Ear to the Ground April / May 2016

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region


Wildflower Voted Top 10 Destination Race

Wildflower Triathlons (Kaori Photo).

Photo: Kaori Photo.

Tri-California Events has earned yet another title for their iconic Wildflower Triathlons. Complete Tri, a leading triathlon apparel website, recently listed Wildflower as one of the top 10 destination races in the United States. Complete Tri awarded the ranking to triathlons that offer a variety of racing distances, have also stood the test of time, and offer a special venue. This year’s Wildflower Triathlons, held throughout the weekend of April 30-May 1 offer all of this and much more.

“Wildflower’s setting in the active Central Coast of California is one of many reasons athletes travel to this special race,” says Colleen Bousman, President of Tri-California. “Athletes and spectators attending the festival will never be at a loss for things to do. The outdoor venue includes live bands, as well as Yoga in the Park, nature hikes along the lake bed, a group mountain bike ride, race clinics, a corn hole tournament, and a large array of exhibitor booths, all lending their touch of fun for a fantastic weekend. This world renown event is an industry leader and earned its name of One and Only since there is nothing quite like it.” For more information on this event, turn to our Event Profiles section on page 33.
Big Sur Marathon Debuts New Race Series

From crashing waves to verdant vineyards, a new race series comes to Monterey County. “Waves to Wine” is a three race challenge selected from the Big Sur Marathon’s family of events.

Special Waves to Wine Challenge medals will be presented to all those who finish both the newly-acquired Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 6 and the Half Marathon on Monterey Bay on November 13, and either one of the April Big Sur Marathon events (9-mile distance or greater), or the Run in the Name of Love 5K race held on Father’s Day, June 19. A vast array of prizes from sponsors will also be given out.

“We feel our four events are some of the most beautiful in the country,” said Doug Thurston, Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon organization. “More and more runners like the extra challenge, rewards and bragging rights of completing a race series.” Learn more at bsim.org.


Big Sur Marathon Debuts New Race Series

Photo: Reno DiTullio.

Photo: Reno DiTullio.

From crashing waves to verdant vineyards, a new race series comes to Monterey County. “Waves to Wine” is a three race challenge selected from the Big Sur Marathon’s family of events.

Special Waves to Wine Challenge medals will be presented to all those who finish both the newly-acquired Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 6 and the Half Marathon on Monterey Bay on November 13, and either one of the April Big Sur Marathon events (9-mile distance or greater), or the Run in the Name of Love 5K race held on Father’s Day, June 19. A vast array of prizes from sponsors will also be given out.

“We feel our four events are some of the most beautiful in the country,” said Doug Thurston, Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon organization. “More and more runners like the extra challenge, rewards and bragging rights of completing a race series.” Learn more at bsim.org.


Royal Robbins’ Green and Socially Responsible Initiatives
Royal Robbins’ commitment to environmental and social responsibility dates back to the brand’s birth in the Yosemite Valley in 1968. Today, thanks to newly appointed CEO , Royal Robbins is doubling down on its founder’s original commitment to environmental preservation by signing on as a bluesign System Partner. Iconic rock climber Royal Robbins was one of the first and most vocal proponents of clean climbing. In 1967, he and his wife, Liz, made the first ascent of Nutcracker in the Yosemite Valley using only removable nuts for protection. It was the first climb of its kind in the United States. In May 1967, Robbins advocated using nuts rather than pounding pitons into the granite cracks in his seminal article in Summit Magazine. “Environmental safekeeping is the core foundation of our brand’s heritage,” said Millenacker. “We are devoted to continuing and expanding on Royal and Liz’s original vision. We are committed to social responsibility and are taking several steps to improve our day-to-day business.”

Royal Robbins is committed to minimizing the environmental and social impacts typically associated with apparel production. Royal Robbins partnered with bluesign in order to evaluate and reduce its textile production and manufacturing chain’s environmental impacts. Millenacker will work with factory partners to improve performance and reduce impacts in resource and energy productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions, and occupational health and safety.
Royal Robbins has long adhered to a detailed Code of Conduct and requires that its manufacturing partners be committed to the same principles as well, including ethical standards, fair labor practices, anti-discrimination measures, and environmental safekeeping. To ensure compliance, Royal Robbins conducts annual audits through third-party social compliance auditing firms.

Millenacker knows firsthand the importance of environmental and social responsibility to the Robbins’ and their brand. He served as Royal Robbins’ director of sales and marketing in the 1990s, reporting directly to Royal. In late 2015, he returned to the heritage brand after serving as president of Eagle Creek and vice president of sales at The North Face. Millenacker is committed to following in the Robbins’ footsteps and extending this responsibility ethic to all aspects of the heritage apparel brand.


Sierra Nevada College Takes Three National Championships

Photo: Sierra Nevada College.

Photo: Sierra Nevada College.

At the close of the 2016 US Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Collegiate National Championships in mid-March, Sierra Nevada College (SNC) Tahoe’s men and women had captured either the gold or silver overall team titles in all three of their divisions – snowboarding, freeskiing, and alpine skiing.

The Men’s teams captured the Gold in snowboarding and the Silver overall in both freeskiing and alpine skiing, while the women’s teams brought home two Golds overall in alpine and freeskiing, plus a Silver in snowboarding.
At press time, the college’s president, Dr. Alan Walker, was set to compete in the 2016 NASTAR national races in Steamboat, CO. Walker is an accomplished NASTAR ski racer who has qualified for the NASTAR national championships in each of the last three years and earned a silver medal in his division racing out of Ohio in 2015.

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