Sunday, January 27, 2013

Santa Barbara Athletic Club

In 2012 I decided to join Santa Barbara Athletic Club. I had never joined a running club before and wasn’t really sure what to expect. SBAA ended up being a great group of friendly runners who were always very welcoming. I was happy that I had decided to join and I encourage all runners to join their local running club. It is a great way to meet other local runners and to get plugged in on local running events. This year I also plan on joining, but the online registration is still currently under construction.

SBAA also organizes a series of races called the Grand Prix series. To join Grand Prix is an extra $10 and somewhere around twenty two local races are part of the series. Once you join, you compete against people in your age group. In my age group, I needed to complete four of these races in order to qualify. I ended up completing six races.
Jacket and pint glass!
Surprisingly, I held first place in my age group for the first couple of months, but then a very fast lady joined and kicked my butt! After getting injured, I expected to loose my second place standing, but managed to hold it when the lady in third place didn’t run any of the GP events during my down time. To my surprise, I managed to finish the year in second place!

I had started out the year thinking I would just do the GP series for fun. I’m not fast, but I am consistent and this year consistency paid off. In December when SBAA held their annual banquet, I received a nice GP running jacket and a second place pint glass! I was thrilled! It’s not often I actually place in a running event!

I don't drink beer, but this is pretty cool!
If your local running club holds a series like this, join it! You never know how it will turn out and you might just end up surprising yourself. It’s a great motivator to get out there and run!