WeissCrax: Running With Flavor

Kevin Young, Club West Run for Life & McConnell’s Ice Cream ‘dish it out’ for local kids

You scream… I scream…we all scream for ice cream!!”

Remember that one as a kid?

Yeah, me too…

Well, Sunday was the perfect day and Goleta Beach, the perfect place – (WHOA!! EVEN THE SUN EVEN CAME OUT EARLY!!) – for screamin’ at the 32nd Annual McConnell’s Ice Cream of Santa Barbara Endurance Events – a 5K Run or Walk, 10K Run & Biathlon, Kids Mile Beach Run and Mile Ocean Swim.

Off & Running: Kids Beach Fun Run

Unique race features included: free entry for those under age 19 and over age 65; awards to top three finishers in five-year increment age groups; custom ribbons to all participants and one incredibly low price ($20) to run and/or swim in all races.


Over 300 participated in this special fundraiser for local non-profit, Club West Run for Life, whose mission, according to its website “… is to introduce and encourage the healthy benefits of running for life for Santa Barbara County youth.”

And for Founding Race Director Kevin Young, who also serves on Club West Running for Life Board of Directors — it’s been a labor of love every step of the way…

Young caught the running craze in the early 1970’s when he was, well, young.  Running, very simply, changed his life forever. He’s been living its benefits and paying-it-forward ever since.

“We used to live in LA and when Kevin was about age 12, he started running around the block with his Dad,” according to a very credible source –that being Jeney McCoy, Kevin’s Mom and Matriarch of the McConnell’s Ice Cream Empire.


Ice Cream Cone?: Race Director Kevin Young lines up first race

“We are very proud of Kevin. The whole family stands with him in helping kids, especially since our first race in 1978,” she added.

Indeed they do! Also helping with Mom, was husband , Jim “Mr. McConnell’s” McCoy; Kevin’s three brothers – Mike, Andy & Jimmy and sister, Monika, along with their families. And their dog.

After 32 years, they certainly “have it down” – everyone (mint chocolate?) chips in and Kevin moves effortlessly between venues … starting races… announcing winners…chatting and kidding with nearly everyone, and with an always-smile.

Along the way, he offered a personal snapshot on his early running beginnings…

“I was the shortest kid in my junior high school class. Was never picked for anything in sports. But I could beat the big kids in the 600 Yard Run. In 9th Grade, I ran a 5:23 mile with no training. So I went out for Cross Country in HS and ended up on a dominant team at University HS in West L.A. In my senior year (’74) we were L.A. City Champs. I’ve been running ever since.”

Thirty-plus years of running 5Ks and 10Ks have added up so he’s launched a new passion: trail running. Last weekend, he finished a 50K trail race in the San Gabriel foothills, his second “ultra.” More long trail races are on his horizon.

Entertainer Drew Carey competed on Sunday at McConnell's Endurance Events at Goleta Beach.

And when he’s not making a living selling real estate and training, Kevin Young is one very busy dude providing positive experiences for kids across SB County….

“It’s not only teaching the joys of running as a way of life, but encouraging healthy behaviors – such as protecting your eyes and skin, especially while running, the importance of proper diet habits and the importance of being a good community citizen,” Young said.

“We’ve built into the Run for Life kids’ program many fun incentives to tracking their miles and recording good deeds.  All of today’s proceeds are donated to the Club West Run for Life, directly supporting local kids’ races and running programs,” he added.

The most amazing performance of this day occurred in the Womens’ Masters’ Division.

This Division’s 10K record (39:32) was set by Melissa Marsted in 2006 – the fastest time since 1985.

Three women broke that record in a terrific and competitive race. Santa Barbara’s Chrystee Bradley finished in third place (39:08), while Cindy Crawford (no, not THAT one) finished second (38:55) and Mary Jones of Ventura finished first, while setting a new course record (38:52).

In addition to the many local stars, there was another famous face in the race …

In his first 10K race since he “started doing cardio in March,” Drew Carey, of TV fame, achieved his goal of finishing in under an hour (58:26). Even with his new svelt shape, Drew celebrated success with a healthy serving of ice cream. And the toppings.

Safe to say, it was a total team effort in helping today’s kids realize all the fun benefits that sport and life have to offer “every scoop of the way” — thanks to Kevin, Club West Run for Life & McConnell’s.

It all made for a great Sundae, oops, make that SUNDAY!!


McConnells Family

Kevin & family all scream for McConnell's

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