[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from the race.]

Runners of all ages, sizes and even breeds converged on downtown Santa Barbara on Sunday for the annual State Street Mile.

A benefit for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program, the event featured categories ranging from elite runners to people with their canine friends.

Michael Coe, 25, of Oakland, set a court record in the elite division, finishing the race in 3:49, just one second ahead of Forest Braden, 30, of Beverly Hills, and three seconds ahead of Aric Champagne, 22, of San Luis Obispo.

The race featured several age divisions, as well as a Family Fun run and a division for people with their dogs.

The route heads downhill on State Street, from Pedregosa Street to De la Guerra Street.

This year’s race raised $12,000 for the Victim-Witness Assistance Program, a 20-percent increase over last year, according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley, who ran with her dog, Oh-Be.?

Beyond the competition and the fun, the event is important, Dudley said, because it raises money “to give crime victims what they need right after they have been victimized — food, shelter, transportation, clothes.”

This year’s race was dedicated to the memory of Peter Sklar, founder of Edhat, who died in December at age 50.

“Peter was a runner who really cared about our community, and used the media to inform the people he cared about with what was going on on the community he loved,” Dudley said.

Sklar’s family members and dog Molly participated in Sunday’s race.

The State Street Mile began in 1983 as a grassroots race organized by a few local runners seeking the thrill of running a downhill mile through Santa Barbara’s scenic downtown corridor, according to the event’s website.

It was resurrected as a benefit for the Victim-Witness Assistance Program in 2000.

Click here for all the race results.
Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.