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4,000 Runners Race to the Finish in Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon

Cheruiyot Mutai and Paige Burgin win marathon titles, while Moninda Marube and Rita Beynon are half-marathon champions

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About 4,000 runners rolled out of bed early Saturday and pounded the pavement from Isla Vista, through Goleta and Santa Barbara to make their way toward the Leadbetter Beach finish line for the Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half.

The marathon is a Boston Marathon-qualifying event and draws runners from all over for the 26.2-mile and 13.1-mile routes, not just dedicated local runners.

This year’s race launched the team competition, in which groups of three or five people race together.

In the marathon, team members have to finish within 26.2 seconds of each other. In the half, team members have to finish within 13.1 seconds of each other.

The UCSB Alumni Association Scholarship Fund and Gwendolyn Strong Foundation are this year’s causes being supported by the race’s fundraising.

In the full marathon, the top two finishers were Sammy Cheruiyot Mutai, 36, of Kenya and Paige Burgin, 22 of Los Alamitos, Calif. Cheruiyot Mutai finished with a time of two hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds, which was just ahead of runner-up Damon Valenzona, 28, of Santa Barbara.

Burgin came across the finish line at three hours, 6 minutes and 39 seconds. The runner-up for the women's full marathon was Jennifer Marquardt, 30, of Los Angeles, Calif. 

Two-time Santa Barbara Marathon winner Moninda Marube, 35, of Kenya took the race title for the men's half marathon with a time of one hour, 13 minutes and 30 seconds. Dermot Gormon, 32, of Dublin, Ireland was runner-up. 

Santa Barbara local Rita Beynon, 35, came in first in the women's 13.1-mile race with a time of one hour, 27 minutes and 29 seconds. Samantha Robbins, 28, of San Bruno, Calif. came in second. 

Full race results and times are available here

Since the race falls on the weekend before Veterans Day, the marathon teamed up with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation to provide some special attention for military participants.

There was a barbecue for all military personnel at the finish line and an organized “Veterans Final Mile” where people decorated the last mile of the marathon route with American flags, military vehicles and encouraging cheers for the runners on the final stretch.

The Santa Barbara Airport teamed up with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation to organize a flyover of vintage World War II aircraft above the marathon route. The planes also will fly over downtown Santa Barbara on Sunday for the Veterans Day Parade.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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