Barefoot marathoner raising money for SB Boys & Girls Club

John Gavin is surrounded by kids at the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club. (Courtesy Photo)

John Gavin is surrounded by kids at the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club. (Courtesy Photo)

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that John Gavin will attempt to run the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon on Saturday, November 7, 2015, barefoot. And he’s doing it all for the Club kids.

Inspired by the young people and impressive work he has seen at the Club, John has been training these past few months preparing his feet for the long trek. His goal is to raise money for the educational, artistic, and recreational programs available to local Santa Barbara kids ages 6-18 on a daily basis. This will be John’s first time running the Santa Barbara Half Marathon barefoot.

Another first: the race will begin at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Campus. After a unique beach-to-beach course, runners will cross the finish line at Leadbetter Beach Park. John is looking forward to that moment and possibly a quick jump in the ocean.

So how did John come up with this “off-the-beaten-path” idea? His answer: “I like to run, I’m an Armed Forces veteran, and it’s the kind of quirky thing that sort of fits my personality. Plus the money I raise benefits kids in our community.”

Celebrity Chef Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, has pledged her financial support for John’s run and the Club kids. Adds Carolyn Brown, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara: “We are thrilled John is running barefoot, and he’s generating interest for a really great cause – the awesome kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara.”

For information about John’s barefoot run for the kids, please visit or contact Michael Padden-Rubin, Development Director, at [email protected] or (805) 962-2382.