Gaucho Gallop

Mother Nature is always the best event director and she did not disappoint this morning at the 2013 Gaucho Gallop presented by GEICO. With breakfast burritos from Country Catering and blue grass music by UCSB’s own Bren Grass from the school of Environment Studies awaiting the finishers at the Fitness Expo, it was the perfect kick-off to Alumni Saturday during the weekend’s All Gaucho Reunion.

Gaucho Gallop 2013

Beginning with the always popular Dioji Dog Dash, the Men’s category was won by Steve Harding and his wonder pup, Bob, in 2:35! Kelly Knowles and Tyrant ran away with the women’s title in 3:44. But, everyone is a winner in this one and I’m a strong believer that the world needs more doggie dashes (State Street Mile Dog Mile up next on June 2)!

After a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston tragedy two weeks ago, the Elite Performance 5K fun run & walk and the Santa Barbara Running Co. 10K, a part of the SBAA Grand Prix, got underway next. For the men in the 10K, Niall Coppinger, all the way from Dublin, Ireland, narrowly won over Tom Bullock, pulling away over the last half-mile. Niall won in 35:28 and Tom raced to a runner-up finish in 35:52. UCSB Alumna, Desa Mandarino won the women’s overall title in 42:02, followed by Elizabeth Schwyzer (open division winner) in 42:31. For the UCSB students, Sam Breyfogle and Laura Johnson took home the men’s and women’s student titles coming home in 40:39 and 43:30 respectively.

The last event of the day for the adults was the increasingly popular Gaucho Challenge presented by Santa Barbara Airbus, which mixes a good ‘ol fashion 5k with a bit of adventure racing.  A record 33 teams toed the line in true Gaucho spirit – with fantastic costumes – tackling mental, physical, and even gastronomic challenges.

Capping off the Gaucho Gallop was the G-KIDS Dash, where over 40 Santa Barbara kids, including a large contingent from Santa Barbara Running Co.’s Coyotes, took off in a mad dash around the baseball fields and into Harder Stadium (they pushed this lead runner to his limit!).

The Gaucho Gallop is put on by an incredible group of student interns working with the Alumni Association as well as a volunteer alumni committee who pitches in throughout the year. The races support the Alumni Association’s Student Scholarship Fund and in the last six years has raised over $40,000 for students in need. In 2013, the Gaucho Gallop grew by 20%, welcoming over 370 participants as well as their personal cheering squads for a fantastic morning of fitness and fun.

Thank you for everyone who came out and we can’t wait to see everyone back in 2014! (Dave Monico)

A beautiful day out on the UCSB campus for the 6th annual Gaucho Gallop. Thanks to race directors John Lofthus and David Monico and all the excellent volunteers. Results 5K & 10K:


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