SLO Marathon

Race SLO’s Grizzly Run Club Receives National Recognition by Running USA

$10,000 grant award for youth program presented at Running USA 2017 Conference in Orlando, FL

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — (February 27, 2017) — At the Running USA 2017 Conference in Orlando, Fla., Race SLO, California Central Coast’s leading endurance sports event producer, was presented the Running USA Youth Program Award on stage during the Hall of Champions Awards Dinner on Sunday, February 26.

Race SLO’s Grizzly Run Club was recognized by Running USA, a leading industry organization, for its impactful community training program that was launched in August 2012 in partnership with the Grizzly Youth Academy (GYA), a local residential high school program for at-risk teenage students. To-date, 434 cadet students have successfully completed their first half-marathon and 537 have also finished a 10K race as part of the Grizzly Run Club’s success.

“We are so honored and deeply grateful to be recognized by our industry peers and receive the national youth program award and its accompanying $10,000 grant,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “In all Race SLO’s contributions to our community, I am most proud of our Grizzly Run Club. Teaching these underprivileged teenagers to embrace the athlete’s life of discipline, focused work and rewards changes their lives forever. This grant allows us to further our company mission and legacy by providing running gear for our cadets as well as support our Run Club’s alumni after they graduate.”

The Running USA Youth Program Award provides a $10,000 grant to one national youth program each year at the Running USA conference. The annual award goes to the program that best advocates the benefits of youth running, collaborates to combat obesity and supports family & youth health initiatives.

Race SLO CEO, Samantha Pruitt, with the 2016 Running USA Youth Program Award.

Past Running USA Youth Program Award winner: 2015, Kids of STEEL, P3R, Pittsburgh, PA

For more GYA information, go to: grizzlyyouthacademy.org

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO 2017 event line-up includes the 6th SLO Marathon + Half and 5K (Spring 2017), the NEW Healthy Running Sports Medicine Conference (Spring 2017), SLO Ultra trail races & NEW Mountain Bike Race at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall 2017) and SLO GranFondocycling & VIP event (Fall 2017).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun & competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

Running is a Team Sport

Katrina Rojas is a Fresno, CA resident and SLO Marathon + Half alum. This is her story for the Race SLO Tribe on why she loves running.

My first ever half-marathon was on March 23, 2013. I had been silently training for this as my ultimate goal. I was 40-years-old and running a Half was on a ‘bucket list’ of mine. I had adopted the ‘one and done’ philosophy to running and had every intention to check off that goal and be done with running. Little did I know that during that race I would be exposed to an entirely different kind of community! I stood at the start line full of nerves not knowing a single soul there, but I was greeted by many friendly smiles and words of encouragement.

Growing up I had only competed in team sports and knew of the camaraderie I had with my soccer teammates, so the ‘team’ feel I was getting from strangers had me pleasantly surprised. Several times during this race I felt like there was no way I would make it to the finish line. I even called my husband and told him I wanted to quit. Luckily for me there was a man, probably in his late 60s, who heard my conversation. He patted my back and told me that I was going to finish without a doubt. My heart was warmed and I had definite motivation from him to keep pushing through.

At mile 12 I hit another wall and a couple of runners cheered me on. Some yelled out ‘great job’ as they ran by, even when I was barely walking and others reminded me that I was so close to the end and would DEFINITELY finish this race. Who knew that these runners would change my attitude towards running? I could not believe that so many people took the time to encourage me - not to mention every smile and nod I got from other runners!

Credit:

@rojasruns

So, after that race I did what I never thought I could do. I kept running. I ran solo for a few more races and trained on my own. I then decided to join a fundraising team that trained together. I was nervous and anxious about ‘team’ running. Luckily there were some familiar faces and I met some great people during the training runs! I also was amazed at how much MORE fun races could be with teammates at the start and finish; it changed the whole dynamics of the race for me. I have since returned to running with this fundraising team for 6 races! I have met new people each time and love the thought of running for charity.

A short while later I started following ‘runners ‘on Instagram. I may or may not be a bit of a social media junky. So when I was watching hashtags of local races I found local people to follow and chat with. I found a group in town called “The Bad News Bears”, a large group of runners who looked like a good time! I finally got the nerve, (I am naturally introverted) to show up to one of their group runs. My husband thought I was crazy when I told him I was going to Starbucks to meet a group of strangers at 5:30am to run the local foothill trails! That day led me to be a part of a running group that has now grown to more than 300 ‘bears’.

Joining the group and social media have also led me to meet one of my greatest friends Michelle. I started following her on Instagram and realized that we lived in the same part of town and had so many things in common. We have run almost every race and trained together since we met! Although my participation with the group varies depending on my schedule- I know that I can ALWAYS find a group of people to meet up with.

There are all levels and areas of town to run with. With my running ‘family’ I have ran half-marathons in town, out of town, a 135 mile relay to benefit Ronald McDonald House, in addition to weekly group runs with many different people! I guess that it amazes me that within my hometown of Fresno, I can call upon runners from my Running BFF Michelle, to the group of ‘Bears’, to the people I encounter out on the roads, trails or races will keep me motivated to keep moving!

Follow Katrina on Instagram: @rojasruns

Join the Race SLO Tribe today: https://community.raceslo.com/experience-the-epic-central-coast-40e811b2e4d6

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO 2017 event line-up includes the 6th SLO Marathon + Half and 5K (Spring 2017), the NEW Healthy Running Sports Medicine Conference (Spring 2017), SLO Ultra trail races & NEW Mountain Bike Race at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall 2017) and SLO GranFondo cycling & VIP event (Fall 2017).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun & competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!

Running, Loss & Healing

Rhonda Williams, a Temecula native, has run at the SLO Marathon + Half since 2013 and is gearing up to run it as a “recovery” run after this year’s Boston Marathon. This is her Race SLO Tribe story on the healing power of running.

I began running in 2009. I was approaching 40, very overweight and out of shape. My daughter ran for her high school Cross Country team and loved long distance running, so I decided to give it a try. I quickly became hooked on running Half marathons as well as the occasional Marathon.

Fast forward to 2013; my daughter was a freshman at Cal Poly SLO, and told me she wanted to run her first Half marathon and we registered for the SLO Half marathon. It was such an awesome moment to cross the finish line with my baby girl for her first Half marathon. Here’s a pic of us at the finish:

We registered for the 2014 race as soon we were able to. I headed to SLO with my mom, sister and nephew for the race and a fantastic weekend in SLO with my daughter. My father was in the hospital after complications from chemotherapy to treat his leukemia. We received a tragic phone call in the middle of the night the Saturday before the race; my dad had passed away suddenly. We were devastated, and returned to San Diego to make funeral arrangements for my father.

I later contacted the race director to explain what had happened and why we had not been at the 2014 race; we were entered into the 2015 race; the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I again headed to SLO with my mom and this time two friends in tow. We went to the expo, picked up our bibs and even signed up for 2016.

We weren’t sure how we would feel that morning. Our hearts were heavy and our emotions were running high. I had the F@&k Leukemia tanks made for myself and my daughter, and when we put them on it just felt right. My dad, and her grandpa, was surely cheering us on that day. My daughter achieved an awesome PR at this race. The whole event was so healing as we both received so much support that day from our friends and from the amazing spectators along the course! 2015 was an epic year as I also achieved my BQ in November!

In 2016 I again headed to SLO, with my mom, the same two friends that joined me in 2015, and two additional friends since racing SLO has become very highly regarded in our Southern California running circle! One of my best running friends has a son at Cal Poly Pomona so I had these cute shirts made for us! The back of mine says “SO SLO” the back of hers says “NOT SO SLO.”

We always enjoy our full SLO experience and especially racing SLO! The race is always organized, the crowd support is amazing and who wouldn’t love running here?!

Join the Race SLO Tribe today: https://community.raceslo.com/experience-the-epic-central-coast-40e811b2e4d6

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ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO 2017 event line-up includes the 6th SLO Marathon + Half and 5K (Spring 2017), the NEW Healthy Running Sports Medicine Conference (Spring 2017), SLO Ultra trail races & NEW Mountain Bike Race at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall 2017) and SLO GranFondo cycling & VIP event (Fall 2017).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun & competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!

Running with the Bruces Official SLO Marathon + Half Training Plans

Maximize your final weeks of training with Cal Poly alum and professional athlete / coach Ben Bruce

2015 SLO Half Marathon champion, Cal Poly alum, NCAA All-American, Big West Champion and current professional athlete for the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite team has teamed up with the SLO Marathon + Half to create simple and effective training plans for participants.

Leveraging the innovative Final Surge coaching platform plans are available for $29.95 on the SLO Marathon + Half registration portal powered by Race Roster.

I was excited to write these plans as I attended college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. My wife Stephanie went to rival school UC Santa Barbara, but we have put that behind us and LOVE the entire Central Coast. Having gone to Cal Poly, I am very familiar with the course and in fact I have run every inch of it at some point in time. The course even goes past the three places I lived in while calling #RaceSLO Town home! — Ben Bruce

As you prepare for the race, remember that being constant in training is more important than any one workout. So if you miss a day here and there, do not beat yourself up, just get laced back up and move forward. Just as important in ensuring your success, know that one great workout or one bad workout is not going to make or break your performance come race day. It is the accumulation of the easy runs, the long runs, the specific workouts and being mentally positive that will get you fully prepared for the best experience. — Ben Bruce

Four plans are available to choose from:

  • Half Marathon (beginner): This plan is geared towards runners who are taking on their first half marathon or have not been running for a long time. Mileage range on the plan will be around 20–30 miles a week with options to make it slightly more or less. The main goal of this plan is to get to race day feeling confidant you can complete the 13.1 mile distance.
  • Half Marathon (intermediate): Runner should have some experience at the half marathon or at a minimum raced the 10k — 10mile distance. Is comfortable running 30+ mile weeks regularly. Mileage can be adjusted up to 50–60 miles per week.
  • Marathon (beginner): Runner should have at a minimum some experience at the Half Marathon distance. Is comfortable running 20–40 miles a week regularly.
  • Marathon (intermediate): Runner should have some experience at the Half Marathon. Is comfortable running 30–40+ mile weeks regularly. Mileage can be adjusted up to 50–70 miles per week.

You can follow Ben & Stephanie Bruce at:

<a href="https://medium.com/media/d9ef39ab590006f188b2b78e6e025214/href">https://medium.com/media/d9ef39ab590006f188b2b78e6e025214/href</a>

ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO 2017 event line-up includes the 6th SLO Marathon + Half and 5K (Spring 2017), the NEW Healthy Running Sports Medicine Conference (Spring 2017), SLO Ultra trail races & NEW Mountain Bike Race at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall 2017) and SLO GranFondo cycling & VIP event (Fall 2017).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun & competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

SLO Marathon + Half Announces New Courses for 2017

Scenic, faster USA Track & Field certified courses showcase San Luis Obispo; register today for the sixth edition and be part of the #EnduranceTownUSA experience on April 29–30, 2017

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — (January 31, 2017) — The SLO Marathon + Half Marathon has announced new 26.2 and 13.1 mile courses for its upcoming 2017 event. The 6th annual SLO Marathon event weekend, an Endurance Town USA running tradition produced by Race SLO, will be held on Saturday & Sunday, April 29–30.

“Our two new and improved courses best showcase what Endurance Town USA has to offer road runners from our new start line at the iconic Madonna Inn, a complete circle around the entire town and through the seven sisters region, into the rural Eden Valley wine country, past Cal Poly as well as twice into the historic downtown district,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “The Marathon course is still a Boston qualifier, and all athletes will experience our elevated #RaceSLO town festival and post-race celebration with live music, free activities, vendors, food and beer on the Madonna Meadows all weekend long.”

The new, beautiful loop designed courses for 2017 feature fast and scenic tours of San Luis Obispo both starting and finishing in the meadows at Madonna Inn. Runners will head south toward the beautiful Irish Hills Natural Preserve, passing by Madonna Mountain and Bishop’s Peak, then loop toward historic downtown to enjoy victorian and craftsman homes, the Fremont Theatre and the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. In addition, runners will also experience a spectator and entertainment lined route through the Railroad District, Islay’s Street lined with charming bungalows and Victorians and, finally, a scenic downhill finish line along the white picket fence at Madonna Inn Meadows with the Race SLO Festival crowds awaiting to mark the day.

Starting off under Spring central coast fog, with an average starting temperature of 54 F degrees and finishing high temperatures hovering between 66–69 F degrees, race day weather can be ideal for the largest road running event on California’s Central Coast. For the Marathon and Half Marathon runners, there will be chip timing with tracking & social media capability, Pace Groups and fully supported courses with aid stations every two miles that will include FLUID Sports Drink and a CLIF Bar/CLIF Shots Energy Zone. Elite athletes will also race for prize money and the entire community will be out in full support with non-stop entertainment, free festival activities, live music and cheering fans.

Find more course information including course map with elevation profile at:

For more event information or to register for the 6th edition, go to: www.slomarathon.com

<a href="https://medium.com/media/d9ef39ab590006f188b2b78e6e025214/href">https://medium.com/media/d9ef39ab590006f188b2b78e6e025214/href</a>

ABOUT RACE SLO

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO 2017 event line-up includes the 6th SLO Marathon + Half and 5K (Spring 2017), the NEW Healthy Running Sports Medicine Conference (Spring 2017), SLO Ultra trail races & NEW Mountain Bike Race at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall 2017) and SLO GranFondo cycling & VIP event (Fall 2017).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun & competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!

Visit RaceSLO.com for more information.

How My College Bucket List Turned Into a Passion for Distance Running

All smiles after the run, enjoying the 805, and a sunny race day.

Logan Laszcyk is a Cal Poly SLO and SLO Marathon alum.

Many Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduation bucket lists include activities like completing the 10 mini-burger challenge at Frank’s, the “Tri-Tip” hiking adventure, competing in tossing tater tots to friends at Mother’s Tavern, or camping at Montana de Oro. My Boston born roommate had schemed something much more intimidating… Running the SLO Marathon.

In the winter of 2013, I was challenged to complete the SLO Marathon, a running event and distance that challenges most “bucket list” graduation goals. Neither my roommate, or I, had ever consecutively run a distance that far to date, and were not training for anything in particular at the time. Essentially we were going from throwing parties, being in a band, and “studying” at The Library, to dedicating hours per week to running.

As someone who played intramural sports, this is what I was used to associating running with. If I went on a jog it was usually with the intent of “ball sports” fitness (softball, flag football, etc.). Once we committed to this challenge via race registration, the next step for me was putting a plan together.

A quick Google search later, I landed on the 16 week Marathon Rookie training schedule. I printed it out, taped it to my wall, and began following it as close as I could.

Without boring you with all my training stories, I’ll share my favorite moment during this period. It was a Saturday afternoon around 11 am in early March 2014, a little over a month before the race. Starting relatively close to campus, I had made my way past Bishop’s peak on LOVR, on my way to unknowingly running the farthest distance to date at about 24 miles. The long, windy LOVR stretch had brought me to a country side street called Turri Road. This time of year the mountainous surroundings in the area are a gorgeous green, so I made the impulsive decision to run northeast toward another one of the Nine Sister peaks.

Dragged my roommate along with me for a follow up training run on the same route.

As I began to solely make my way up the steepest climb of the run, I distracted myself by looking at the cattle and a distant tattered barn. Then in the corner of my eye something in the air caught my attention… I looked up and saw an act of nature that I could only compare to a scene from Planet Earth. Flying around was a Red-Shouldered Hawk. After a quick double-take, I realized in the grips of its talons was a squirming rattle snake! Watching in wonder, I began to feel excitement, and a powerful rush of emotion at about mile 10. A few seconds later a second hawk entered the scene in the attempt to steal the snake from the other!

The action was so quick I wish I could have stopped and stayed to watch, but I was committed to finishing this lengthy run. As I approached the crest of the hill I was pleased to see a lonely photographer sprawled in the grass capturing the scene I had just witnessed.

The euphoric, passionate rush of emotion I felt almost 3 years ago is a memory that has honestly yet to stray far from my thoughts. Not sure why I felt this way, but the well-known title of “runner’s high” is a term best used to describe this sensation. The combination of running in solitude, experiencing a sunny central coast spring day, and witnessing a bird’s dance with danger all together created a powerful image that for some reason I feel I will never forget.

Follow up run from Morro Bay to Turri Road to San Luis Obispo after the marathon.

A month later I finished the SLO Marathon with a 3 h 49 min time.

Shot right after the finish at Madonna Inn.

Since then I have run 3 marathons, and dozens of half-marathons spanning across California, with one in Singapore and one in Japan.

Currently reading: Galloway’s Book on Running (highly recommend it to runners of all levels)

Next trip: Snowboarding in Japan for New Year’s

Next race: Carlsbad Half Marathon

Living in North County San Diego, running with groups now.

Thanks for reading and keep on running!

Logan Laszczyk

Marathoner, Cal Poly Engineering Alum

Visit RaceSLO.com for upcoming events and to register today.

Established in 2008 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO family of annual events currently includes the SLO Marathon + Half and Family Fitness 5K (Spring), Healthy Running Conference (Spring), SLO GranFondo (Fall) and SLO Ultra at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall).

The Race SLO Team organizes and produces both fun and competitive running and cycling events that create a positive impact on both our participants and local communities.

Our mission: Through human experiences, we create social & economic impact to share our legacy.

Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!