IMAGE VIA MOTIV RUNNING
If rolling hills, winding roads, and small-town appeal are your idea of the perfect escape, then consider this sunny spring half-marathon in wine country your dream weekend.
Back for its 14th year, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon in the Santa Ynez Valley combines scenic views, a fun atmosphere, and a vino-fueled after-party for an unforgettable run-cation you’ll make an annual tradition.
Going down on May 9, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon is the only race of its kind to take place in the charming Danish town of Solvang, so expect the whole community to come out to cheer you on.
The breathtaking course kicks off downtown, where you’ll cruise past traditional Danish-style architecture, local bakeries, and towering windmills before running through the San Ynez Valley. With sprawling vineyards and the Sierra Madre Mountains as your backdrop, you’ll cruise through the neighboring town of Los Olivos (blink and you’ll miss it!) and pass horse ranches, lavender farms, and fruit orchards.
Just be sure you’re mentally prepared for the mid-route challenge — a muscle-burning climb up Corkscrew Hill. Though, the shaky legs will all be worth it once you reach the top, where you’ll be met with the ultimate pay-off — a downhill coast into Ballard Canyon (complete with panoramic views of wine country), onward to the finish line.
If you’re not ready to take on 13.1 miles — no worries. You can sign up with a running buddy and split the distance. Whether you go it alone or take on the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon relay-style, you’ll still get to put your feet up at the epic post-race festival at Solvang Park. Featuring live music and over 20 area wineries, the sun-soaked celebration is the perfect reward for a job well done.
In addition to the race, there is a ton to see and do the day before. Make a stop at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday to pick up your race packet, hit the vendor booths, and check out all the other awesome activities they have planned (we’re hoping they bring back last year’s outdoor yoga sessions!).
Oh, and did we mention the race is the day before Mother’s Day? We can’t think of a better way to treat mom than with a few days in wine country. So, snag your tickets and start counting down the days until the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon — it’ll be here before you know it!
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