Half marathon has new route, new partner

Nearly 2,000 runners are expected to participate in the 13th annual Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon on Saturday, May 11,  and this year the event has the Chumash Casino Resort as a new partner.

Through the partnership, the Chumash will host a photo opportunity booth at the fitness fair after the race. Additionally, the resort-owned Hotel Corque will serve as the official headquarters hotel for runners and event staff.

This year, the race will feature a revamped route that starts and finishes at Solvang Park.

After crossing the finish line, participants are invited to join family and friends to relax and sip wines from 20 wineries at the post-race Wine & Music Festival in Solvang Park.

Runners can also choose the two-person half-marathon relay option for a shorter run that includes the wine tasting.

Race weekend kicks off Friday, May 10, with a free public fitness expo from 1 to 7 p.m. in downtown Solvang. More than 50 exhibitors will offer free nutritional samples, the latest in running gear and sports apparel, and a series of interactive clinics.

For more information or to register, visit www.motivrunning.com/santabarbara-wine-country-halfmarathon/race/race-info/.


Johnson Family Dental offers Free Dental Day

Dr. Steven Johnson will host the 17th Free Dental Day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at Johnson Family Dental’s Solvang office, 678 Alamo Pintado Road.

More than 200 people are expected to turn out for the event, where Johnson, his staff, sponsors and volunteers help people in urgent need of dental work, treating patients for a filling, extraction or cleaning. Patients will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Johnson Family Dental is based in Santa Barbara with offices in Solvang, Ventura, Camarillo and Port Hueneme. Learn more at johnsonfamilydental.com


Local expert to examine changes in forest fires

Vegetation ecologist Dr. Nicole Molinari will talk about the impacts of wildfire in Southern California’s national forests at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Los Olivos Community Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave.

The free lecture is open to all members of the public and co-hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society and the Los Olivos Library.

For millennia, fire has played an integral role in shaping plant communities across California. Today, however, fire frequency, size and severity seem to be steadily increasing across the state. What are the causes and consequences of these changes? 

Molinari works for the U.S. Forest Service, stationed at Los Padres National Forest headquarters. She received her MS in biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from UCB.

To learn more about the Natural History Society’s upcoming programs, visit syvnature.org.