Vintners Race 01

Foxen Vineyards winemaker/co-owner Billy Wathen tackles the course at the 2016 Vintners 5 Miler among the Santa Rita Hills near Lompoc. Wathen finished the course in 1 hour, 18.55 seconds, good for a pace of 15:47 per mile. 

The third running of the Vintners 5 Miler plus 1 Mile Wine Walk is slated for Saturday, July 22, again hosted at Sanford Winery traversing the Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict Vineyards.

This off-road running event, presented by the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, will begin at 9 a.m. in front of the winery and cover a 5- or 1-mile course suitable for runners and walkers of all age and abilities. The mixed terrain 5-mile course includes a 350-foot ascent to a spectacular overlook with a commanding view of the Sta. Rita Hills. New this year, the 5 Miler is a Santa Barbara Athletic Association Grand Prix scoring event.

“At our third edition, we expect another record turnout for this one-of-a-kind Central Coast community event that benefits the Vintners Foundation, and we look forward to welcoming everybody from serious runners to first-timers to their family and friends,” said Sanford winemaker, race founder, avid runner and Vintners Foundation President Steve Fennell. “Post-race at the Finish Line Festival, we will also celebrate the upcoming 2017 harvest with world class wine tasting, local food, live music and a family-friendly kids zone."

Finishers (21 and older) will receive a commemorative wine glass along with their wine-themed collectible medal and event T-shirt. In addition to the run/walk, participants will enjoy a Finish Line Festival that will include local wineries pouring and regional chefs serving their fare.

Last year, Ramiro Guillen and Dani Moreno, of Santa Barbara, won the second Vintners 5 Miler, clocking 27 minutes, 7 seconds as men’s champion, while defending champion Moreno crossed the finish line in 32:30. The top team was the Screwcaps (Ricky Ho, Tim Strand, Andrea Schettler, Mark Fennell and Teri Malinowski), who averaged 34:29.

The Vintners 5 Miler was conceived by Fennell, who dreamed of hosting a community inspired event to benefit the Foundation in the beautiful Sta. Rita Hills. The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation supports local organizations, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, People Helping People of the Santa Ynez Valley, Direct Relief, Allan Hancock College Enology/Viticulture Program, Arts Outreach of the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara Foundation, as well as a scholarship program for students who plan to make careers in the wine industry.

For more information and to register, visit

This report was compiled by Mary Ann Norbom. You can reach her at Follow her on Twitter @MANorbomSYVNews


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