Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon

On Saturday morning, I was running the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon with some of my kickball friends, so Friday night, Jeff and I drove up to the Dutch town of Solvang. We stayed at the Days Inn Buellton, which was apparently featured in the movie "Sideways."

We didn't get in until around 10pm, so, in order to get a good nights rest, I opted to stay away from the Sports Bar (even though it was HOPPING) and when straight to bed. I met up with my friends at the butt-crack of dawn and headed down to the start line. This was a smaller race -- only 2,000 people -- which I was excited for since the last race I ran (Disneyland Half) had over 17,000 people and it took me 30 min just to get through the start gate! 
Mandatory group picture

At 7am on the dot, we were off. I'll be honest...I didn't "train" for this race. The most running I had done prior is sprint running bases during kickball games, which are only 60 ft apart, but, I usually do Pilates or Pure Barre, so I'm not entirely out of shape!  A few of us tried to stay together, but  after a couple miles, we were separated.  I was pretty slow and sluggish and mile 7, but with the help of The Great Gatsby soundtrack (so good!), I pushed through and came out with a medal around my neck....right behind a 77 year old woman.

After the race, we hit up the wine festival that was in a small park near the finish line. It was too crowded and cramped, so we left shortly after to eat (read: something fatty) and walk around the town. Solvang is a really cute Dutch town located about 45 minutes north east of Santa Barbara. It was founded in 1911 by a small group of Danish teachers, and is now a thriving little village with horse drawn wagons, tons of shops, windmills, and pastries, pastries and more pastries! Its a total tourist spot, but worth the visit if you're in the area!

 Using my cell phone in the phone booth...with a broken pay phone

 Jeff eating aebleskivers (danish pancake)

ice cream and windmills!

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