Overall Rating
Overall Rating (120 Reviews)
4.7
(120 Ratings) 🏆 (120 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
4.9
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.6
Santa Barbara and the adjoining Santa Ynez Valley offer the ideal destination running experience. Held in early May on Mother’s Day weekend, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon is the perfect excuse to visit this haven for outdoor recreation. The area has plenty to offer including beach and ocean … MORE
Local Weather (May 13):
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
 
H (°F) 87 70 72 69 71
L (°F) 51 52 50 54 44
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Recent reviews

    Dayach FIRST-TIMER '22

    As a first timer doing this race and first timer in Solvang, CA, I had a wonderful experience! From the very detailed information prior to race day to the wine … MORE

    As a first timer doing this race and first timer in Solvang, CA, I had a wonderful experience! From the very detailed information prior to race day to the wine tasting expo the day before and wine tasting after the race. I wanted to wear a “costume” for the race and reached out to ensure this wasn’t a problem and I received a response within the hour!
    The scenery was beautiful from running through the neighborhood, the little shops and the views when reaching the top of the 7 miles and Al the animals along the way. At the beginning of the race, there is a little incline but no more than .2 of a mile and it kind of evens out and almost a slight decline in elevation. From mile 2-6 it’s a very light incline but feels more flat. There are definitely hills to tackle but personally I found corkscrew hill which is from mile 6.4 to 6.9 not as bad as I anticipated.. it then follows onto some rolling hills but very easy and manageable. The one I found challenging was the last little hill at around mile 11.5-12 probably because it is towards the end of the race where you are simply trying to cross the finish line. Overall, I found the route to be beautiful, well planned and challenging enough. I carry my own hydration pack but there seem to be plenty of water stations and people cheering which was nice. The parking was very accessible, we didn’t arrive until 6:30am and the race started at 7am. I also loved my pics which I purchased in advance with registration, I love my wine glass , (this was an extra charge for the wine festival at the end of the race) and the medal is very cool as the windmill spins. Overall experience was great and absolutely looking forward to next year’s race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '22

    This was my first time participating in the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon and it will not be my last. Packet pick-up runs from 1 - 7 pm on … MORE

    This was my first time participating in the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon and it will not be my last.

    Packet pick-up runs from 1 – 7 pm on Friday in Solvang Park. You can pay $25 to be able to pick-up your packet on race morning.

    On race morning, there are multiple parking and shuttle options. I opted to park and take one of the shuttles from Buellton. There were only a few other people on my bus. Perhaps later buses were more crowded.

    The course starts and finishes in Solvang and is a loop. The first half is goes gently uphill with a large climb around the halfway point. You are then rewarded with several miles of gentle rolling downhill before one more climb in the final stretch. The scenery was absolutely beautiful as you run through vineyards and fields with horses and cows. I enjoyed the views the entire time. My only complaint is that much of the road needed to be repaved. At times, it was uncomfortable to run on.

    Participants have the option of purchasing entry into the wine festival after the race. As I remember, it was $25 when registering or $45 on race day. If you enjoy wine, I highly recommend attending the festival. Participants received a wine glass and were able to taste wines from a nice selection of local wineries. For non-wine drinkers – Boochcraft Kombucha, Kona Brewing Company, Golden Road Brewing Company and Michellob Ultra were also at the festival.

    The festival went until Noon. The last bus to Buellton also left at Noon. They made multiple announcements of the last bus. Since I had been drinking, I decided to stay in Solvang and have lunch. I figured I would take an Uber or a Lyft back to Buellton once I was ready to go home. This ended up being a mistake on my part. There were very few Uber and Lyft drivers in the area. I ended up waiting over 45 minutes to get an Uber. I will plan better next time.

    Overall, this was a fantastic experience. Motiv puts on a quality race. I can’t wait to run it again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    michelle22 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Love this race! Easy packet pickup with swag you'd actually want to use (t-shirt, oatmeal, discounts for related races, reusable tote). Easy-to-find start line and plentiful aid stations throughout course … MORE

    Love this race! Easy packet pickup with swag you’d actually want to use (t-shirt, oatmeal, discounts for related races, reusable tote). Easy-to-find start line and plentiful aid stations throughout course with friendly, energetic volunteers. Course has some hills, but manageable – lots of gorgeous scenery, quiet and peaceful with very little car traffic (and great traffic control ready and waiting). Smooth finish line with just what you need (banana, water, FULL-SIZE parmesan crisps!) – quality medal and even a cute flower to make the race that much more charming.

    This was my second time on the course, and would definitely do it again. It’s less expensive than similar races and the value and care you receive is amazing!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Monique Mohajer
    movaness33 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Don’t stop running! Race had the best views of wineries and vineyards! The hills weren’t too bad. I wish there were more vendors at the expo. It was very minimal. … MORE

    Don’t stop running! Race had the best views of wineries and vineyards! The hills weren’t too bad. I wish there were more vendors at the expo. It was very minimal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    chiara.gallow FIRST-TIMER '22

    I really enjoyed my first half-marathon! It is a really nice race with a pleasant scenery. The organization was ok and the refreshment posts well located. MORE

    I really enjoyed my first half-marathon!
    It is a really nice race with a pleasant scenery.
    The organization was ok and the refreshment posts well located.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    vinbug FIRST-TIMER '22

    This race is full of wonderful runners all out to have a good time. Relaxed good spirit vibes. I’d say grab 3 friends and sign up. Plus it has a … MORE

    This race is full of wonderful runners all out to have a good time. Relaxed good spirit vibes. I’d say grab 3 friends and sign up. Plus it has a relay if people only want to run half. I’m adding this to my yearly races. Very cute town that you start and others you run into.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
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    JunS FIRST-TIMER '21

    Due to COVID, this race was postponed to October, but it still had nice wine country scenery. From the city center of Solving the first half was steady uphill, but … MORE

    Due to COVID, this race was postponed to October, but it still had nice wine country scenery. From the city center of Solving the first half was steady uphill, but nothing too steep. After the relay transition point at Los Olivos, a corkscrewed up hill killed my legs. The second half was steady downhill, except for the last small up hill before the goal.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Bridgette Werner
    bridgettewerner REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Expo was easy. Shuttle to & from was convenient. Plenty of water stations. Loved there was Nuun & water to pick from. Great volunteers...friendly & helpful. Beautiful scenery. Fun wine … MORE

    Expo was easy. Shuttle to & from was convenient. Plenty of water stations. Loved there was Nuun & water to pick from. Great volunteers…friendly & helpful. Beautiful scenery. Fun wine event afterwards. Cannot wait until 2022!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aprildejong FIRST-TIMER '21

    This course is a stunning run. It is hilly, especially in the later mileage. That being said it is worth it once you reach the top & get to see … MORE

    This course is a stunning run. It is hilly, especially in the later mileage. That being said it is worth it once you reach the top & get to see the sprawling wineries. Solvang is a cute & fun getaway for a weekend race vacation. I will definitely run this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Whitney Stone
    angels_1819 FIRST-TIMER '21

    -Biggest Con to me was the post race wine fest was crowded and in way to small of a space. -A few killer hills but good views. -Expo was lacking … MORE

    -Biggest Con to me was the post race wine fest was crowded and in way to small of a space.
    -A few killer hills but good views.
    -Expo was lacking
    -Race communication was good
    -loved that it was 70% women running

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    NickyC212 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is a beautiful scenic race. We were accommodated with a bus from our hotel and the event was well organized. Begin and end in Solvang - which is nice … MORE

    This is a beautiful scenic race. We were accommodated with a bus from our hotel and the event was well organized. Begin and end in Solvang – which is nice to explore after the race. The only complaint was how packed and condensed the wine festival was afterwards – a lot of people packed into a small area and the lines were long to sample drinks. Also, I think the best thing was running through the Fall scenery – not sure how it is in May. I’d definitely do this race again!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    vanessaAKruse REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Most beautiful race! Some steep hills, but the atmosphere keeps your chugging along. The weather is always amazing regardless of May or October. Must have race for anyone. MORE

    Most beautiful race! Some steep hills, but the atmosphere keeps your chugging along. The weather is always amazing regardless of May or October. Must have race for anyone.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    hkallison1 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Early start, steady uphill, one tough (corkscrew) hill to get through. The first two water stations were ridiculously crowded & had to stop & wait for a water. Beautiful scenery. … MORE

    Early start, steady uphill, one tough (corkscrew) hill to get through. The first two water stations were ridiculously crowded & had to stop & wait for a water. Beautiful scenery. Second half of run is mostly downhill, road is rough in spots, tried to run in the dirt to avoid the uneven pavement. One last tough hill at the end of the run. The finish was nice & is in in lovely downtown Solvang. Paid extra for a wine glass & tastings, which I feel should be included in the entry fee. Overall good run, fun atmosphere & good time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    inelzone FIRST-TIMER '21

    I was curious about this 1/2 marathon, at one of my happy places in the world, Solvang. The views and scenary did not disappoint, never really been down deep into … MORE

    I was curious about this 1/2 marathon, at one of my happy places in the world, Solvang. The views and scenary did not disappoint, never really been down deep into the valley. It was spectacular to say the least! The course had many rolling hills, which made it challenging. The hill at mile 12 was the hardest. The difficulty was well worth it though

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    tracywc FIRST-TIMER '21

    I did this with my hubby who is a great runner and it was perfect for both of us ! The location was perfect and the hotel was so convenient. … MORE

    I did this with my hubby who is a great runner and it was perfect for both of us ! The location was perfect and the hotel was so convenient. It was a beautiful course and really friendly people. It was well organized and the wine festival at the end was FANTASTIC!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Sarah Sparks Root
    sarahbug5 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This was my 5th time running this course and it gets better every time! The course, while challenging, is absolutely beautiful and the support along the course is fantastic! I … MORE

    This was my 5th time running this course and it gets better every time! The course, while challenging, is absolutely beautiful and the support along the course is fantastic! I look forward to this event all year long!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    CAsmussen REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Corkscrew hill is always tough but beautiful! Then it’s smooth sailing for 5 miles after. Mile 12 always gets you and it’s a gradual hill for like 2/3 of the … MORE

    Corkscrew hill is always tough but beautiful! Then it’s smooth sailing for 5 miles after. Mile 12 always gets you and it’s a gradual hill for like 2/3 of the way. Plenty of water stations. Very organized and always an amazing medal!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    COrunner FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first racecation but I have run many many half marathons. We had a group of 10 ladies traveling mostly from Colorado and it was a great time! … MORE

    This was my first racecation but I have run many many half marathons. We had a group of 10 ladies traveling mostly from Colorado and it was a great time! The race was beautiful and not as hard as advertised. The hill at mile 6.4 was steep but only half a mile with lots of downhill after. Great course to negative split on:) I thought the smaller hills near the end when you were tired were more difficult. My watch only said 700+ feet of elevation gain, not the 1200 advertised that made us all a little nervous – I am glad we drove the course beforehand. I felt aid stations were adequate and offered electrolytes and water. The relay option was great for having friends come along that didn’t want to commit to the half marathon distance. The Danish town of Solvang was adorable and we enjoyed great breakfasts, dinners and wine tastings. The Hotel Corque was conveniently located to the race start and finish and had great amenities and very comfortable beds. We loved the ease of flying into Santa Barbara airport. I would definitely consider running this race again! My only wishes were that the wine festival started later as 9:30 is a little early yo drink wine and that the shirt was a little better quality so I would be proud to wear it often.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Bailey Immel
    baileyimmel FIRST-TIMER '21

    Had a wonderful time with this half! It was my first but it was absolutely gorgeous and so much fun! Everything went so smoothly and the course was amazing. I … MORE

    Had a wonderful time with this half! It was my first but it was absolutely gorgeous and so much fun! Everything went so smoothly and the course was amazing. I didn’t attend the wine tasting afterwards, but there are so many fun places to get food and wine around the town which was nice!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Brian Roeder
    redroeder REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Fantastic race with fantastic people! Incredible organization with plenty of aid stations and porta potties throughout the length of the course. My only complaint is this years shirt was VERY … MORE

    Fantastic race with fantastic people! Incredible organization with plenty of aid stations and porta potties throughout the length of the course. My only complaint is this years shirt was VERY substandard!!!
    When are race organizers going to quit trying to convince runners, shitty cotton-blends are some kind of usable technical t-shirt???? Not cool, ESPECIALLY charging $130!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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