Full-length marathon coming to SB in December

The city of Santa Barbara is set to host its first marathon in over two decades – replete with a three-day festival comprised of different races for all age groups and skill levels, headlined by the 26.2-mile race that will wind its way through neighborhoods from Goleta to Santa Barbara.

The Select Staffing International Santa Barbara Marathon is scheduled for December 4th-6th, featuring a lecture series on Friday – where two-time Olympian Ed Eyestone will speak about runner’s health and performance – a Children’s race on Saturday, and the marathon and a health fitness relay on Sunday.

The children’s races are open to all ages over 8 months, and the events range from the “Diapers and Wipers” 50-meter run for children under 3 years, to the seeded High School Mile. All children’s events will take place at Santa Barbara City College’s beautiful La Playa Stadium track.

The health and fitness relay is a great way to participate in the event with friends or co-workers, as 4 runners team up to run a different leg of the marathon.

Race director Rusty Snow expects up to 5,000 people to participate in the event, and up to 15,000 spectators on hand to witness friends and family compete.

The SBI Marathon is a USA Track and Field sanctioned event, and also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon in 2010. Qualifying may vary based on age and gender, but most runners that can break the 4 hour mark have a chance to qualify. It does not, however, count towards the local SBAA Grand Prix Series.

The fastest runners competing are expected to run times as fast 2 hours and 10 minutes on the primarily flat course.

The course begins in Goleta west of the Camino Real market place on Hollister Ave., weaves in and out of the scenic suburbs and orchards in the Goleta Valley, and continues onto the beautiful Mesa community and downtown Santa Barbara. The biggest obstacle of the course features a half-mile incline at the 23rd mile, but finishes smoothly with a 2-mile descent to Leadbetter Beach.


Along the course expect to see scenic views of the mountains, the ocean, and Santa Barbara’s lovely rural community, providing racers an enjoyable and eye-friendly course to compete on.