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Scenic course includes three bucolic towns of the Santa Ynez Valley, a Central Coast wine country destination - SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (May 5, 2017) -- The Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, presented by HomeAway, will send nearly 3,000 runners through the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley on Saturday, May 13th.  The event was founded in 2007 by Destination Races and has maintained its popularity as a competitive, but fun event, with a reward of a post-race Wine and Music Festival at the conclusion of the race. The event is also recognized for its scenic course linking three distinct towns in the valley.

Jordan Hasay is an iconic runner from the Golden State. Countless times during her high school years, she made the pages of California Track & Running News, one of our publications. She was featured in Athletes Only during her college career and as an elite athlete, she has been featured in runblogrun as well. I was in Houston last month when Jordan Hasay ran 68:40 for the half marathon. It was a wonderful race for Jordan Hasay. Coming back from injuries in 2015, short on training in early 2016, Jordan is starting 2017 with a strong statement of fitness. Perhaps fitness and the dedication of her further career to her beloved mother, who she lost in 2016, are part of answer to her fantastic run in Houston. Renewed fitness and extra inspiration are hinting at an exciting 2017. David Hunter's feature puts her last five years in perspective, and her renaissance in 2017.  —Larry Eder

Crashing ocean waves, bright sunshine and an exciting elite competition were among the many highlights in the 14th annual Half Marathon on Monterey Bay.

SAN JOSE, CA – September 28, 2016 – Of all the adjectives you could use to describe the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon one that would never apply is the word “slow.” This annual event, which takes place on Sunday, happens to be the fastest 13.1-mile event in the state of California.

Just under 3,000 runners, one of the largest fields in the history of the event, competed today at the 23rd edition of the Village Runner 4th of July 5K presented by UCLA Health. The race was run under partly cloudy skies with cool ocean breezes keeping the temperature in the high 60s.
Ana Cristina Narvaez, from Aguas Calientes, Mexico, ran 17:13 to win the women’s race and Juan Paredes, of Los Angeles, captured the men’s race at 14:50. The race winners won $200 prize money. Placing second and third in the women’s race were Grace Zamudio and Alison Kielty in 17:38 and 17:56, respectively. In the men’s race, Luis Ibarra, of Aguas Calientes was second with 14:53 and Stewart Harwell, of Redondo Beach, third with 15:04.
“It was great winning again,” said men’s winner Juan Paredes, who won the men’s race a couple years back.
In the women’s race, winner Ana Cristina Narvaez said, “I ran by myself. In Mexico, I’m an elite runner on the national team in Mexico. I placed 5th in the 2015 June Pan American Games. Everyone was cheering for me when I finished; I think the guys were getting jealous.”
“[The race] was a lot of fun. I had two great guys to race with,” said Stewart Harwell, Redondo Beach, third in the race and the top local finisher. “I trained every day for this race. The hard work paid off. This was my first time running this race.”
The event highlighted a 5K Run, as well as the 5K Walk. The race began on Independence Day at 8 a.m. in Riviera Village. Prior to the race there was a Red, White, and Blue Costume Contests with gift certificates awarded for the best, and most unique, running costumes.   
The first edition of the Village Runner 4th of July 21 years ago drew a few hundred participants. The popularity of the event has grown immensely in the following years, and this year’s race topped just under 3,000 runners for the first time.  Race director Mike Ward said, “The race was great. It went off very smoothly. Of all the years we’ve had this race, this is the best it’s been. The staff did a great job. I started this race twenty-three years ago.
Coach Dean Lofgren actually got me my job at Village Runner many years ago, and Don and I decided to give the award to Dean. I’m looking forward to next year’s race.”
Kayla Montgomery, who competes for Lipscomb College despite battling the ravages of MS, ran in the 23rd Village Runner 4th of July 5K and was introduced by Jac Folkert of UCLA Health. She was presented with the Pathfinder Award at the race by actress Teri Polo (Meet The Parents). Also, title-winning track coach, Dean Lofgren, El Camino College, Torrance, was awarded the first ever Running Mentor/Coaching Award by celebrity actor Blake Cooper Griffin. Both actors also welcomed the runners and helped with the opening events.
Redondo Beach Councilman Jeff Ginsburg was on hand to run the race and Mayor Steve Aspel greeted the crowd and was the office starter for the race.
UCLA Health Systems, which has continued its expansion to better serve the South Bay, is the event’s continuing presenting sponsor and exclusive health care provider.  UCLA Health Systems recently opened offices in the South Bay communities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance, and offers the best available service and state-of-the-art resources to its patients.
The American Cancer Society was the race’s charity beneficiary, partnering with Relay for Life South Bay to utilize the proceeds to support the charity’s cancer research and free patient programs. The Sound 100.3FM Classic Rock Radio was back as the presenting media sponsor. They had their street team live at the event playing tunes!
Additional event sponsors include Clif Bar, which sampled their Clif Shots and Clif Bars at the race. Runners got free pizza slices from Fresh Brothers Pizza. Rock & Brews, Redondo Beach, hosted the post-event party that had people waiting out the door. 
The top three male and female finishers received cash prizes of $200, $125, and $75 respectively, and all children who participate in the Firecracker Dashes receive medals.
The top five male finishers were Juan Paredes (26) of Los Angeles in 14:50, Luis Ibarra (36) of Aquas Calientes in 14:53, Stewart Harwell (32) of Redondo Beach in 15:04, Alejandro Martinez (18) of North Hollywood in 15:31, and Teddy Kassa (22) of Torrance in 15:32.
The top five female finishers were Ana Narvaez (24) of Aquas Calientes in 17:13, Grace Zamudio (22) of Santa Clarita in 17:38, Alison Kielty (29) of Torrance in 17:56, Rachel Miura (25) of Santa Monica in 18:05, and Lindsey Young (32) of Redondo Beach in 18:42.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – (May 25, 2016) – The 5th San Luis Obispo Marathon + Half presented by was held on April 30 – May 1 hosting more than 4,000 participants in the weekend’s races that included the Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Kids’ races plus a free Family Fitness Day & Festival with another 5,000-plus spectators. Starting and finishing at the landmark Madonna Inn, the event produced by Race SLO is the Central Coast’s largest running festival and the 2017 event is set for Saturday & Sunday, April 29 – 30.
“Our 5th anniversary edition was truly something special: ideal weather, high energy, record-setting races and thousands of smiling finishers proudly wearing their one-of-a-kind cowbell medals around 
[Orange County, CA.] – On Saturday, April 30, over 8,400 kids from 115 local schools will participate in Kids Run the OC (KROC), the nation’s largest youth training program provided by the OC Marathon Foundation.  KROC was designed to help children in Orange County become more physically fit through the encouragement of healthy habits to combat the onset of childhood obesity.

KROC certified coaches lead children through dynamic games to improve speed, agility, flexibility, and hand/eye coordination. Over the course of 10 – 12 weeks, students at participating schools will accumulate about 25-miles of exercise through the training program and will be prepared to finish a “marathon” by completing their final mile at the Kids Run the OC on Saturday, April 30, 2016, held during the U.S. Bank OC Marathon event weekend.

The importance of KROC cannot be overstated as studies from the Orange County Department of Education show that only 38.7% of OC 5th graders passed the 2013 State Fitness Test, affirming that children need accessible options for physical fitness. The Kids Run the OC fitness program promotes active living through volunteer-based coaching that occurs before, during, or after school. The OC Marathon Foundation’s KROC program provides thorough training and materials for coaches as well as a mentoring program from existing coaches to ensure success at schools new to the program.

In 2015, Kids Run the OC attracted more than 6,000 participants from over 90 schools and agencies in Orange County school districts making it one of the largest youth events in the country. The 2016 KROC program trained over 175 coaches and has raised approximately $16,000 in scholarships for over 800 children. For more information visit

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Event: Kids Run the OC
Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Location: OC Fair & Event Center
Address: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Start time: 8AM
End time: 12PM
Parking: Gate 4 off Arlington Ave.  

Monday, 18 April 2016 15:51

Huddle Wins 3rd Consecutive B.A.A. 5K Title

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The most dominating American women on the roads is Molly Huddle. Watching her dominate the race yesterday, this viewer was once again convinced of Molly Huddle's talent and focus. In the cold and win, Molly Huddle won, with fourteen seconds margin! Next race for the winner of twenty-one U.S. championships: Molly Huddle is racing the 5,000 meters on the track in Eugene, OR on May 27. We present a fine story on the B.A.A. 5K by Barbara Huebner for the Boston Athletic Association:


www.baa.orgFor the first five years of the B.A.A. 5K, which was run for the first time in 2009, the women's race saw five different champions. But for the past three, the top step of the podium has been the sole province of Molly Huddle.


Although any chance of breaking the American record she set here last year was, literally, gone with the wind on a gusty, sunny spring morning in Boston, the 31-year-old Huddle easily captured her third-consecutive B.A.A. 5K win when she crossed the finish line in 15 minutes and 14 seconds, 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Buze Diriba (15:28) of Ethiopia. Finishing third was Caroline Chepkoech of Kenya (15:35).


"It was definitely a lot breezier and chillier this year," said Huddle, who took home $7,500 for the victory. "I think people wanted to stay closer together."


"That's what makes racing so much fun," declared Diane Nukuri of Burundi, who finished fourth (15:43). "You get to deal with everything."


The B.A.A. 5K course, considered one of the fastest in the country if not the world, begins and ends on Charles Street between the historic Boston Common and Public Garden, running up Commonwealth Avenue before making a U-turn and passing the Boston Marathon finish line as the final mile runs down Boylston Street.


In 2015, the torrid early pace of the leaders dragged Huddle to a 4:42 first mile, despite being in sixth place. This year, she led a pack of seven through the mile in 4:52, and soon thereafter began pulling away. That did not, however, mean that she had any desire to brave the wind alone.


"I was just trying to chase a few of the men from here," said the 21-time national champion and 2012 Olympian at 5000 meters. "But the guys in front of me were just a little too far ahead, so I was trying to reel them in and use them as a target." She went through two miles in 9:45.


Huddle said that she felt a little bad about tucking behind "a tall guy" on Boylston Street to escape the wind, but described him blowing her away in the last 200 meters.


"He beat me," she said, "so it's OK."


Next month, Huddle will head to Flagstaff, AZ, for a stint of altitude training before her next race, a 5000 meters at the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 where, she acknowledged, she has an eye on chasing her 5000-meter American record.


Finishing sixth was the last woman not named Huddle to win this race: Kim Smith, a three-time New Zealand Olympian who trains with Huddle under coach Ray Treacy in Providence, RI. Smith, 34, was competing for just the second time after missing most of the last two years after foot surgery, childbirth, and pulmonary emboli that landed her in intensive care weeks after the birth of Violet, now 10 months old.


Smith is also a two-time winner of the B.A.A. Distance Medley.


"I had to come and put myself out there and run hard," she said. "It's good to test yourself."


In a magnificent comeback of her own, Adrianne Haslet-Davis finished the race in 54:28. A dancer, Haslet-Davis, 35, lost part of her left leg in the 2013 bombings at the finish line.


But it's not the only race she has on her immediate agenda. When she encountered the Marathon finish line yesterday in the final mile, the winner of the 2016 Boston Athletic Association's Patriots' Award asked a running companion to carry her over it, preserving the emotional moment of crossing it under her own power for when she finishes the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.




Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2016. The 120th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit

More than five thousand elementary school students along with parents, teachers and families have signed up to participate in the April 23, By the Bay 3K fun run in Pacific Grove, California. This largest-ever Big Sur Marathon event distance ranks as the third largest kid’s race in the nation. It has also now become the largest of all seven Big Sur race weekend events.

The annual Big Sur International Marathon is capped at 4,500 entrants in accordance with highway and county permits. The additional distances of 21, 10.6, and 9 miles, plus a 5K and 4-person relay all have individual caps ranging from 750 to 1,600. Collectively the Sunday events hold just under 10,000 for the six distances and all except the 5K are sold out.  In 2008 the kid-focused 3K moved from marathon Sunday to a different venue on Saturday and has been steadily growing.  This year’s 5,146 surpasses last year’s total by 20 percent.

“The growth of the By the Bay 3K reflects a growing interest in youth fitness in our community,” said Doug Thurston, Big Sur Marathon Race Director. “It’s fun to help more kids and parents experience the excitement of race weekend.”

Since the 1990’s, the marathon has held a “Schools Competition” which provides cash awards based on the school’s level of participation. Forty-four elementary and middle schools from throughout Monterey County will be represented at this year’s By the Bay 3K.  As part of its non-profit mission to give back to the local community, the Big Sur Marathon contributes up to $15,000 in awards. In addition, the marathon provides bus grants to schools coming from longer distances throughout the Salinas Valley.  For many children, this event along the scenic Monterey Bay coastline provides their first-ever glimpse of the ocean.

Staging and activities for By the Bay 3K are held at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove.  Beginning at 8 a.m., runners head west along Ocean View to Coral St. where they turn around for a finish back at Lovers Point.  All participants receive a finishers’ medallion, a marine-themed t-shirt, and post-race food and entertainment at the finish area.  National children’s entertainer T-Bone will perform a pre and post-race interactive show.  At 9:15, representatives from the Big Sur Marathon’s JUST RUN youth fitness team will present the cash awards to the schools, along with special plaques to those schools that are part of the year-long JUST RUN program.

Local residents and visitors are welcome to come out and cheer on the thousands of kids running or to sign up for the event and run or walk. Pre-registration is available online at through April 20, at the Marathon Expo on Friday, April 22, or on race morning beginning at 6:30 a.m.  Costs are $5 for children 4-17, and $20 for adults.

Street closures will be in effect beginning at 6 a.m. on Ocean View Blvd. between Fountain and Coral Streets. The race will conclude at approximately 9 a.m. and post-race festivities end in the park by 11 a.m.

For more information on the By the Bay 3K or the JUST RUN youth fitness program, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 831-625-6226.  

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