American Riviera Bank Pace Groups


Running a marathon is hard. It's hard the first time and it's hard the tenth time. So the American Riviera Bank Pace Team supports all sorts of runners, from beginner to elite runner.  They’ve got experience, patience and whole lot of energy. Whatever your level, our Pace Team Leaders can get you through the race.

Pace Leaders may be found at race start holding up signs with goal pace times. There will also be a Pacer Booth at the Expo staffed from 10AM-6PM.  The Pacer Booth volunteers will be happy to answer your pacing questions and will be giving away limited quantities of temporary pace tattoos from Taz Running as long as they last.

Half Marathon: 1:30, 1:45, 2:00 and Full Marathon Pace Groups: 3:00, 3:05, 3:10, 3:15, 3:25, 3:30, 3:40, 3:45, 3:55, 4:00, 4:10, 4:25, and 4:30

Any questions about our pace groups? Contact Craig Prater at


Michael Desmond 130 half, 125 pixelHalf Marathon Pacers

1:30 Michael Desmond

Michael Desmond is a local attorney and a blazing fast runner.  His Marathon PR is 2:56 (Santa Barbara, 2013) and half marathon PR of 1:20 (Philadelphia 2009) and recently finished 3rd overall in the notoriously difficult Pier to Peak half marathon. Michael will be at the expo 4-6 pm on Friday if you have any questions, or you can email him at


Patrick Lemieux 145 half-125 pixel1:45 Patrick Lemieux

Patrick Lemieux is a professor of mechanical engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His half marathon PR is a 1:28 and his marathon PR is a 3:17.



Bill BK Kelley 200 half2:00 Bill “BK” Kelley

Bill “BK” Kelley lives and runs in Santa Barbara.  His marathon PR is 3:11 (Santa Barbara) and his half marathon PR is 1:29 (Santa Barbara old course). When BK is not running, he enjoys training for triathlons, snow skiing, scuba diving, and spending time with my wife and 1-year old daughter.

Bill’s pacing plans:

“A 2:00 half marathon is 9:09 pace. I plan to run about a 9:00 pace on the flat miles, which should save roughly 30 seconds extra for the stretch up Modoc Rd. and another 60 seconds for the Cliff Dr. hill. It’s all downhill from there… literally!”

Contact BK at with any questions.

Full Marathon Pacers

marcelo 330, 1st half 125 pixelIan Sherman3:00 Marcelo Mejia-Perez (1st half) and Ian Sherman (2nd half)

Marcelo is one of Santa Barbara’s fastest and most natural trail runners.  His PRs include 3:48 for a 50K trail race, 2:51 for the full marathon and 1:20 for the half marathon.  Ian Sharman is an online distance running coach (NASM and USATF certified) and runner for Scott Running who has represented England for ulrarunning. He's run over 180 ultras and marathons in over 30 countries globally in the past 8 years, including a marathon PR of 2:32 and the North American record for a 100 mile trail run – 12:44. He's known for pacing very evenly in both marathons and ultras and usually runs even splits for marathons and even ultras. The 3 hour pace group is in for a treat!  The 3 hour pace group will plan to start out a little slow for the first 2-3 miles and then plan to bank about 30-45 seconds before the hill at mile 23.

Matt Dubberly 305 1st halfRob Ramirez 300 2nd half3:05 Matt Dubberly (1st half) and Rob Ramirez(2nd half). 

Matt Dubberley paced for the 3:00 pace group last year and is returning to help out again.  Matt is also part of a group of Santa Barbara runners that recently ran from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to the north rim…and back again! When he is not running, he stays active with rock climbing, cycling and kite surfing.  Rob Ramirez graciously stepped up as pacer at the last minute after another pacer was sidelined with an injury. Rob only started running in his late 30s yet finishes near the front at many local road and trail races. Matt and Rob will provide steady pacing to get you to the bottom of the Cliff Drive hill at least 30 seconds ahead of a 3:05 pace and put you in a position for a strong finish.

Craig Prater 310 1st halfJill Christ 310 2nd half3:10 Craig Prater (1st half) and Jill Christ (2nd half)

Craig and Jill’s message:Hi everyone! We’re looking forward to being your pacers for the 3:10 pace group. Craig is one of the few people to have participated in every previous Santa Barbara International Marathon, so he is very familiar with the course. Craig’s marathon PR is 2:59 (Berlin) and half marathon PR is 1:25 (Ventura) and Jill’s marathon PR is 3:04 (Long Beach) and half PR is 1:25 (Austin). Our pacing plan will run an even pace of 7:13 min/mile.  This will allow us to bank about 45 seconds by the time we hit the Cliff Drive hill (mile 23) in the 2nd half.  This cushion will allow you to run the hill comfortably and finish strong.  At the halfway point, Craig will hand you over to Jill Christ who will take you to the finish. Email us at or with any questions.”

Chrystee 315 1st half, 125 pixelChris Hillyer 305 2nd half3:15 Chrystee Bradley (1st half and Chris Hillyer (2nd half)

Chrystee Bradley and Chris Hillyer will be taking the 1st and 2nd half of the 3:15 pace group.  Both are a former collegiate runners. Chrystee is a long time resident of Santa Barbara.  In addition to very consistent pacing, she loves to act as a running tour guide, sharing points of interest along the marathon route.  Chrystee’s marathon PR is 2:55 (Long Beach). Chris has a recent half marathon time of 1:28 and then completed a marathon in June with a 3:10 finish on about 3 weeks of training.   Though just prior he ran the Grand Canyon, rim to rim to rim!  Chrystee and Chris’s pacing plan is to go out at a 7:24 pace and hold it. That will put you on pace to be about a minute ahead of schedule by the Cliff Drive hill at mile 23.


George Williams 3253:25 George Williams

George Williams, our 3:25 pacer is a bit of a legend in our local running community. In addition to being an extraordinary masters runner, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of local plants. George was our 3:30 pacer last year and will pace our 3:25 group this year. George has a 1/2 marathon PR: of 1:23:03 and a marathon PR: 3:06:13. George will be at the expo from around noon to 5 pm on Friday. 

George’s pacing plans: “A constant 7:49 pace will achieve a finishing time of 3:24:57. SBIM is generally bumpy but there are two hills that I notice — one starts at mile ~18 and is a long gradual grind up to 20.5, the other starts at ~23.1 and lasts for about half a mile and is quite steep. Both hills are followed by a downhill stretch. I do not recommend a constant pace. I would like the first mile to be a little slow 10 secs or so, but going out a little fast is tempting (there's a nice downhill stretch) so I'll be happy if we're on pace. My intent is to average a 7:45 pace for the first 23 miles; some of the downhills will probably be a little faster than this, and some uphills a little slower. One goes up the last hill as best one can, and then at mile ~24+ there is a long 2 mile downhill which cries out to be run faster. My goal is to get you to the top of that hill around 3:07:40 so that a 7:49 pace from there on will get you to the finish line by 3:25. My hope is that you'll be able to go faster on the downhill and shave a minute or two off that if you want.”

Dan Rudd 330 1st halfJohn and Cindy Abrami 330 2nd half-33:30 Dan Rudd

(1st half) John and Cindy Abrami (2nd half)

Dan Rudd obtained both his half marathon PR (1:24, Ventura) and marathon PR (2:57, Berlin)  this year at the ripe young age of 51.  Dan plans on running his fifth of the original five World Majors in London this coming spring.  Dan also spent a lot of time on the trails earlier this year culminating in successful "Rim to Rim to Rim" ultra-run at the Grand Canyon.

John and Cindy Abrami are the dynamic duo of Santa Barbara athletic community.  Cindy is an accomplished masters runner and frequently tops the podium in local races as well as competing nationally.  In addition to being a great runner, John is an exceptional swimmer and swim coach.  If you want to take your race to the next level, you will be in great company in this pace group. Dan, John and Cindy plan to bank about 1.5-2 minutes in advance of the hill at mile 23.

Stacey Bailey 3353:35 Stacey Bailey

Stacey Bailey moved to Santa Barbara two years ago and has run in many local races.  Her marathon PR is 3:00:59 (Tucson) and half marathon PR is 1:25 (Valley of the Sun). Stacey’s pacing plans:

“I plan to start out 10-15 sec/mile slower than race pace for the first three miles to warm up, then drop to race pace, trying to be 45-60 seconds ahead at mile 23. This will give us plenty of time to get up the hill at mile 23 and finish strong! I will not be able to be at the expo, but you can email me at or catch me race morning with any questions”

Andrew Calasanz 3403:40 Andrew Calasanz

Andrew lives in where he is working towards a graduate degree in health care administration.  He loves to run, cycle and travel anywhere there is good food and wine.  A sprinter in high school, Andrew got into marathons in 2000 with a marathon PR of 3:14 (Tucson).  He has paced Surf City, Orange County and Ventura marathons. Andrew plans to start off a few seconds slow for the first 3 miles to warm up and steadily increasing and maintaining race pace.   He suggests: “Be patient and stay at pace.  Conserve all that nervous energy in the first half so you have something in the second half to finish strong.”

Andrew will be at the expo Friday around noon or email with any questions.

Phil Nigh 3453:45 Phil Nigh

Phil is a veteran runner and pacer for the Santa Barbara marathon.  His marathon PR is 3:22 and half marathon PR is 1:30. He is such a dedicated pacer he ran 26.2 miles on October 9th at exactly a 3:45 finish time just to practice.   Phil’s pace plan is to run 8:31s to mile 23 then mile 23 to 24 at 9:50 pace. Miles 24 to 26.2 at an 8:34:30 pace to put the group at the finish at 3:44:44. Phil will be at the pace booth at the marathon expo around 2:00 PM on Friday.  Email with any questions.




Ron Kalich 3553:55 Ron Kalich

Ron Kalich hails from San Ramon, CA in San Francisco East Bay. Ron has run over 60(!) marathons since Dec 2006.  His marathon and half marathon PRs are 3:39 (CIM) and 1:41(Primo's Run for Education). Ron’s pacing plan is:

“Warm up into a pace slightly ahead of even splits, slightly faster on flats and downhills -- we will run to the terrain with an even effort over the marathon.“

Ron will be at the expo from 7-8 PM on Friday or email

Troy Hinshaw 4004:00 Troy Hinshaw

Troy lives and runs in Santa Barbara.  His  marathon PR is 3:29 (Boston) and his half marathon PR is 1:34 (Santa Barbara).  Troy’s pacing plans:

“There are a few places late in the marathon that challenge you when you're already tired. One is miles 19-21 (Modoc drive) and the other is Cliff (mile 23). Some people experience the "wall" between mile 17-23 so knowing it's coming we need to recognize it so we can back off and meet it head on.  My plan is to run the first two miles at 9:15 then mile 3-19 at 9:00 minute pace. That will give us almost 3 minutes of bank time. Using one minute of that on mile 20 and 2 minutes on cliff.  If we need to withdraw 30 seconds a couple of times anywhere else on the course we would still have 1 extra minute for Cliff drive. After Cliff we will have our first downhill leading to the finish and hopefully we will have a mental advantage.” 

Email Troy at with any questions.

Erin Moline 4104:10 Erin Moline

Erin has completed 7 full marathons, one ultramarathon, 2 triathlons, multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5k races.  Her half marathon is 1:47 (Oakland Running Festival) and her marathon PR is 03:54:4 (Nike women's marathon).

Erin’s pacing plans:

“I have I have been running for 20 years because it makes me feel happy and fit. I have run thousands of miles alone, but running in good company is far more enjoyable. I look forward to supporting other runners reach their marathon goal as other runners have done for me in the past. I'd like to be 2 minutes ahead of schedule at mile 24. Times tend to slow at that point anyway and I'd like to allow for that with the hill. Otherwise, I like to best try to keep an even pace throughout.”

Email Erin at with questions.

Doug McKay 425Meri Smalstig 4254:25 Doug McKay and Meri Smalstig

Doug McKay will lead our 4:25 pace group for the full marathon with Meri Smalstig. Doug lives in Fullerton, CA and has been running since 2007. He has a marathon PR of 3:35 (Santa Rosa) and a half marathon PR of 1:33 (Palm Springs). Doug plans to be at the marathon expo by about 3 pm on Friday Nov 8 if you have any questions.

Doug’s pacing plans: “Prior to starting, I like to quickly touch base with as many runners as I can from our pace group, to see how everyone is doing and celebrate what we are about to accomplish. My job is to lead, motivate and bring everyone in at 4:25. My plan will be to take the group out and establish a fairly consistent pace by mile 2. This is important, as everyone is excited and ready to go when we first start, but consistency is key for the full 26.2. We will talk a little about Cliff Drive hill at mile 23 as it draws near and will be put a little time in the bank for it as well. Once we have it behind us, the focus goes to closing out the final miles and a great smile for the finish line.”

Arnie Brier 430Wendy Kosche 4304:30 Arnie Brier and Wendy Kosche

This is the third year that Arnie and Wendy will be sharing the 4:30 pace group. Arnie has been running consistently for 25 years, and competitively for about 13 years. He has run 20 marathons with a 3:33 marathon PR (St. George). Arnie says his main motivation for running is so that he can eat as much as he wants!  Wendy has been running since 2003 and has a half marathon PR of 1:48 and an interesting story about her marathon PR, but you have to run in her pace group to hear it…

Arnie comments, “I've run all over the world and every continent except Antarctica.  Santa Barbara is one of the greatest - varied topography, beautiful scenery, consistent weather, and almost always cool mornings. In the race we'll run at a fairly consistent pace with the goal to be 2 to 3 minutes ahead of the pace at the beginning of the 23 mile hill.”

Wendy adds, “The past two years have been a lot fun, rewarding for the runners and both of us, and most importantly we've crossed the finish line on time each time!  You bring the goal of finishing in 4:30, and we'll bring jokes and stories to keep you entertained throughout the race.”




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