Semana Nautica, Santa Barbara’s summer sports festival, is not being held for the second straight year due to the pandemic, but the festival’s individual event organizers can choose to conduct their sports this year.
In keeping with tradition, the Santa Barbara Athletic Association is holding the Fourth of July run, the longest running footrace on the Central Coast. Normally a 15k race, the 66th edition on Sunday has been cut back to a 5k on the Elings Park trails.
The SBAA will be modifying the race to keep runners spread out. Instead of a mass start, races will broken into staggered age-group starts: Ages 19-29 at 8 a.m.; 30-39 at 8:10; 40-49 at 8:20; 50-over at 8:30. There is also an 18-under 5k/1.25-mile option at 8:40.
Newly rebranded SBAA t-shirts will be given to all finishers. Prizes to the top three male and female finishers will be mailed.
Registration must be made online at active.com. There will be no signups on race day.
The SBAA describes the run on Elings Park’s single-track trails as “short, character-building climbs that will be rewarded with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands and downtown Santa Barbara. This is a true trail experience with ribbons and chalk marking the course.”
Rich Hanna, recreation manager with the City of Santa Barbara, said the decision to opt out of holding the Semana Nautica Sports Festival was made because there was “so much conflicting information” on health and safety guidelines for staging events.
“There will be events that can use the Semana Nautica name, but not the typical festival or two-week series,” he said. “The majority of event organizers have so many other commitments post COVID that we wanted to support their events without a formal Semana Nautica festival.”
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.