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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 7:36 pm | Fair 56º


High School Cross-Country Programs Team Up for Inaugural Elings Terrain Festival Fundraiser

Three rival high school cross country programs — Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara and San Marcos — are joining together to raise raise funds for the sport they enjoy.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, student athletes will volunteer for as well as participate in the multievent Elings Terrain Festival to be held at Elings Park in Santa Barbara. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the first race at 10 a.m., started by Mayor Helene Schneider.

All net proceeds will benefit the park and the cross country programs at each school.

The event is open to runners of every ability, and unlike most charity runs, the Elings Terrain Festival routes are on trails (not hard pavement) comprised of dirt, grass and sand. There is a 5K run, a 3K kids run (parents can run with their kids) and a 3K dog run.

After the races, the party gets started with food catered by head chef Eric Widmer of La Cumbre Country Club and Sushi Teri. Beverages, live music, awards for top finishers and a raffle will round out the day.

Online registration and information is available online by clicking here.

“I started this event because I wanted to give back to the programs that have meant so much to my boys,” event organizer Paul Bradford said.

Bradford has sons who have run at San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools, and he is in his final year as a cross-country parent.

“At every parent meeting for the last eight years, coaches have told us about funding problems,” he said. “So I decided to create a sustaining event that would help raise money, bring rival teams together, and give the broader Santa Barbara running community an opportunity to support the next generation of runners.”

Funds raised will help pay for team transportation expenses, race costs and/or assistant coach stipends. In addition to Bradford, the event is backed by head coaches Olivia Perdices (Santa Barbara), Lawrence Stehmeier (San Marcos) and Leslie Wiggins-Roth (Dos Pueblos), and parent volunteers.

— Paul Bradford is the event founder and race director for the Elings Terrain Festival.

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