Monday, May 21 , 2018, 8:40 am | Mostly Cloudy 59º


Local Running Club Pays it Forward

Athletic Association gives $4,000 to high school programs, Elings Park

Funds for donations were raised from SBAA’s annual Semana Nautica footrace.
Funds for donations were raised from SBAA’s annual Semana Nautica footrace. (Santa Barbara Athletic Association)

Friday's Dos Pueblos Cross Country Invitational featured stiff competition and sunny weather. The Santa Barbara Athletic Association (SBAA) further brightened the day for several local high school-cross country coaches by surprising them with donation checks.

John Lofthus, SBAA president, presented checks to Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools' cross country head coaches while their teams cheered on. The Santa Barbara High Cross Country team was out of town for a different invitational but will be receiving a donation as well.

The gifts were the result of the SBAA's annual Semana Nautica footrace, held annually on July 4.

This year's event featured a new venue and different course conditions. The historic race, known for its flat asphalt course, headed to the trails with a challenging new course at Elings Park.

More than 200 people completed the challenge, which included a demanding 15K distance along with a 5K fun run and dog dash.

In addition to the three local area high school cross country programs, the SBAA made a donation to Elings Park to support the ongoing maintenance of the park's extensive trail network.

"The Santa Barbara Athletic Association Board of Directors are thrilled to be able to make this contribution back to the community," said Lofthus.

"We are dedicated to supporting our youth running programs and the great work that our local high school-cross country coaches are doing. We are also happy to give back to Elings Park," he said. "We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful system of trails in our backyard."

The donations bring the club's total community support to $6,100 for 2017. Other groups receiving financial support from the SBAA include the Santa Barbara Special Olympics and Club West for their Junior High School Cross Country program.

The SBAA thanks sponsors of the 4th in the Park, Semana Nautica Race: Bryant & Sons, Tanks For Wine, Hayes Commercial: Michael Martz, Elings Park, Kiwani's Club, Rabbit, The Lab, Santa Barbara Running Company and Zizzo's.

For more information on the Santa Barbara Athletic Association, visit

— John Lofthus for Santa Barbara Athletic Association.


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