Culinary Arts program: Adelle Davis and Patricia Bragg

One the the volunteer programs was mentioned on the adelle davis website. Patrica Brag and Eloise Dilling have been supporting the Teen Culinary Arts Program for a very long time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Foundation Honored by the Parks and Recreation Commission

On March 28th, 2012 it was our day to be honored by the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation for our annual support of the “Healthy Options for Youth Teen Culinary Arts Program. Patrica Bragg Accepting Award Video

Local Teens learn to Cook and Cater in Culinary Arts program

SANTA BARBARA, CA – 5/4/2012 – Junior and senior high school students wanting to know more about becoming a chef , caterer or being a better cook, can learn basic skills in the City Parks and Recreation Department’s Teen Culinary Arts program, now in its third year.

Classes run from January 9-March 29, 2012at two locations: on Tuesdays at theWestsideCommunity Center,423 W. Victoria Street, led by Chefs Ian Trenwith and Don Hardin from Jolly Bro’s Catering and on Wednesdays at theFranklinNeighborhoodCenter,1136 E. Montecito Street, led by Chef Ernie Price, from Ernie Price Catering. Hours are from3:45-6:00pm

The teens learn basic vocational training as well as team building, leadership development, work experience preparation and community service. The hands-on program teaches them to make meals from scratch using kitchen tools and supplies. The curriculum covers bread and pasta making, sauce and dressing preparation, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Guest professionals provide training in the art of napkin folding, floral arrangement, table setting, cake decorating, and ice sculpting.  The program also includes field trips to food service companies and businesses.

The program is offered through the Neighborhood and Outreach Services section and is free due to the generous donations of the Adelle Davis Foundation and Bragg Health Foundation.  The program is also supported by Whole Foods Market, which provides healthy organic fruits and vegetables for the classes.

Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Commission Honor

Gabe Dominocielo and I started by going to the Bragg Organic Farm to pick up Patricia Bragg who was also being honored. After a brief tour we took off for City Hall.

SB Parks and Recreation holds their meeting at City Hall and is also on Public TV.

Atfour o’clockwe were introduced by Anita Ho and Patricia Bragg was the first to get her award. She gave a lengthy talk and then it was my turn. I kept it short and sweet.

We were so honored and proud at the results this program has provided.

After the ceremony we all jumped in the car and Patricia took us to Los Agaves on Milpas Street for a celebratory early dinner.  It was delicious and very enjoyable.

Afterwards, I dropped off Gabe Dominocielo and Anita Ho and then proceeded to take Patricia back to the farm.

Patricia was so pleased to share the experience with myself due to the years she worked with my father.

We hope to coordinate more healthy events in the future.

What a great day!!!

Eloise Dilling


Volunteer at Twelve Thirty Five: The Teen Center

Need community service hours? Volunteer at the teen center or join the Teen Center Committee.

School Hours:

Monday-Thursday 2:30-7pm
Friday 2:30-9pm; Saturday 1-6pm. 
Closed Sundays and holidays.

Drop in and check out SB’s TEENS ONLY facility, located at 1235 Chapala Streetin downtownSanta Barbara. Twelve35 is the only place teens have access to XBOX 360m PS3, Wii, full DDR system, the Internet, Air Hockey, pool table, Foosball, free wi-fi, snack bar…and to top it all off-a recording studio-all under one roof! Weekly activities, classes and special events are offered throughout the year.

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration Needs Volunteers

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration Needs Volunteers

Coordinators are looking for people to sell gear, and to help during and after the parade

By Anita Dominocielo-Ho for the Summer Solstice Celebration | Published on 06.10.2011

Volunteers are needed to work the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration’s first three-day festival in its 37-year history. The celebration will run June 24-26 in Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St.

Volunteers are especially needed from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25, to help sell Solstice T-shirts, posters and hats.

Solstice executive director Claudia Bratton said parade monitors also are needed, along with float pushers. The floats are not motorized. The Solstice parade will start at noon June 25 at State and Cota streets and conclude in Alameda Park.

Green Team volunteers are needed after the parade to clean up. Also, from June 27 to July 9, volunteers can come by any time to help dismantle parade floats at the Solstice workshop, 631 Garden St.

Since the celebration has added a third day, volunteer coordinator Anita Dominocielo-Ho said it’s hard to say how many volunteers are needed to work at the beer garden and souvenir booths from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 26. However, volunteers are needed from 4 p.m. June 24 when the celebration starts until 6 p.m. June 26 when it concludes.

To volunteer, call 805.965.5535 or email

With the theme of “Jungle,” the Solstice Celebration will open June 24 in Alameda Park, with theatrical and musical entertainment until 9 p.m. The festival will resume at noon June 25 with entertainment until 8 p.m. The Solstice Children’s Festival will be open from noon to 6 p.m. June 25-26 with a variety of family and children’s activities, free art projects, booths and musical entertainment.

On June 26, live entertainment will be featured from 1:30 to 6 p.m. on the main stage featuring soft jazz music as well as entertainment on the children’s stage from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Arts and crafts booths, food booths, and beer and wine garden will be open for all three days of the festival.

— Anita Dominocielo-Ho is the volunteer coordinator for the Summer Solstice Celebration.

Summer Solstice Jungle

A Walk Through the Solstice Jungle

Workshop Projects Include Everything from Giant Zebras to Inflatable Bugs

By Sam Loomis

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last week I headed down to the Santa Barbara Solstice workshop to meet the people behind this year’s parade, and to get a firsthand glimpse at the vibrant floats due to roll down State Street next Saturday. This annual “celebration of summer” has always been one of Santa Barbara’s most colorful attractions, and through the continuous hard work of volunteers and staffers, it appears this year will be no exception.

The festivities offer an opportunity for artists—both local and international—to exhibit their mobile masterpieces, and gives anyone wishing to participate a chance to show off a little flare. The theme for this year is “The Jungle,” and after walking through the converted parking lot where dozens of workers were busy climbing over floats and shredding fabric, I immediately felt the effect.

Among the works being prepared are “The Zany Zebras,” put on by a Santa Barbara mentor program, the “Mayan Wonders” float, complete with ziggurat and jaguars, and a showdown between King Kong and Godzilla over a water tower—which will double as the festival’s beer dispenser.

I spoke with Anando Mclauchlin, the artist behind this year’s Quetzalcoatl float. “Because of my visage, they call me ‘the Jungle Santa,’” he said through his beard while putting the finishing touches on the serpent’s eyes. A respected artist and resident of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Mclauchlin is one of many who has traveled from afar to contribute a unique craft to the festival.

Members of the crowd helping to prepare for the festival demonstrate the irresistible nature of Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice celebrations. By the mask-painting table I met one volunteer, Joana Morgan, who drove down to see the festivities with her boyfriend in 1986 and has been coming back ever since.

In the middle of the workshop lot, several volunteers were laboring over a towering “tree of life,” the centerpiece of the parade. Serving as the event’s sole donation receptacle, its hollow core is intended to safeguard the crucial cash offerings that keep the festival afloat year to year. (Checks also to be accepted.) Members of the community painted all 200 of the vibrant leaves that adorn the tree’s branches; they came in from senior citizen residences and children’s camps alike.

I later stumbled across the workstation of Pali-X-Mano, a Santa Barbara resident of Hungarian origin whose inflatable creations have seen the likes of Burning Man. His latest work, entitled “Sundance of the Magical Jungle Parade,” is a massive bug-like creature of his own design, inspired by a painting he had proudly displayed over the worktable. Though sporting a paint-splattered vest and cap, he showed me pictures of his previous works with the solemnity of a professional, a trait I found to be ubiquitous among the crafters behind this spirited event. Pali-X-Mano has been participating in Solstice since 1990.

But a shadow hangs over this year’s preparations. Despite the wealth of creative talent, the Solstice crew is in desperate need of volunteers to help the parade shine with all the splendor it has to offer. “We still need a lot of help,” said Anita Ho, a festival coordinator. “Just come on down,” she said.

Located on the corner of Garden and Ortega, the workshop is still active—so whether you can sew or hammer, or simply want to lend a hand in adding papier-mâché to a 15-foot zebra, there are plenty of opportunities to be had. In the wise words of one volunteer, “If life is a parade, why are you sitting on the sidewalk?”

But if you simply cannot find the time to make it, the event staff is always thrilled to receive old clothes and raw materials for costume creation. A note to the environmentally conscious: the Santa Barbara Solstice was, and remains, the first ever fully green parade—every costume and float will be scrapped to the bone to be recycled or reused in years to come.

The Summer Solstice Festival will take place June 24, 25, and 26, and will feature over 40 musicians and 70 dancers. The parade is set to begin at Cota Street on the 25th, and will make its way up State Street to Micheltorena.

So don your wife’s leopard print sweats, get out there, and be ready to rumble in this year’s jungle-themed Solstice celebration.

Anita Ho Honored by Kiwanis Club

• Sept 13—BBQ—Hearts Adaptive. Saturday, be there at 3:30, serve at 6:30pm,
Calle Real between Turnpike and El Sueño, go up at Dump, look on right for sign.
• Sept 27—Suburban Installation — Saturday (location to be announced)
• Oct 25—BBQ—Summit for Danny

Colette Hadley, Executive Director of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara,
talked about the history…established in 1946 with nine $100 scholarships. Now
they give out 6.4 million. Charity Navigator ranked the Scholarship Foundation of
Santa Barbara in its “Top Ten Slam Dunk Charities” list and awarded the Foundation its highest four star rating for the seventh consecutive year. Colette introduced
our scholarship selection, Denai Wilkie. A microbiology major at Cal Poly San Luis
Obispo, made the President’s list (3 consecutive Dean’s lists), 500 hours of community service in high school, interested in emergency medicine, physician’s assistant,
or Nurse Practitioner. A very bright young woman; thanked us for the donation.

Gary Gray invited us to Santa Barbara Kiwanis installation dinner, Saturday,
September 20th, 6pm cocktails, 7pm dinner at Harry’s Ranchero Room, $35. They
will be honoring Anita Ho, retired Director for Parks and Recreation. RSVP to Gary at Other announcements included much discussion on the great
BBQ at Ladd Philips home on KEYT hill. Great view and great job backing the trailer
up the hill. Wes, watch out for the gopher holes! We need you up right!
Julie… get well, and thanks for your hard work on the books! Thanks to Dick who
came up with a hand written Treasurer’s Report.

Santa Barbara Triathlon Anita Ho

Aside from personal reasons why I love this race, it also has a special significance to me. If you enjoy the Santa Barbara Triathlon then there’s a special someone who you might want to thank. That someone is Anita Ho. Anita retired from the City of Santa Barbara a few years ago, but she continues to volunteer for just about everything when it comes to Santa Barbara. What does she have to do the SB triathlon? Well, while working for the City of Santa Barbara in the early ‘80s, she married Victor, a triathlete who had earlier completed the Hawaii Ironman. At the time, the City of SB was looking for a new event, and so she helped kickoff the first SB Triathlon. As far as I know, there’s not too many people around today that were there for the first SB Triathlon. Today, Anita is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Santa Barbara International Marathon, so if you bump into her, give her a big hug and tell her that her nephew said “Thank You!”


Last weekend’s 29th Annual Santa Barbara Triathlon 2-day event included more than 2,000 participants, from first timer to seasoned pro’s.  The Saturday long course offered choppy seas, moody marine layer and the dark images that befits the 1 mile swim, 34 mile bike and 10 mile run.  Contrasting Sunday’s Sprint course of fast friendly and blue skies for 500 yard swim, 6 mile bike and 2 mile run.  SB Tri Club fielded over 60 members with 27  podiums!

Let’s jump right into Rosie Thompson’s always reliable race report:

The Santa Barbara Triathlon is a great local event that is well organized and right here in beautiful Santa Barbara! It also is always a benefit for some very worthy charity.  I have done the sprint course the last two years, and this was my first year competing in the long course. It was also my longest race ever, so I was a little apprehensive about the 10-mile run at the end. The day started off cool with high fog and a wind out of the East that made the COLD ocean very choppy – no wonderful calm conditions like last year. I am so glad I purchased a neoprene cap this year as it certainly helped keep me somewhat warm. Actually, only my hands and feet were cold, and the cold hands did not help my dexterity in getting the wetsuit off in T1 or shifting on the bike for several miles. The bike course is a challenging, but beautiful, one that I have ridden for years so it was very familiar, and I had a great ride. The aero bars I had put on the bike 3 weeks ago were a great help. T2 was a little slower than usual as I had difficulty getting the knee brace on my sweaty leg, but then it was off on the run. The weather stayed cool and breezy which is just the way I like it for a run, and I was able to keep a steady pace throughout the run. Several friends rode their bikes with me on the last about 3 miles and took pictures. When I crossed the finish line, I could not believe my time (4:40:01). It was 5 minutes faster than I had estimated my best time would be!!! And it was good enough for 2nd place! Besides being local, this race is fun because so many SBTC members are either racing, volunteering, or cheering which gives me inspiration to do my best. Thanks to all of you who were there, including my husband who cheered and took pictures as well, and to Liz for the excellent training…Rosie

Nice report Rosie, you are my most consistent and best reporter, thank you so much.

Here are the results starting with Saturday Long Course and Relay.  The results are in finish time order starting with the Podium winners.  All participant names are hot linked to their split times.  Click on the name and the individual split times will huh?

Podium Winners:

Taylor Hemming 02:58:36 1st M25-29, Fred Maggiore 03:24:21 4th M50-54, John Nelson 03:34:45 1st M55-59,David Groom 03:40:41 1st M60-64, Chris Latham 03:43:33 3rd W35-39, Joe Howell 03:54:08 2nd M60-64, Vic Birtalan04:06:06 2nd M 65-69, Rosie Thompson 04:40:01 2nd W65-69, Ellen Kenoss 04:59:11 4th W55-59

Andrew Riley 03:16:57, Taj Hudson 03:17:38, Michael Desmond 03:29:40, Matthew Klonowski 03:34:18,Amanda Nicolato 03:39:29, David Parker 03:40:23, Karl Weis 03:40:38, John Herzog 03:41:58, Ian Chapman 03:43:27,Troy Hinshaw 03:48:22, Justin Greene 03:49:05, Robert Wilcher 03:49:26, Jeff Bailey 03:49:26, Richard Hummel03:50:08, Andrea Stouffer 03:50:22, Sarah Mandes 03:52:49, Danielle Lipski 03:53:20, Sue Beatty 03:53:39,Christina Lund 03:54:47, Richard Konoske 03:57:42, Jerrett McFarland 03:58:33, Jonathan Lewis 03:59:09, Liz Groom04:00:21, Lisa Dunn 04:07:16, Michelle Konoske 04:08:59, Paul Bullock 04:12:11, Beth Bailey 04:16:52, Jessica Barker04:20:52
Greg Russell 04:25:39, Ali Aghayan 04:30:28, Teri Malinowski 04:38:27, Andrew Duncan 04:40:05


NITE MOVES Matt Trost, James Ballantine and Ricky Ho 3:03:12 1st Team Men

THREE WISE KINGS Sheryl King, Brian King and Kristin Wise 3:42:22 Team Coed, TEAM PHOTON Craig Adams, Craig Adams and Cherie Topper 3:49:15 Team Coed, TEAM SUPER G Joshua Escalante, Irwin Teichman and Lisa Lewis 4:26:55 Team Coed.

Sunday Sprint Course – Coed

Podium Winners:

Matthew Trost 00:40:24 2nd M40-44, Ted Gillett 00:43:52 2nd M45-49, Walker Bell 00:43:59 1st M14/under, David Groom00:44:10 1st M60-64, Jason George 00:44:20 3rd M35-39, Konnor Plymire 00:44:31 3rd M15-17, Joseph Sullivan00:45:49 1st M55-59, Ricky Ho 00:45:54 4th M35-39, Liz Groom 00:46:28 2nd W35-39, Joe Howell 00:48:36 2nd M60-64, Paula Waldman 00:49:32 1st W45-49, Desa Mandarino 00:49:47 2nd W40-44, Cyndi Aghayan 00:50:12 3rd W40-44,Mark Polomski 00:51:08 4th M50-54, Ben Brewer 00:51:32 4th M14/Under, Janice Maggiore 00:55:43 1st W60-64,Jack Bianchi 00:59:49 1st M65-69, Irwin Teichman 01:02:26 2nd M65-69, Edwin Shipcott 01:05:12 3rd M65-69

Aldous Pabon 00:57:40, Mark Klopstein 01:01:27, Karlyn Roberts 01:04:34, Carissa Owens 01:07:53, Aric Monts-Homkey01:08:44, Ann Marie Donnely 01:23:43

Women’s Only Sprint:

Podium Winners:

Karen Schultz 00:44:34 First W30-34 and First Overall!, Kirstin Candy 00:48:55 2nd W40-44 and 5th Overall!,Elizabeth Cutbirth 01:06:18 2nd W18-19

Susannah Foster 01:00:55Melinda Greene 01:09:58

Rosie touched on the feeling of the Santa Barbara Triathlon as defining the purpose of our SB Tri Club.  Besides it being in our backyard and training grounds it offers all aspect of our sport.  The challenges are plenty and so are the rewards.  Two friends came up to me with big smiles after completing their first triathlon on Sunday.  They both thanked me for encouraging them to do this triathlon and showed their appreciation with beaming pride.  They also said the magic words, “It was Fun!” ….Sandy

Wait a minute, a late breaking race report from Jerrett McFarland:

Santa Barbara Triathlon – A Special Shout Out!

Aside from personal reasons why I love this race, it also has a special significance to me. If you enjoy the Santa Barbara Triathlon then there’s a special someone who you might want to thank. That someone is Anita Ho. Anita retired from the City of Santa Barbara a few years ago, but she continues to volunteer for just about everything when it comes to Santa Barbara. What does she have to do the SB triathlon? Well, while working for the City of Santa Barbara in the early ‘80s, she married Victor, a triathlete who had earlier completed the Hawaii Ironman. At the time, the City of SB was looking for a new event, and so she helped kickoff the first SB Triathlon. As far as I know, there’s not too many people around today that were there for the first SB Triathlon. Today, Anita is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Santa Barbara International Marathon, so if you bump into her, give her a big hug and tell her that her nephew said “Thank You!”

Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon

I didn’t forget something, I didn’t break anything, and nothing got dropped on the road or left in transition.  If you know me, then you know that’s truly amazing. Nothing went wrong…YES! The only notable was that 3 weeks out, I strained a calf muscle. However, due to all the support and knowledge of my athletic friends, I was able to start running again 8 days later.

This race is my favorite because it was my first-ever triathlon back in 2007 (which I finished in 4:49). This year, the swim was a bit bumpy for my taste, motion sickness even came to mind a couple of times while in the water. In the end, everyone had to deal with the same conditions. Every year I continue to PR this race, including this year with a 3:58:33. Who says you have to slow down as you get older? Don’t believe it. Just have fun and live as long as you can!

Santa Barbara Sprint Triathlon – Transition Area Volunteer

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY! I was able to witness so much happiness and accomplishment while directing traffic in the transition area. My other job was making sure Susannah put on the right shoes before heading out on the bike. Funny stuff! If you want to see comedy, just watch people rush through transition for a few hours, you are sure to see something that will make you laugh every few minutes.

Santa Barbara Triathlon – Summation

I think the most memorable part of the SB Triathlon this year (for me) was the Parent/Child Sprint. Watching kids with their parents accomplish something together is absolutely perfect. When it comes to human beings, it’s how we teach..our children… by  example…Jerrett McFarland

Culinary Arts Project Coordinator Anita Ho

Local Chef Honored
updated: Jun 24, 2010, 4:05 PM

Source: SB Parks and Recreation Commission

At each monthly meeting, the Park & Recreation Commission recognizes those who have volunteered their time and talents to help with projects related to the Parks & Recreation Department. On Wednesday, June 23, the Commission recognized Chef Ian Trenwith for his support and guidance in the Healthy Options for Teens Culinary Arts Program.

The Neighborhood and Outreach Service Section of the Parks & Recreation Department received a grant from the Orfalea Foundation through the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Teen After-School Scholarship Program to offer a Healthy Options for Teens program (HOT). Staff approached Chef Trenwith with a proposal for a Teen Culinary Arts Program to be one part of the many other HOT program activities. He enthusiastically embraced the idea and contributed his equipment inventory and personal resources from Jolly Brothers Catering in support of the program.

In the 17-week curriculum, the teens learned healthy ways to cook, were exposed to the culinary arts profession, and contributed to several community service projects. They learned ways to prepare healthy foods, bake bread, make pies, decorate cakes, create fancy napkin folds, set tables, do floral arrangements, and other skills of the trade. They toured the SBCC Culinary Arts Program, attended lectures on job possibilities in many occupational settings such as in cruise ships, restaurants, and health food stores, among others. The program participants provided a VIP Luncheon in the spring and at graduation, a dinner for their families. The teens also provided the appetizers on the Condor Express for the PARC Foundation fundraiser for summer camp scholarships. The donors were especially impressed with the poise, professionalism, and pride of the teens. Chef Trenwith’s culinary knowledge was instrumental in instructing participants in the profession.

The Parks and Recreation Department recognized the generosity of Chef Ian Trenwith. His contribution and generosity to the youth are greatly appreciated. The teens will always remember his humor, great stories, and talent.

Photo Caption: Chef Ian Trenwith with Culinary Arts Project Coordinator Anita Ho (right) and wife Diane Trenwith (top) and students Veronica and Angelica Dominguez (bottom left and right). Photo by Kathleen Sullivan.


The Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara  is one part of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one community and one child at a time. The Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara  performs many community service projects in Santa Barbara to help serve children. If you are interested in performing community service and helping children in Santa Barbara, we encourage you to learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara here on our site and welcome you to join us for a meeting. Check our Information page or Activities Calendar for information about our meeting day, time and place.

Board of Directors

  • Eduardo Cue (Ed)
  • Anita Dominocielo-Ho
  • C. Peter Georgi (Pete)
  • Lisa Gosdschan (Lisa)
  • Marsha Gray
  • James R Langley CLU (Jim)
  • Arthur Najera (Art)
  • Brian R Nelson
  • Richard Rojas (Rich)
  • Joseph Sanguinet (Joe)
  • Sidney J Smith (Sid)
  • Alvinn CL Wallace
  • Cordelia Woodruff (Cory)

S.B. International Marathon

S.B. International Marathon

Ambitious Athletic Event Comes to Town

By John Zant

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Sunday, December 6 at 6:30 a.m., under a gibbous moon in a dimly lit sky, Goleta and Santa Barbara will begin to experience one of the most ambitious athletic events in the history of the region.

Upward of 2,500 runners will start the first Santa Barbara International Marathon on Hollister Avenue near Ellwood School. They will pour across the freeway bridge at Winchester Canyon and be heading east on Cathedral Oaks Road when the sun rises over the hills. A right turn on Los Carneros Road will lead them around the Camino Real Marketplace and back to the starting line-almost nine miles behind them, 17½ miles to go.

The runners will return to Cathedral Oaks and follow it for seven miles to Turnpike Road. They will go south over the freeway and across Hollister to the bike path at the edge of Hope Ranch. The path will take them to Modoc Road, which they will ply for two miles. At Las Positas Road, they will head toward the coast. After almost 24 miles of running, a formidable hill on Cliff Drive will confront them. But then the course will be level to Shoreline Drive, and the last 1½ miles will be a sweeping downhill curve with a glorious view of the Pacific Ocean to the finish line at Leadbetter Beach.

It should take around 2½ hours for the fastest runners to complete the 26.2-mile course-some of the 200 relay teams may finish ahead of them-and the cutoff time for official finishers will be 6½ hours.

Along the way, the marathoners will encounter an army of volunteers who will monitor their progress, offer them water, energy drinks, and first aid. Diverse musical groups (bagpipers, a jazz band, a symphonic ensemble, and Brazilian drummers) will try to lift their spirits in the latter stages of the race. Thousands of residents who live around the course will watch them and encourage them-or at least, the organizers hope, tolerate them.

Inspiration and History

The inaugural Santa Barbara International Marathon has been almost four years in the making. Soon after Rusty Snow moved here from the East Coast, where he had run a number of marathons, he envisioned the classic distance race along this picturesque and climatically blessed community. He wanted to include the rural ambience of Goleta and the stunning Santa Barbara waterfront. June Snow, his wife, put together a business plan, and they went to work to make it happen. They had to defy numerous naysayers. “I just kept pressing,” said Rusty, a self-employed physiotherapist and running coach. “I learned to be stubborn from running marathons.”

Rusty and June Snow, co-directors of the marathon, brought in Rusty’s old coach, Dan Campbell, as technical director. Campbell was their point man in obtaining permits from local jurisdictions. They held informational meetings with residents last year, and in January, they starting signing up runners. Select Staffing came on board as the presenting sponsor.

It is a mammoth undertaking in comparison to the erstwhile Santa Barbara Marathon, which had a 20-year run from 1965 to 1984. When it was launched by a hardy band of distance runners-considered freaks in those days-there were only five other annual marathons in the United States (now there are more than 300). Twenty-seven men started and 17 finished the first race from UCSB to Santa Barbara City College. In 1966, both the start and finish were moved to SBCC, with a turn-around point in Goleta. There were no official aid stations in the early years, even though the race was held in early autumn, when Santa Ana conditions could push the temperatures into the 90s. The runners had to share the roads with cars and trucks.

At its peak, the marathon had 354 finishers in 1977. Santa Barbara athletes set the course records-four-time winner Robert Hollister the men’s mark of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds; Elaine Campo, the women’s best of 2:54:21. Participation was declining when race director John Brennand decided to drop the endeavor. New marathons were popping up all over with easier courses and more perks.

In order to tout the Santa Barbara International Marathon as a world-class event, the Snows realized they would have to make it much bigger and better than its predecessor, and they would have to muster strong community support.

The Helpers

Anita Ho’s reputation as an organizer (Special Olympics, Solstice Parade) preceded her when she showed up at a marathon planning meeting. “I thought I’d hand out water to runners,” she said. “They flattered me, and all the sudden, ‘Oh, great, I’m in charge.’” Ho was appointed the SBIM’s volunteer coordinator. The success of the race depends on volunteers willing to show up as early as 5:30 a.m. to monitor the course.

“Most marathons have 10 percent first-time runners,” Ho said. “This one has 33 percent running a marathon for the first time. We have to make sure they’re taken care of.” Ho divided the course into eight segments of three-to-four miles and appointed a captain or co-captains for each one. They, in turn, recruited 30 to 60 volunteers for each section. Another set of managers is responsible for the 13 water/aid stations. “They’re great, great, great people,” Ho said of her captains, who have assembled a force of 1,000 volunteers.

John Brennand performed one of the most grueling and necessary tasks in preparation for the race. He measured the course with an exactitude that would merit its certification by USA Track & Field. It entailed his riding over the course several times with a bicycle wheel that’s calibrated before and after each measurement.

“The authorities who set the rules are anal about this,” Brennand said. “There’s a requirement that the course be measured one-tenth of 1 percent longer [than the official distance of 26 miles, 385 yards]. That’s an extra 130 feet. It’s called the ‘short course prevention factor.’” There may be no person better qualified for the job than Brennand, a retired engineer who headed the team that measured the course for the 1984 Olympic marathon in Los Angeles.

Pomona’s Carlos Handler won Riverside’s Mission Inn Half-Marathon in early November.

The Elite

Carlos Handler of Pomona won Riverside’s Mission Inn Half Marathon on November 8 in a speedy 1:06:07-a pace of five minutes per mile. The 27-year-old made his 26-mile debut at the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon and finished 17th in a time of 2:23:44. He hopes to improve on that and post a 2012 Olympic Trials qualifying time.

Westmont alum Robby Cherry (above left) hopes to clock a good time.

Also hoping to make a big jump is Tennessee’s Robby Cherry, a 23-year-old Westmont College graduate who clocked 2:29:41 at the 2008 NAIA Championships. Tim Strand, 42, one of the runners trained by Snow, “could run 2:47,” more than 10 minutes faster than his personal record.

Among the women, Jennifer Derego, 30, of Brentwood boasts a PR of 2:41:26 from the 2004 Olympic Trials. In 2007, she placed fourth at the L.A. Marathon with a time of 2:46:16.

Santa Barbara has a platoon of resilient running mothers. Chrystee Bradley, 39, and Michelle McToldridge, 35, both will be going for sub-three-hour times, according to Snow. He expects even greater things of Andrea McLarty, 32, who has been outstanding in area races for the past two years.

“She’s naturally very tough and persevering,” Snow said. McLarty won the Santa Barbara Half Marathon in 1:22:12 early this month despite feeling fatigued from her 80-miles-a-week training. “Her legs were heavy and she felt awful,” Snow said. “She could have a great day in the marathon.”

McLarty, a Texas native and graduate of Yale, has a strong competitive streak. After running her last marathon in Austin in 2000, she swore she’d never run another one. She stuck to shorter races. She lived in New York when her son Lachlan was born “and I either ran pushing a stroller or picked the baby up to breast-feed right after a race.”

She was excited when her husband Robb got a job in Santa Barbara. “I once did a trail run in Boulder (Colorado), and I gasped, ‘This is the most beautiful place to run,’” McLarty related. “This guy said, ‘That’s true:except for Santa Barbara.’”

McLarty hooked up with Snow’s training group a year ago. “They’re so infectiously sweet, nice and fun,” she said. “I’ve never run as well as I am now.”

Dealing with her two children-Lachlan is now 4, Isla 2½-has intensified McLarty’s work ethic. “There are no off days, no sleeping in, no lying cozy in your pajamas,” she said.

She recently ran the last 13 miles of the SBIM course from Stow Park to the finish line. “It’s a surprisingly fast course,” McLarty said. “You have a lot of gentle downhills before you go up the Cliff Drive hill.”

The Pluggers

Most of the 2,200 individual runners who have signed up for the SBIM will be running at a moderate pace. Times have slowed considerably in the last three decades, according to data compiled by Running USA. The average marathon time in 1980 for men was about 3:30, and for women, four hours. Today, the averages are 4:16 for men and 4:43 for women.

Many of these runners are doing it for charity. Michael Salsbury of Santa Barbara used to put his foot on the gas-he ran a 2:48 marathon to qualify for Boston almost 30 years ago-but Sunday he is going to take it slow and easy with his son Nicholas, 19. They are raising donations for Hospice of Santa Barbara.

“Hospice guided our family through the darkest of the dark, three times over,” Salsbury said. He and his wife Gabriella had three daughters, each of whom died in the first year of her life from a rare genetic neurological disorder, since identified as “vanishing white matter disease.” It prompted the Salsburys, who have a healthy daughter, to set up the Three Little Angels Pediatric Neurological Foundation. “I used to run a marathon to race,” Salsbury said. “Then it was to finish. Now it’s to survive.”

The SBIM’s relay division-for two- three- or four-person teams-gives runners who aren’t ready for a full marathon a chance to participate, and many of them will be raising awareness of charitable causes. United Cerebral Palsy/WORK Inc. will have Team Womble doing the relay. Phil Womble, a much beloved crusader for people with disabilities, will accompany the team’s runners in the last 30 yards to the finish line.

Running in the marathon relay will be a huge accomplishment for Mark Mitchell, a country radio deejay from San Luis Obispo. A year ago at this time, he weighed 373 pounds. “I was a lazy junk food addict,” he said. “One day at Frank’s Hot Dogs, I spent $55 on food, and the most expensive thing on the menu was $5.99-the Double Dare, a hot dog wrapped in bacon.”

But one day he realized that he might be dead in 10 years if didn’t do something about his condition. “Walking up the stairs,” he said, “I was out of breath.” He found out about lap-band surgery, and he had Dr. Paul Cirangle perform the procedure on him in San Jose on December 12, 2008.

Mark Mitchell will run 6.4 miles of the marathon as part of a four-person relay team from S.L.O. The radio deejay got into running once he became more active after having lap-band surgery last December.

Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Mark Mitchell will run 6.4 miles of the marathon as part of a four-person relay team from S.L.O. The radio deejay got into running once he became more active after having lap-band surgery last December.

“It gave me a reason to exercise,” Mitchell said. “With lap-band, you have to be accountable.” He started on exercise bikes and dropped almost 100 pounds in the first six months. Then a representative of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the beneficiary of a radio-a-thon conducted by Mitchell’s station, suggested he try to run. He put together a marathon relay team, Morecowbell, with radio colleagues Niki Kozak, Stacey Green and Wanda Toro-three women whose combined weight was exceeded by Mitchell’s former poundage.

Dan Campbell coached them. Mitchell ran his first mile on June 28 in a Santa Maria park. It took him 12 minutes. “It was painstaking,” Mitchell said. “Dan said, ‘Congratulations. You are now an athlete.’ Sticking with it is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Mitchell has gotten his training runs up to eight miles-his leg in the marathon relay will be 6.4 miles-and his weight was down to 209 a few weeks ago. “I want to be 199 on race day,” he said.

Kozak is amazed at his transformation. “I didn’t know how he was going to do it,” she said. “[Lap-band surgery] is not a miracle cure. He changed his whole lifestyle. The marathon gave him a purpose. He doesn’t want to let his trainer and the team down.”

Mitchell, 39, said his wife Jacque “will tell you I’m overly obsessed about running right now. Once I get past December 6, there will be more of a balance. She’s happy I’m not going to die at 43. That’s where I was headed.”


Santa Barbara’s marathon weekend will start Saturday with two events at SBCC-the Children’s Festival (9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), featuring a series of fun races on the track from 25 meters (for toddlers) to a mile; and the Health & Fitness Expo (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) where runners and their families can check out various exhibits. There will be a pasta dinner, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Campus Center Cafeteria. For more information, visit

Hall of Fame Special Achievement, Anita Ho

Let’s see if we have these numbers right. As a Recreation Supervisor for the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department, Anita Ho recruited 600 volunteers each year. Six hundred, most of whom were new to the program each year.

What program? The Special Olympics. Thirty years ago a friend advised Anita Ho to move to Santa Barbara where the people were good and where she would be cared for. After 24 years of moving, she was home and she had herself turned into one of those good people who cared for others.

After attending SBCC and UCSB, Anita began a 20 year “hitch” with Recreation. And just how did she start that career? How else, as a volunteer.

Her career was on the way, and for twenty years Anita provided special recreational, educational, and cultural services to individuals with disabilities. Her dedication and commitment to the Special Olympics touched over 2,000 athletes and their families, vastly improving the quality of their lives.

She has been honored for meritorious service by the ARC, an association of the disabled, and the Special Olympics Statewide Office. Anita has also been honored by the Parks and Recreation Commission for her service as Recreation Leader, a Senior Leader, Assistant Supervisor, and finally a Supervisor in charge of the Adapted Recreation Program for the City.

While caring for these “Special People” she also raised thousands upon thousands in grant money for their welfare. Her marathon years now in the past, Anita enjoys biking with her family, workouts, and e-mailing her brother in Panama.

Anita, you are the “Special” one.