Kelly Couch first female finisher In Veterans Day race; some 2,500 runners merged onto Highway 217 as they set out for the 6th Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon.
By John Zant, The Independent
Runners went from sea-to-shining sea last Saturday during the sixth Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon. Because of traffic concerns at the entrance to the UCSB campus, the army of some 2,500 men, women, and children was diverted to the bike path at Goleta Beach before the racers merged onto Highway 217. That gave them a good look at the ocean, which they did not see again until they descended Shoreline Drive on their way to the finish of the 13.1-mile race at Leadbetter Beach. Participants praised the new configuration of the course, which formerly started at the Page Youth Center and traced its way on residential streets for the first several miles.
For the fourth time here, Moninda Marube showed his Kenyan distance-running prowess. Marube, who has settled in Maine, twice won the erstwhile Santa Barbara International Marathon (2010 and 2011), and last year he won the half marathon. His time of 1 hour, 8 minutes, 41 seconds — almost three minutes faster than runner-up Sean Harrington of Goleta — set the standard on the new course. Kelly Couch of Hillsborough was the first female finisher in 1:22:48.
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