Saturday, May 11, 2019 • Santa Ynez, CA • Course Map
Running thirteen miles through Southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley isn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday morning, or at least the more than 3,300 runners who turned out and crossed the finish line last year at the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon thought so.
Organized by the local race and event management company Destination Races (whose other events include July’s Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & 12K and the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon in October), the race takes runners through some of this state’s most gorgeous countryside, past rolling farmlands and vineyards on the way to the wine and music festival at the finish line.
The point-to-point 13.1-mile course for the race starts in downtown Santa Ynez, a small wine country town known for its western-style architecture that lies just over the mountains from nearby Santa Barbara.
From there, the course takes runners on a mostly flat route for the first half of the race that runs northward through town, roughly parallel to Highway 154 (though it zigzags along the streets with several twists and turns as its runs near the highway).
Once participants reach the half-way point of the race in Los Olivos, they make the turn and start heading south through Ballard Canyon along the road with the same name.
This downhill section of the course, which from mile markers 7 through 9 is considered the race’s fastest section, also features some of its best views. Runners pass field after rolling field of farmland and vineyards through this stretch, as the area’s lush green hills are framed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance.
After running through Ballard Canyon, the field then joins up with Chalk Hill Road as it nears the town of Solvang for the final couple of miles, passing Hans Christian Andersen Park on the way to the finish line on Copenhagen Drive.
The finish line festival, like those of its counterparts in Healdsburg and Napa, features perhaps the real reward of the race — a wine and music festival that’s just starting up in Solvang Park as runners are finishing their race.
The event time limit of 3 hours, 30 minutes — which means you’ll need to keep a pace of 16:00 minutes per mile or better.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along Southern California’s Pacific coastline, just over 30 miles northwest of Santa Barbara and roughly 125 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Santa Ynez typically sees cool to moderately warm weather in May, a month that has brought record temperatures here as low as 31 degrees (in 1953) and as high as 104 degrees (in 2004).
On race day (May 11), the average low is 53 degrees, and the average high is 69 degrees.
- 2018 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Results
- $95 and up for the half marathon
- $150 and up for the half marathon relay
To reserve your spot in the 2019 running of Santa Ynez’s Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.