Santa Barbara Tough Enough

Course rules & directions

GENERAL RULES (and heuristics):
1. Please be safe. It’s an open course (no traffic control) and it’s pretty long. Please, please, please be safe.

2. Each team member runs two legs. Back to back legs may be run. You can mix it however you want. It is not a crisis if someone runs three legs and another team member runs one.

3. Avoid having (making) anyone run both leg 4 and leg 7 or 8. Generally, if you can, mix it so each runner gets one uphill and one downhill.

4. Every team a/o ultra runner is responsible for his/her/their/its own aid. A rule of the event, though, is, help anyone who needs help, regardless of team.

5. Obey the traffic laws. The course is open to traffic. We want to maintain good relations with the cops, CHP, Forest Service, etc.

Here’s the course, visually:
Here is the driving route

Here are the handoffs

Three tips:

  • When running uphill, your butt is your friend. Stay upright and balanced over it and your body can engage it.
  • When running downhill, keep your feet under your hips. When your feet are ahead of your center of gravity, you’re braking, and creating microtears in your muscles, as well as putting your cartilage on an anvil.
  • When facing a long downhill, lace your shoes carefully. Your feet will want to slide forward, smashing your toes. Prevent that and your feet will be happier.

Starts at entrance to Toro Canyon Park–a little bit back from the street, but not up at the park entrance. Run too fast on East Valley Road. Take East Valley until you turn right (uphill) on San Ysidro Road. Continue to Mountain Drive and turn left. Go to East Mountain and turn right on East Mountain. Handoff is at Cold Spring creek just past where the stream crosses the road. (6.4 miles, total climb 830′, 540′ drop, net change +290′)

Continue on Mountain Drive, a rolling windy road, to Gibraltar. (Do not turn right up the hill on El Cielito.) The “turn” junction is where multiple roads converge, and a popular place to be confused. Take sharp right up Gibraltar for three miles to wide ‘180’ turn in road that has a line of six boulders and “No Shooting” signs and lots of broken glass on the right. Handoff. (7 1/4 miles, total climb 1520′, 375′ drop, net +1145′)

Continue up Gibraltar, to the intersection with Camino Cielo and Gibraltar. Bear left up Camino Cielo to La Cumbre Peak. Handoff at “Off Road Motor Vehicle Travel Prohibited” sign (pretty much the top, as far as the road goes). (Short 5.4 miles, total climb 2090′, 120′ drop, net change +1970′)

Camino Cielo rolls a little but mostly downhill–the start is ~4000′, Hwy 154 is ~2200′–past Camino Cielo store to Highway 154, then STOP. Wave energetically across the highway to your team member. (Do not cross the highway.) Ultrarunners cross with caution, please. (9 1/4 miles, total climb 610′, 2315′ drop, net change -1705′) (Rob’t Hollister, a 2:18 marathoner, holds the men’s record for this leg, ~44 min.)

You are standing at the top of 154, the south (west) side, on Stagecoach Rd. Scamper a short distance down Stagecoach and turn right on Kinevan. Follow Kinevan to W Camino Cielo, turn right (to the west) and slog (or stride purposefully, float, fly, rocket, your choice) to start of dirt road at the Gun Club. Handoff. (4 3/4 miles, pretty much; total climb 1160′, 380′ drop, net change +790′)

Rolling dirt road with footing. Run past first tower on right to where road forks. Fork goes back toward tower. This happens again. Keep going, to the third tower — where the dirt ends and the asphalt begins. Your runner will be waiting there. (You hope.) Wait for your ride out to pick-up area. (9 1/4 miles, total climb 2000′, 900′ drop, net change +1100′)

Continue on to the road and down to the intersection of Refugio Road and Camino Cielo Road. Handoff. (6 miles, total climb 90′, 1910′ drop, net change -1820′.)

Go right on Refugio down hill (watch your footing) on narrow road. Handoff is at bridge over Santa Ynez River. (6.1 miles, total climb 120′, 1960′ drop, net change -1840′) Depending on rainfall timing and volume, there can be up to seven water crossings on this leg. For ultrarunners, dry socks and shoes will save you blisters.

Take Refugio over bridge to Highway 246. Go left and stay on left hand side of road, run against traffic. Go though downtown Solvang area. Turn left at Alisal Road. Continue on Alisal over bridge past golf course and Alisal Ranch. Handoff. (6 3/4 miles, total climb 415′, 360′ drop, net change +55′)

Alisal Road to Nojoqui Falls park entrance. Wave arms in air with cheerful dramatics. (Short 3 3/4 miles, total climb 510′, 280′ drop, net change +230′)

Eat pizza (or whatever) and drink refreshing beverages and take pics and laugh.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: