Santa Barbara Sports Figures of the Month: Snows raise profile of SBI Marathon

Each Month, Presidio Sports recognizes a local sports figure for their extraordinary contribution to the Santa Barbara athletic community.

It is our way to recognize those who are making a lasting impact in the sports community, whether it is an outstanding athletic performance, a lifetime achievement award, or perhaps a great example of leadership.

This award is made possible by American Riviera Bank

Find the complete catalogue of Santa Barbara Sports Figures of the Month HERE.

American Riviera Bank

This award is made possible by American Riviera Bank

———-

The Snows, Rusty and June, pictured here with Dan Campbell, right, brought the Santa Barbara International Marathon back in 2009 and it’s bigger than ever in its fourth year. (Randy Weiss photo)

For the organizers, the week leading up to the Select Staffing Santa Barbara International Marathon is maddening.

But race co-directors and competitive runners Rusty and June Snow take it like running the bell lap — they put on a strong finishing kick to make sure everyone has a good experience.

The Snows are putting on their fourth SBIM on Saturday. The full marathon begins at 7:30 a.m. at Dos Pueblos High following the half-marathon start at 7:15 a.m. from the Page Youth Center. Both races finish at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.

In its short history, the Snows have raised the level and profile of the event. The race attracts runners from all over the world.

This year’s marathon is expected to have the largest amount of participants yet at 5,000 or more.

For all their effort and hard work making the race into what it is today, Presidio Sports is honoring Rusty and June Snow as the Sports Figures of the Month.

The Snows are quick to credit their team with making the SBIM a success. They said the organization and preparation for the fourth year is easier “because we have a team that have experienced the marathon a few times now. We get better and more efficient at putting on the race. However, there are always curve balls. Every year provides a new challenge.”

The team includes Dan Campbell (technical delegate and chief of the course), Wally Marantette (course manager), Joe MacPhee (Santa Barbara County course manager), Bill Rupp (Goleta course manager), Elda Rudd (marketing director), Tamara Berndt (webmaster), Anita Ho (volunteer coordinator), and Danielle Ashton (medical volunteer coordinator).

The preparation process begins almost immediately after the marathon ends.

“We give ourselves a few weeks after the event and then planning starts for the next year. Really, once we finish we immediately start planning the next year,” said the Snows.

It’s definitely a labor of love.

“For sure, it has been a very exciting adventure for us,” the Snows said. “Our love for running and wanting to share Santa Barbara with other runners around the world has been our purpose.”

They’re sharing the day with military veterans.

“This year, the SBIM is partnering with Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Museum to honor and celebrate veterans,” said the Snows.

The marathon is being held during Veterans Day weekend.

In celebration of Veterans Day, both the full and half marathon will start with a ceremony, including a brilliant flyover of four U.S. T-34 aircraft, bagpipes, bugler, color guards and more. The last mile is being called the “Veterans Mile” (the intersection of Cliff Drive and La Marina Drive at Shoreline Park to Santa Barbara City College La Playa Stadium). Official marathon runners’ shirts will have the words, “The first 25 miles are for me, the last mile is for the veterans.”

The last mile of the race will be festooned with military vehicles, American flags and campaign flags from all the wars/conflicts of the 20th century.