As Addi Zerrenner describes it, racing through the trails of Elings Park is like putting 100-pound weights on each of your legs.
Yet, the Santa Barbara native can’t get enough of it.
“You find a way to push through it, actually enjoy it,” Zerrenner said.
Zerrenner was the top female finisher in the 4th of July 15K race on Thursday morning, finishing seventh overall with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 23 seconds.
Coming off a marathon just a couple of weeks ago, Zerrenner didn’t approach Thursday’s race as competition, although that doesn’t mean her competitive gene was apparent.
“I’m not just going to let someone beat me if I can control it,” said Zerrenner, who spends most of her days training other athletes, while also working out a couple of times per day herself.
Laguna Blanca cross country coach and relative race newcomer, Jeffrey Stern, set the pace early and coasted to the 15K victory at 59:17, 31 seconds in front of Christian Gilbert.
“I wanted to set the tone early and see if anyone was going to keep up,” Stern said.
Stern is coming off a year of multiple second-place finishes, including last year’s 15K.
“It’ll be nice to have bragging rights for the next year,” Stern said, also speaking to his affinity for participating in races with plenty of history, which this race definitely qualifies for.
Third through sixth places were all runners from Goleta, with Will Gravelle taking third (1:02.41), Scott Chow was fourth (1:02.52), Joseph Pearlman was fifth (1:05.10) and Ian Morgan was sixth (1:06.03).
In the first finish of the day, Jake Ballantine of Santa Barbara High finished more than a minute ahead of the rest of the pack, winning the 5K race with a time of 20 minutes and 18 seconds. Five of the top six finishers are from the South Coast, with the only outlier being Peter Williams, who finished second at 21:34.
Rounding out the top five were Dominic Ranelletti (21:47), Eamon Gordon (21:53) and Morgan Young (22:40).
Semana Nautica has a full schedule this weekend, starting with an ocean water polo exhibition at 11 a.m. today at Stearns Wharf, while there is also a kitesurfing competition at a time to be determined based on the wind.
On Saturday, the 83rd Santa Barbara Tennis Open kicks off at both the Municipal Tennis Courts and Pershing Park, while West Beach will host a Kardboard Kayak race starting at noon. There is also an age group swim starting at 8 a.m. at Los Banos del Mar pool.
On Sunday, the Semana Nautica 6-mile Ocean Swim starts at Goleta Beach and will end at Hendry’s Beach, with competition starting at 9 a.m. Both the tennis tournament and age group swim meets continue on Sunday.