Mary Decker is the only American runner, man or woman, to hold all American records from 800 to 10,000-meters at the same time. Over her career, she set 36 national records and 17 official and unofficial world records at various distances. Mary will also be representing Eliptigo by pacing the lead women in the half marathon.
"Itâ€™s hard to pick a favorite of the Destination Races; however Santa Barbara ranks very high on my list,â€ť says Julia Stamps Mallon, a past winner of the race and the Director of the Wine & Music Festival and Elite Coordinator for Destination Races. â€śIts an extra special treat to have Mary Decker Slaney a part of race weekend. If the rolling hills of vineyards and wine at the finish don't inspire you I am sure Mary's incredible stories and experiences will give you extra incentive to make it to the finish".
The Race Expo is open to the public and features packet pickup, product sampling, seminars and wine and beer tasting. Hotel Corque, 400 Alisal Road, in downtown Solvang is the host hotel and venue for the pre-race Expo. Also attending the event is poster artist, Jean-Pierre Got, from Bordeaux, France. Jean-Pierre created the poster titled â€śNostalgiaâ€ť featuring a buffalo watching runners in Ballard Canyon, for the 8th annual event. Jean-Pierre will be signing posters at the race expo and post-race Wine & Music Festival in Solvang Park. Signed posters will be sold at the event only for $20.
The exclusive pre-race dinner takes place at the exquisite Crossroads Estate House, a Foley Family property located in Los Olivos, from 6pm to 8pm. Special guest Mary Decker will share stories and personal experiences from her record-making career. Dinner is limited to just 50 runners and their guests. The cost of this special event is $60.
Last years sold out race attracted runners and wine enthusiasts from 43 states and six foreign countries. Registration for the 2014 race is still open but is expected to sell out within the month as only 800 spots remain. http://destinationraces.com/runsb/registration/.
Wineries from the Santa Ynez region will be pouring at the post-race Wine & Music Festival is held in Solvang Park from 9:30am to noon. 805 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. pours and sponsors the beer garden, which also features wood burning fire oven pizzas. The band starts at 9:30am and the awards ceremony begins at 10:30am in the Gazebo. Over $2,000 in cash, sponsored by Rabobank, and other prizes are offered to the top three overall winners, and the top three finishers in each age group receive a bottle of wine.
Destination Races, of Sonoma, Calif., produces the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consisting of six races including Santa Barbara wine country, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C. and Healdsburg, CA. For more Information on the event series and Destination Races, go to www.destinationraces.com