Local runners competed against athletes from around the world this weekend in the second annual Santa Barbara International Marathon.
This year’s race began Saturday at Dos Pueblos High School and concluded at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. A total of 4,400 runners participated this year, including 1,300 in the full marathon, 2,800 in the half-marathon and 86 relay teams.
Tamara Berndt, a member of the organizing committee and manager of the SBIM’s Web site and registration, said participants included individuals from near and far. Monwida Marube, a Kenyan athlete, won the marathon with a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 49 seconds. UCSB student Julian deRubira won the half-marathon with a time of one hour, six minutes and 23 seconds.
“People are attracted to the SBIM from all over and we had participants from nine different countries,” Berndt said.
According to Valerie Kushnerov, public information officer for the city of Goleta, the marathon provides top tier athletes a chance to compete at a local level.
“The Santa Barbara International Marathon has been several years in the making and has succeeded in bringing world class athletes to Santa Barbara,” Kushnerov said. “From the city of Goleta’s perspective we are pleased to have the Santa Barbara International Marathon start in our community where we can showcase the city’s assets.”
Rusty Snow, a runner who qualified for the Olympic trials, worked alongside his wife June to create the event, which they modeled after the Boston Marathon. Kushnerov said the pair are distinguished athletes and integral to the marathon’s continued success.
Rachelle Pegg, volunteer coordinator for Section A of the race, said the Snow’s have turned a local athletic event into a major international competition.
“The race would not be a success without all of the volunteers and everyone working together,” Pegg said. “Rusty and June are the blood, sweat and tears of the race along with Dan Cambell, the technical delegate and chief of course.”
Berndt said local contributions were also important to this year’s success.
“We are really appreciative of the volunteers and community support from over 1,000 people,” Berndt said. “There is no way this event could have happened without the support of community.”