#3: The final mile of the course is lined with 180 American flags and each runner is handed a small flag to carry across the finish line.
By John Dvorak, Presidio Sports
1. New Course for Half-Marathon. The 13.1-mile race begins at 7 a.m. in University Plaza on the UCSB campus and ends at Leadbetter Beach Park in Santa Barbara. It’s the first time the course has begun at UCSB, allowing for a “Beach to Beach” route, starting near Goleta Beach and finishing at Leadbetter Beach. It’s also the first time that Highway 217 will be closed to traffic for an event. The entire course is on the ocean-side of the 101 Freeway, at times touching Hollister Avenue, Modoc Road, Las Positas Road and Cliff Drive.
2. No More Full-Length Marathon. The surprise decision in October to cancel the 26.2-mile race was blamed on lack of registered participants and ballooning production costs. Race directors have indicated that they will not try to bring it back in 2016. The full-length marathon, resurrected in 2009 after hibernating since 1984, enjoyed a six-year revival.
3. Veterans Mile. The marathon’s salute to Veterans Day is not just lip service. The Veterans Mile is an impressive display of American pride. The final mile of the course is lined with 180 American flags and each runner is handed a small flag to carry across the finish line. The Finish Line Festival area last year featured a handful of military vehicles, including an army helicopter, transport vehicle and a tank. This year there will also be a beer garden and DJ.
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