Although he says his real racing days are behind him since he is turning 64 in April, Run Santa Barbara's Jake Clinton still has plenty of days as a race director to look forward to.
A mid week race series that began 1989, his Nite Moves event is still as popular as ever. It grew from just a run series to adding a swim and hence became super popular with triathletes. With the addition of kid events in '99, the series continues to bring large crowds on Wednesday nights starting at the end of April through the end of August. And even if it has been 26 years, Clinton never gets tired of spending every Wednesday summer nights at Leadbetter Beach. "One big thing is seeing how the field grew from virtually all male in 1989 to a real mixed gender," he said. "Over the years I have meet many newcomers that had never run but began walking at the Nite Moves...then became runners and even evolved into long distances and became competitive. Those stories and seeing young people taking to the sport of running really lights me up."
Run Santa Barbara also puts on the Pier to Peak Half Marathon and for the past 16 years, the Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler. It's the uniqueness of these events that keep racers coming back for more. For the Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler, it is the family friendliness of the event with a flat and fast course. "For Pier to Peak the city of SB allows the race to go through the city with a "rolling road block" of volunteers and bicycle escorts (thanks to the local bike clubs, Echelon, SBBike, and SB TirClub) in lieu of hard barriers helping to keep cost down and keeping the run a grass roots event," said Clinton.
"Runners get to spots and views most visitors to the city just never see," he added.
Experiencing Nite Moves a few times myself, I can agree with Clinton's description of the race being like a beach party. Live local bands play music while great food and beer is served."On my favorite SB beach, summer evenings with great views during the run, friendly and/or competitive events and awesome event shirts."
And as Run Santa Barbara events continue into 2014, Clinton can't forget all those who have helped him grow his event company into a great success. "It's the great support from friends and staff that have helped me make the events possible as well as the continuing support of the runners that come back year after year."