Clear skies and a gusty wind marked conditions for the fourth annual Select Staffing Santa Barbara International Marathon and Half-Marathon. There were 6,400 registrants for both the half- and full-marathon events.
Gerard Abraham of Los Gatos competed in the half-marathon for his first time at the Santa Barbara event. Abraham, who went through three months of training in preparation for the race, said he was drawn to run in Santa Barbara as his son is a senior at UC Santa Barbara.
“It was really great,” Abraham said of his experience.
Numerous families lined the finish area of the racetrack that coveredSanta Barbara City College’s West and East Campus lower parking lots. Local and out-of-town residents alike gathered as runners neared the end of the course.
Teresa, who declined to state her last name, and her husband drove up from Monterey Park to cheer on their two nephews, from Los Angeles and Kentucky. Both men had planned to run in the New York marathon, but went to Santa Barbara instead after the New York race was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. Teresa and her husband eagerly awaited their nephews’ arrival into the last stretch of the race.
“This is great; it’s very organized,” she said of the event.
A brilliant sun and views of the Santa Barbara coastline welcomed runners to the finish line.
In a tribute to Veterans Day, American flags decked the trail of the last mile of the marathon, which stretched from Shoreline Park to SBCC’s La Playa Stadium. Army members cheered on runners alongside families.