Official press releases

Marube, Couch Win Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon Titles


6th race edition draws 3,200 entrants on a beautiful Chamber of Commerce fall day on America’s Riviera

> Official 2015 Results & Photos
> Race Day Photo Album on Facebook

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – (November 7, 2015) – At the 6th Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon on Saturday morning, two-time Santa Barbara Marathon champion (2010-11) and defending race champion Moninda Marube, 36, of Kenya and Kelly Couch, 38, of Hillsborough, CA won the 13.1 mile race, clocking 1 hour, 8 minutes, 41 seconds and 1:22:48, respectively. Marube, who captured an event record fourth title, also became the first to repeat as Half Marathon champion, and both champions are also the oldest race winners.

The community running event, the largest in Santa Barbara, drew 3,200 entrants and 2,480 finishers with the course beginning at UC-Santa Barbara for the first time, taking runners down to Goleta Beach before turning onto Ward Memorial Route 217 and then to downtown Santa Barbara’s Leadbetter Beach.

“The weather was ideal for running and watching the half-marathon on our new course from UCSB to Leadbetter Beach, and the Veterans Final Mile tribute down Shoreline Drive to the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Finish Line’ was again spectacular and inspiring,” said Rusty Snow, race director of the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon. “We heartily thank our sponsors, volunteers, participants, spectators and the community for making this event so unique and special.”

Under cool 50F, sunny start conditions, Marube took out the pace from the start and after two miles, he ran unchallenged to the Leadbetter Beach finish line, averaging 5:14 per mile. Runner-up Sean Harrington of Goleta, CA clocked 1:11:27, while Alex Heuchert of San Luis Obispo, CA took third in 1:11:43, and both set personal records.

“Today, I came to run and not race. I have endurance, not as much speed, but it feels good to win for the fourth time here,” said Marube, a local favorite and advocate fighting against human trafficking.


In the women’s half-marathon, Couch (right), a recent mother of twins, ran with Emily Shertzer of Jonestown, PA from the start and the pair passed leader Cassie Brooker of Camarillo, CA on Cliff Drive around the 11 mile mark. Couch and Shertzer raced together before Couch pulled away going down Shoreline Drive to beat her rival, a National Guard All-Guard Team member, by 9 seconds, 1:22:48 to 1:22:57, while Brooker held on to third, recording a 1:23:23.

“I loved the local terrain and the new course and running with Emily as we averaged 6:19 per mile. This was also a good fitness test for my upcoming California International Marathon,” Couch recounted.

The top Masters (40 & older) were Mike Wasson, 50, Colorado Springs, CO and Mariann Thomas, 52, Carpinteria, CA in 1:21:33 and 1:30:30, respectively.

Nine Legacy Runners now have completed all 6 Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon editions: John Sim, 44, Goleta, CA (1:32:20), Russ Jones, 67, Santa Barbara, CA (1:39:22), Julie Chacko, 43, Santa Barbara, CA (1:53:32), Reyna Talanian, 44, Goleta, CA (1:57:05), Bridget Harrington, 41, Santa Barbara, CA (2:19:23), Terri Rice, 55, Arroyo Grande, CA (2:53:00), Bill Caylor, 68, Solano Beach, CA (3:06:26), Gary Wente, 68, Pasadena, CA (3:14:02) and John Brennand, 80, Santa Barbara (3:23:00). Bravo and brava, all!

Also, in the Elite Performance & Rehabilitation Center Half Marathon Relay and AppFolio Corporate Relay, there were 44 teams crossing the finish line. The top Men’s team was Elite Men in 1:28:09, while the Female division was won by Mom’s in Motion 3 in 1:55:00. In the Co-Ed division, Operation Unbridled was first across the line in 1:40.26. The Corporate Relay division was won by AppFolio’s own Blood, Sweat & Beers team taking the title in a time of 1:54:09.

The Finish Line Festival welcomed all finishers, family and friends to beautiful Leadbetter Beach near Santa Barbara’s harbor area. At the post-race celebration, there were food trucks, vendors, post-race massage, a runners lounge powered by Oniracom, a beer garden hosted by local Firestone Walker Brewery, music by DJ Sparx and more! The festivities were emceed by Santa Barbara’s own Citizen of the Year John Palminteri of KEYT3 / KJEE and 2014 Hospitality Person of the Year Drew Wakefield of the Santa Barbara Ramada.

Lafond Winery, Official Wine Sponsor, also provided a bottle of wine to each individual adult award category winner and for relay team winners.

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6th Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon
Santa Barbara, CA, Saturday, November 7, 2015

1) Moninda Marube (KEN), 1:08:41
2) Sean Harrington (USA / CA), 1:11:27
3) Alex Heuchert (USA / CA), 1:11:43
4) Damon Valenzona (USA / CA), 1:13:35
5) Adam Cross (USA / CA), 1:15:29

MASTERS MEN (40 & older)
1) Mike Wasson, 50, (USA / CO), 1:21:33

1) Kelly Couch (USA / CA), 1:22:48
2) Emily Shertzer (USA / PA), 1:22:57
3) Cassie Brooker (USA / CA), 1:23:23
4) Amy Alzina (USA / CA), 1:26:08
5) Daylee Burr (USA / AZ), 1:26:22

MASTERS WOMEN (40 & older)
1) Mariann Thomas, 52, (USA / CA), 1:30:23

For complete results and more, go to:

About the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon
Locally owned and operated, the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon, set for Saturday, November 12, 2016, is the largest running event on California’s scenic Central Coast. The 7th edition features a Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay as well as an inspiring Veterans Final Mile tribute and “World’s Most Beautiful Finish Line” at Leadbetter Beach.

For more information, go to, follow us on Twitter @runsbmarathon, Instagram @runsbmarathon and Facebook @santabarbaramarathon and use hashtag #RunAmericasRiviera.