Monday, June 18 , 2018, 10:19 pm | Fair 62º


Blue Canyon Trail Race Returning to Santa Barbara

Blacksmith Endurance Co. hosts Saturday's benefit for Los Padres National Forest

Blacksmith Endurance Co. welcomes back trail runners to the second annual Blue Canyon Trail Race, to be held Saturday, June 5.

Staged from the historic Rancho Oso Guest Ranch, entrants will experience some of Santa Barbara’s finest backcountry trail running conditions. Utilizing a series of single track trails and fire roads, entrants of all skill levels are invited to choose from the 15k, 25k, 50km, 50mile or 100km distance options on this out-and-back high-elevation gain and loss course.

Last year’s winner of the 100km, Andy Henshaw of Colorado Springs, Colo., will compete again this year to defend his title. Since April 2009, Henshaw has claimed five course records and six first-place finishes.

“The race itself was amazing,” he said. “The steep climbs and descents sap your legs of energy, but in return offer fantastic views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. After an exhausting 12 hours and 45 minutes, I finally crossed the finish line, humbled by a truly challenging course. This year I hope to finish within the 10-hour range.”

Entrants and guests will be treated to a pre- and post-race atmosphere. On Friday afternoon, check-ins and evening pre-race activities include a pasta feed and lounging around the campfire.

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch is a private facility offering overnight accommodations from private campsites to multiroom cabins. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the property’s wide range of activities and amenities, such as pools, jacuzzi or equestrian rides. Saturday morning will begin with a pre-dawn departure for the 100km entrants, with 50-mile, 50km, 25k and 15k divisions departing a few hours later. The awards ceremony is scheduled for midafternoon.

The Blue Canyon Trail Race is one of four sustainable and commercially permitted trail races that Blacksmith Endurance Co. founder Robert Gilcrest, along with his associates Kevin Steele, photographer/spokesperson, and Sandra Sanger, race director, developed to benefit the Los Padres Forest Association, as well as promote Santa Barbara’s epic trail running.

Last year’s inaugural event raised thousands of dollars to preserve and protect the Los Padres National Forest. Gilcrest hopes to raise even more this year.

Click here to register for the Blue Canyon Trail Race.

— Kim Clark is the marketing director for Blacksmith Endurance Co.


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