Runners celebrate the 4th at 60th annual 15k

The Fourth of July 15-kilometer run is a Santa Barbara tradition that goes back 60 years.

The oldest road race on the Central Coast and one of the longest-running events in the state will go off at 8 a.m. Friday at San Marcos High. The run is recognized by USA Track & Field as it is part of organization’s grand prix in Southern California. The 15k is also a Santa Barbara Athletic Association Grand Prix race.

Several runners and walkers get in the spirit of the day by wearing red, white and blue, star-spangled attire.

The Semana Nautica race draws runners from all over. Bobby Olivera of Ventura won last year in 48:36, holding off former Dos Pueblos High star and current UCLA runner Sergey Sushchikh. Sushchikh won in 2012. The women’s defending champion is local standout Andrea McLarty.

Ramiro “Curly” Guillen, one of the top distance runners in the area and a well-known DJ in town, is entered in this year’s race.

Dos Pueblos coach legend Gordon McLenathen won the first race in 1955 with a time of 52:46.