Wine themed event showcases Santa Ynez Valley towns and wineries
Santa Barbara, CA (April 3, 2017) — The 11th edition of the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, presented by HomeAway, is scheduled for Saturday, May 13th. If you’re planning to run and haven’t registered yet, time is running out. This popular wine-themed event featuring a lively post-race Wine & Music Festival in Solvang Park, is nearing sell out. The event attracts 3,000 runners to Santa Barbara and the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
Runners are treated to a scenic 13.1 mile journey from Santa Ynez though Los Olivos and Ballard Canyon before finishing in downtown Solvang. The course features Arabian Horse ranches, fruit orchards, lavender farms, terraced vineyards, cattle, sheep, llama, buffalo and a pet turkey that gawks at runners as they pass the first mile marker in Santa Ynez. A 2-person relay transition occurs in downtown Los Olivos at the flagpole before runners make the short climb up Corkscrew Hill into Ballard Canyon. After a long descent down Ballard Canyon, participants must navigate a couple of elevation gains before reaching Solvang, complete with its many windmills, pastry shops, tasting rooms and Danish charm.
Destination Races is producer of the event, which was founded in 2007 as a sister event to the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. Napa-to-Sonoma was quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best half marathons in the country, if not the world. Santa Barbara also soon gained notoriety for its scenic course and festive post race party, designed to showcase Santa Ynez Valley and its adjoining wine regions. The festival brings together runners and their guests for wine tasting, live music, awards, food trucks, the Firestone Walker beer garden, and exhibitor booths.
Seventy-two percent of the race participants are female, demonstrating the growing popularity of running, and wine tasting, with women. The race is held annually on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, so runners are encouraged to run with, or for, their mothers. The two-person relay is also offered, so family members have an option of sharing the half marathon distance. The Expo and packet pickup are hosted on Friday, May 12th in downtown Solvang near the finish line from noon to 6:00pm. The expo is free and open to the public.
“We are thrilled once again to have Solvang as the headquarters for the expo and finish line of the Wine Country Half-Marathon”, enthused Tracy Farhad, Executive Director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to sharing our little bit of paradise in the center of Santa Ynez Valley wine country with runners, families and friends from around the world!”
Each participant receives an event running shirt, finisher’s medal and etched wine glass by Schotts Zweisel. The 2017 version of the finishers medal is a unique wine glass holder that allows participants to roam the festival hands free. Rabobank presents checks to the overall top three men and women, along with magnums of wine and an engraved bottle coaster. An early packet pickup option is offered at Santa Barbara Running Company on Thursday, May 11th and a welcome reception is hosted at Kalyra Winery on Friday evening. Registration is still open for the race but only 300 spots remain open for the half marathon. For more information and registration go to destinationraces.com/runsb.
About Destination Races
Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of wine-themed races across prestigious wine regions in North America, offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival. Runners from all states and foreign countries travel participate in these boutique destination races designed to feature the areas top wineries and other attractions. Current races include Santa Barbara; Northern Virginia; Napa-to-Sonoma; Oregon (Willamette Valley); Kelowna, B.C.; Healdsburg, CA; and the new IPA 10K in Sebastopol, CA.
For more information on the event series and Destination Races, visit DestinationRaces.com. You can also find them on facebook.com at /destinationraces, on Twitter @winecountryhalf, and on Instagram @winecountryhalf.