Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Dec 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

We All Scream for Cycling

news_shonnyvanlandinghamXTERRA triathlon comes to Santa Cruz
After two years of working with the Department of Economic Development on special projects, such as bringing the Amgen Tour to Santa Cruz, Jennifer Karno wanted to do more to promote Santa Cruz as a destination for natural beauty and year-round outdoor adventure.

“Some people move to Santa Cruz because it’s a place where you can work hard and play hard, but we're not known for promoting it, so many don't realize that we have one of the biggest bike industries really in the country,” Karno says. "I'm passionate about bringing off- season tourism here in a sustainable way, because in that time between October and June our economy suffers.”

After a year and a half of consideration, an upcoming event that marks a public-private collaboration between XTERRA and the City of Santa Cruz, state parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks aims to do just that. Santa Cruz's own Wilder Ranch State Park will host the 2011 XTERRA triathlon Pacific Championship, including one of six regional championship races in XTERRA's America Tour.

"This will give Wilder some publicity and we will get people who have never even been to Santa Cruz to see the park," Karno says. "Which is great because without visitors, our park is dead."

Funding to California’s 279 state parks has been reduced drastically in recent years due to the state's budgetary hole. In November 2010, voters defeated Proposition 21, which would have raised $500 million a year for the parks by increasing vehicle license fees by $18 a year.

Wilder Ranch is vast and stretches from the edge of the UC Santa Cruz campus on Empire Grade west to Gray Whale Ranch and down to the bluffs, including the chaparral, grassy hills, and wetlands habitats. Wilder’s focus has been on preservation rather than recreation, and the park has not hosted a major event of this kind in 11 years.

Karno hopes to follow in the steps of other parks, like Annadel Park in Sonoma County, which hosted a two-day mountain bike race last year, in order to raise much-needed funding for Wilder. Funding from event parking, food vendors and sale of park merchandise will go to Wilder, and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will receive proceeds derived from runner and triathlete registration fees.

Preservation of the trails and wildlife habitat at Wilder was among top concerns in the design of the path across the mountains, which will only be open and in use for a few hours the morning of Sunday, May 15.

“We consulted groups like Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, XTERRA staff, park staff and others to know where the route would be,” says Kamo. “We took care not to go over sensitive ecosystems.”

Kathy Frank, who just returned from the International Triathlon Union World Cup championships in Spain, is very excited to see the XTERRA come to Santa Cruz.

“The course will be challenging and beautiful—Wilder has so much natural beauty and wildlife and we are going to keep it well maintained,” says Frank, who like many community members, has been deeply involved with the planning process, helping to chart out the single track paths and fire roads that make up the mountain course.

The weekend kicks off on Saturday, May 15 with five, 10 and 20km (half-marathon) races and a shorter sport distance race, followed by separate standard and championship triathlons on Sunday. Winners of the championship triathlon from each age bracket will qualify for the 2011 XTERRA World Championships.

Frank, who has been running triathlons for 30 years and won the XTERRA World Championship in Maui for her age bracket in 2008, says that the triathlon course, with ocean swimming and more than 2,000 feet of elevation gains and losses in the mountain bike route, will be very challenging. The route includes a 1.5K swim at Cowells Beach, a short bike ride down West Cliff Drive to the 14 miles of mountain bike trails at Wilders, and then back down to the bluff for a 10K—a course Frank says will be "stunningly beautiful."

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire