Veterans Day Run plans being made

By June Parks for Veterans Day Half Marathon

Veterans Day may be two months away, but plans already are being made for an annual Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon on Nov. 11.

Photo contributed

Business sponsors are being sought for an event that celebrates U.S. service members and gives athletes a chance to run along the American Riviera.

Santa Barbara resident June Parks has been getting the popular South Coast tradition back on its feet. Parks has been involved with the event for the past nine years, but in the wake of the recession a few years ago, the half-marathon took a turn for the worse. She is getting it back on track.

Over the years, each Veterans Day Half Marathon has drawn 2,000-8,000 runners along Santa Barbara streets. This year, it will start at Chase Palm Park, travel up Shoreline Drive and wind through the Mesa.

Aircraft flyovers and 181 U.S. flags will be featured along the route monitored by eight volunteer directors, Parks said.

The for-profit half-marathon is Parks’ business, but it also raises money for local charities. Runners can find their own charity as a sponsor or the event organizers can suggest one, Parks said.

Business sponsors still are being sought, and runners can still register at

A graduate of the Women’s Economic Ventures program, Parks ran track at Brandeis University before coming to Santa Barbara 14 years ago. She worked as an assistant track coach at SBCC from 2003-05.

After growing up near Boston, Parks said, she was inspired by the annual running event there.