The inaugural Santa Barbara International Marathon has a date (Sunday, December 6, 2009) and a course (26.2 miles from Ellwood to Leadbetter Beach), and beginning Friday, January 23, it will start being filled with runners.
Race directors Rusty and June Snow announced that registration will officially open through the Web site, sbimarathon.com. The entry fee will be $95 for individuals and $240 for four-person teams participating in the Corporate and People’s Relay on the marathon course. Rusty Snow said the goal is to sign up 5,000 runners and 300 teams.
Snow, a physiotherapist and distance running coach, said he envisioned a marathon in this area as soon as he and his wife moved here five years ago from Massachusetts. They began planning the race almost three years ago. Convincing the necessary officials and agencies to approve the project was a marathon in itself, Snow said.
“I was told it was impossible to stage a world-class marathon in Santa Barbara,” Snow said. “I just kept pressing. I learned to be stubborn from running marathons.”
It has been 25 years since an organized marathon has been run across the South Coast. The original Santa Barbara Marathon was one of few such races in the United States when it started in 1965. It was never a high-profile event. When it was run for the 20th and last time in November 1984, marathons were popping up all over the country.
Snow has enlisted John Brennand, the director of the previous local marathon as well as the technical director of the 1984 Olympic Marathon, to certify the course for the upcoming race. It will begin with two loops in western Goleta, and then follow Cathedral Oaks to Turnpike, south to the bicycle path, east to Modoc Road, south on Las Positas to Cliff Drive, and through the Mesa to Shoreline Drive and the finish line. The race will start at 6:30 a.m.
Other events surrounding the Santa Barbara International Marathon will include a children’s festival and health and fitness expo on December 5. Snow said two-time Olympic marathoner Ed Eyestone will be on a roster of guest speakers at the event.