden before following a beautiful trail along the American River. A little more pavement and then an epic No Hands Bridge crossing. The course picks up on the Western States trail. From there, a 25 mile loop follows part of the Way Too Cool 50k course (and allows no crew access!).  Then it’s follow the trail back to the finish line. Overall a very beautiful course, especially during the fall with the leaves changing colors.

A bit of backstory. Last year Heidi trained hard for Rio Del Lago 100 as a first 100 mile race and as a way to raise money for the SB Cancer Center in memory of her father’s passing. She was running strong during much of her training but an injury crept up in the last month before the race. Heidi toed the line on race day despite her injury. She ran/hiked 50 miles and was forced to call it a day.

Her goal this year was to finish Rio Del Lago. She trained smart all year long and went into this race in amazing shape, injury free. Her husband was also talked into running all 100 miles this year and they made a strong, cute training couple. Their plan was to run their own races but start out together. The crew headed up Thursday for packet pickup on Friday and a very early wake-up call Saturday morning for a 5am race start.

Heidi and Andreas cruised through the first part of the race (thank goodness for so I could stalk their progress). They made good time reaching mile 44 for the start of their 25 mile loop as night settled in and Terry joined them to pace. Post-loop, Terry took a break and Karen and Melissa stepped in to help. Karen knows Heidi and Andreas so well – a great choice as a pacer. These two awesome ladies stuck with our couple in the dark and into a second sunrise.

Rattlesnake Bar Aid Station.  Photo Credit:  Karen Peabody Boris
Overlook Aid Station.  Photo Credit:  Karen Peabody Boris
No Hands Bridge.  Photo Credit:  Melissa Danehey

Heidi and Andreas finished together. So cute! Heidi placed second in her age group. They had an awesome race!! Congrats to all the SB Rio Del Lago finishers!

Two 100 mile finishers!  Photo Credit:  Karen Peabody Boris
Yay Simone!  Photo Credit:  Karen Peabody Boris
Finished!  Photo Credit:  Heidi Heitkamp

Official Results:

Heidi Heitkamp: 116th overall and 20th GP, 26:43:37

Summit for Danny

Summit for Danny is a local Santa Barbara event hosted in part by Patty Bryant and her husband Bob. This event is a fund-raiser for the Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, providing substance abuse treatment for teens and their families. The money raised goes toward scholarships for teens to receive treatment at the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Center. This is a well-attended annual event.

The event takes place in Elings Park and offers multiple run/hike options and is dog-friendly. The longest hike covered about 10 miles with loops including the unmarked Douglas preserve and red, yellow, and green loops. Shorter options range from 3 to 5 miles. Every hike offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and the coastline. Don’t let the event location fool you, this local park contains plenty of hills and is the largest public park in America. My watch logged almost 2000ft of elevation gain in 10 miles.

The SB Mountain Racing team was there to support the cause: Patty, Ken, Heidi, Karen, and Stephanie, along with many local runners, hit the trails. The weather was perfect and the recent rainfall kept the trails from being too dusty. Everyone had a blast on the course and stayed to enjoy some of the after-party.

Pictures to come!