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Hundreds Run Up Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara’s Annual Pier to Peak Half-Marathon Race

Chris Gregory of Santa Barbara and Tiffany Costello of Trabuco Canyon take first place in the men's and women's divisions, respectively

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Pier to Peak participants run up Gibraltar Road Sunday morning.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

More than 300 athletes braved Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara as they ran to the top of La Cumbre Peak during the annual Pier to Peak Half Marathon Sunday morning.

“It’s downhill — enough to get your hopes up,” one runner yelled shortly after the 9-mile mark of the route. 

The run is dubbed the “world’s toughest half marathon,” a 13.1 mile uphill route. It starts at the Dolphin Fountain in front of Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf and finishes at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet. 

The men's champion was Chris Gregory, 31, of Goleta, with a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. Gregory also took first place last year.

He was followed by Jeffrey Stern, 31, of Santa Barbara, at 1:37:00, and Andrew Dixon, 31, of Santa Barbara at 1:39:56.

Tiffany Costello, 22, a native of Trabuco Canyon, California, took first place in the women's division with a time of 1:50:22.

Click here to view the full results.

Race day dawned with cloudy skies in the morning. Walking particpants started at 6 a.m. and runners left the starting line at 6:30 a.m. 

"The run went exceptionally well," said Jay Campbell, race director. "(The) weather was great."

Supporters were cheering on the participants along the course. They lined the narrow dirt road where water was provided for the athletes. 

“I haven’t run it — but it’s exciting and everyone is working hard,” said 18-year Santa Barbara resident Valerie Tyler, a spectator who cheered from the sideline. “I’m impressed with their dedication. It's pretty challenging.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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