Los Angeles Marathon

Congrats Ken on finishing the LA marathon a week after Backbone and a week before 9Trails! What a packed racing schedule. The race takes runners from the Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. The route passes through many of LA’s diverse neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Echo Park, Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Beverley Hills, and more. A very urban yet scenic adventure. Definitely one of the bigger marathons in the US, the LA marathon promises plenty of spectators, aid stations, and support.

The course included some rolling hills but nothing Ken couldn’t handle after tackling the Santa Monica Mountains at Backbone. He sped through this race in less than 4 hours, finishing with a time of 3:58:52. Congrats Ken!

Official Results:

Ken Hughes: 2255th overall and 1845th GP, 3:58:52

Full results here


San Diego Half Marathon

Congrats Tyler Hansen!! A half marathon PR and a super speedy finish. You are going to rock Boston. Congrats as well to his wife Vanessa who also ran a half marathon PR. A half marathon about a month away from a marathon goal race is great time for tune-up race to test fitness and get in a long, supported tempo run. San Diego is a short drive south of Santa Barbara and another beautiful California city. Another awesome aspect of this race is that the net proceeds are all donated to local community service projects and charities.

Tyler was seventh overall with a speedy time of 1:12:22. That’s a 5:32 pace for 13.1 miles! Congrats Tyler and good luck in Boston!!

Official Results:

Tyler Hansen: 7th overall and 7th GP, 1:12:22

Full results here

Tyler & Vanessa
Tyler and Vanessa Hansen.  Photo Credit: Tyler Hansen

Coyote Backbone

Congrats Karen, Ken, and Patty on finishing Backbone!! That race is no joke and finishing is such an accomplishment. The Backbone trail traverses the Santa Monica Mountains from Will Rogers State Park to the Ray Miller trail head at Point Magu. This 68 mile point-to-point course contains almost 15,000 ft of elevation gain with the highest point at about 3000 ft. Despite its difficulty, the trail promises gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The trail shifts between wide, steep fire roads and stunning single-track.

sunset from Karen
Sunset.  Photo Credit:  Karen Boris

Howard and Mike, the race directors, always dish out a good time. Participants are usually assigned nicknames and can often be awarded bonus points (or its opposite) for good (bad) behavior. Previous years have included entrants entertaining the aid station volunteers reading book passages or with ukulele music. Most years, a notable finisher award includes the blood cloaking device, given to the finisher with the most blood left on the trail.

Karen at mile 43 from Karen
Mile 43.  Photo Credit: Karen Boris
Patty at Encinal from Nancy
Duck tape fixes everything!  Photo Credit: Nancy Kaplan
Ken at Encinal from Nancy
Dinosaurs at Encinal Aid Station.  Photo Credit: Nancy Kaplan

Our SB mountain runners had fun out on the trail! Ken spent the day continually trying to chase Karen down. Coming down the final stretch of Ray Miller toward the finish line, he finally caught her and they finished the race together. Congrats Patty, Karen, and Ken!!

Official Results:

No results have yet been posted.

Sean O’Brien

Course changes, mud, and tough climbs didn’t stop Joe and I from finishing the Sean O’Brien 50 miler and 100k. Joe killed the course and finished 2nd with a speedy time of 8:04:57!! I pulled through for a 9th place female finish. There has been a plethora of rain in California in recent weeks, resulting in mudslides, muddy trails, and so much greenery! However this complicates trail running. Due to a desire to protect the trails, the Forest Service requested Keira, the race director, cancel the race. She argued successfully and the race went forward with a minor course change. The 50 mile race was closer to 45 miles and the 100k was between 58 and 59 miles.

Joe finishes 2nd!  Photo Credit:  Monica DeVreese

Despite the mud and the tough climbs, the views were breathtaking. Many locations showcased sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean along with the mountains ahead and behind. There was actually water flowing in the creeks! Around 2 miles in and 2 miles to go runners used a rope to cross a thigh deep rushing stream. Not something us SoCal runners are used to! Plant-life was flourishing, treating runners to a lush landscape. Temperatures stayed mild all day and there was an occasional light mist but no major rain. Perfect running conditions. Except the miles long stretches of slippery mud.  Many friends including Sean Garbutt and Lisa Carr turned up on the course to cheer runners on – their enthusiasm was much appreciated!

Creeks!  Photo Credit:  Lisa Carr

Joe pushed right through the mud and looked strong near the turn-around and at the finish. Congrats on a well-earned second place in the 50 miler!! In the 100k distance, runners traveled from all of the country and all over the globe to chase after a Golden Ticket (and thus entry into Western States). I tried to give chase; however, I’m overly cautious in the mud and managed to pull off 9th.

Photo Credit:  Lisa Carr

Official Results:

Joe DeVreese (50 miles): 2nd overall and 2nd GP, 8:04:57

Stephanie Fronk (100k): 44th overall and 9th GP, 11:54:43

SBRSW – Santa Barbara Running Stupid Week

What better way to start the year than doing something just a little stupid? Santa Barbara runners took on the challenge of running 100 miles in a week (without doing a 100 mile race). Extra kudos were given to the first runner to complete 100 miles and to the runner with the most miles at the end of the week. On New Year’s Eve, we started logging some solid weekend miles in case we got tired later in the week. A New Year’s Eve run hosted by Mark Fennell provided the perfect excuse for a second Saturday run to tack on those few bonus miles. A 100 mile week – good training for those late winter/early spring ultras.

New Year’s Eve sunset.  Photo Credit:  George Williams

Santa Barbara Mountain Racing team members Joe, Monica, DeAnna, Ken, Mark, and Stephanie successfully completed the challenge. Phil, another local SB trail runner, was the first to finish all 100 miles and went back for more. Other participants included Ashlee Francis and Lauren McClanahan. Individual runs ranged from short to long, flat to hilly, pavement to dirt to track, slow to fast. Santa Barbara got some much needed rain which meant we also experienced chilly and wet runs. Sometimes two runs in a single day were required. Thankfully many of us founds friends to share some of the miles. It wasn’t easy but by Friday evening, we could all claim success and begin planning a bit of recovery before our next big adventure.

Ken & Mark tackle Blue Canyon.  Photo Credit: Ken Hughes
Beach miles!  Photo Credit: Ken Hughes

Dave’s 50 for 50 for $50,000

Dave accomplished an amazing goal for his 50th birthday. He ran 50 miles around the Westmont Track as a fundraiser of $50,000 for the Santa Barbara Track Club and the Westmont Athletic Program. The Santa Barbara Track Club supports elite athletes who serve as coaches and mentors to both youths and adults in order to promote physical activity. The Westmont Athletic Program runs the sports programs of Westmont, a local college in Santa Barbara. Donations of any amount were accepted or people could donate a specific amount and join Dave on the track for 1 to 10 miles.

Photo Credit:  Westmont Athletics

By running 50 miles around the Westmont Track, Dave not only supported two important local organizations but also set the stadium record for the longest distances run on the track. He was joined on his journey by many local runners including DeAnna, Karen, Monica and Joe.

Photo Credit:  Westmont Athletics

Dave made the local written, radio, and TV news. Check it out on KEYT’s website. What an awesome way to start a new calendar year and to celebrate a milestone birthday!

Congrats Dave! Photo Credit:  Heidi Heitkamp
Photo Credit:  Heidi Heitkamp

Resolution Day Races

Congrats Patty, DeAnna and Dave! These runners are starting the year off right with a New Year’s Day road race to get in some early speed and early miles. Every year, the Santa Barbara Athletic Association hosts 5k and 10k races on New Year’s Day morning. Thankfully they opt for later start times of 9am for the 5k and 9:45am for the 10k so runners can get a little sleep after a late night of celebrations (unless you’re participating in SBRSW and then you likely didn’t make it to midnight!).

The flat course runs along the Santa Barbara oceanfront, starting at Leadbetter beach. The morning dawned sunny after the previous day’s rain. Patty took first in her age group, earning early SBAA grand prix points. Dave and DeAnna tackled both races for bonus miles. Congrats Patty, Dave, and DeAnna!

Official Results:


Patty Bryant: 46th overall and 13th GP, 22:59

Dave Odell: 89th overall and 57th GP, 25:56

DeAnna Odell: 88th overall and 31st GP, 25:55


Dave Odell: 56th overall and 36th GP, 59:42

DeAnna Odell: 36th overall and 9th GP, 51:57