Director's Corner w/ Bill Escobar

Elite Sports California

RM Director’s Corner

Bill Escobar, Elite Sports California

Event: Surfer’s Point Marathon, November 16, 2014


Social: FB Twitter @EliteSportsCA

With the weather cooling and the days getting shorter, we’re big fans of the fall and winter running season here in Southern California.  We also love to share cool events and the people who put them on with our community.  In this addition we caught up with Bill Escobar, founder of Elite Sports, and the race director of the Surfer’s Point Marathon in Ventura, California.  And by the way, how many races have tacos and beer at the finish line party!

RM: What was the first year of the Surfer’s Point Marathon?

BE: 2013

RM: How long have you been hosting races and how did it all begin?

BE: I spent 18 years selling residential real estate and in 2008 the market fell apart and I decided to make my own mark and developed Elite Sports California.  We produce 12 events a year and average 800 to 1000 athletes at every event.

RM: What’s your competitive background?

BE: I earned my high school CIF championship position in cross country in 1979 - 9th overall in the state meet.  I have completed over 12 half ironman distance triathlon events and 5 full Ironman distance triathlon events.

RM: Tell us a little about the history of your event?

BE: In early 2013 we decided to add this event to our lineup and asked ourselves "What would I want in a Marathon Course?"  We carefully picked out some of the most beautiful spots along the Ventura Coast line and the course was born.  We wanted this to be a special event so we made sure to have this course USATF Certified so that I would qualify as a Boston Qualifier course.

RM: Describe the race, what is the course like? Are there unique points along the way?

BE: The course was designed with the runner in mind. This course has ocean views 95% of the time and many runners tend to daydream along the course because its sooo pretty out there.  Plus, we have some of our best running weather in November.

RM: How many racers do you expect on race day?

BE: In our first year we had 1000 runners and this year we expect about 1200 by race day.

RM: Describe the typical participant of your race? Do you have a professional field at your race?

BE: Our events draw runners from all levels of fitness and from over 17 different states.

RM: Does the marathon support any charities or non-profit organizations?

BE: We donate to local charities that help out on race day as our volunteer teams.   We wanted to make sure that the monies we donate go to LOCAL charities and ones that help the youth of our community.

RM: What makes this run unique?

BE: Checkout the race day Video and you will see for yourself that this beachfront Marathon is in a class of its own.  The views are simply AMAZING!

RM: Local knowledge - are there any great parts of your race or the Ventura area that you would suggest people visit while they are here for the event?

BE: Spend the day on the beach after your race.  What could be better than that?

RM: Prizes? Swag? Sponsors? What should the racers expect?

BE: Every runner will receive the following on race day: custom finisher medal, custom race day tech shirt, water bottle, custom reusable goody bag, one Ice Cold glass of 805 beer and a plate of street tacos.  We give out awards in all race distances in 10 different age groups.  Our swag is some of the best around,  custom ditty bags, beach chairs, embroidered duffle bags and cash cards.

RM: How has the sport of running evolved and has it affected the races you direct?

BE: The need for quality events has always been there; we answered the call.  Each year we add a little more cool stuff to the runner's goodies and that helps us to keep growing.

RM: We don't want to get too negative, but what’s your biggest headache as a race director?

BE: People showing up late for the race and getting mad at me for starting the race on time.  One of our signatures is that we ALWAYS start ON TIME!

RM: Besides this race. Do you have a dream race you want to create?

BE:  Yes, we are currently working on a Triathlon series of races - 3 to be exact.  Our biggest challenge is to keep the cost down so that the numbers work.  We want this series to be a staple in this area but it has to be top notch so we won’t announce the first one until all of our ducks are in a row.

RM: Any last thoughts or shout outs?

BE: A shout out to all of our repeat athletes.  Many of our athletes have competed in most of our events through the years and we really appreciate the loyalty.  Some of the best stories I hear are ones of personal achievement while competing in some of our events.

RM: Thanks, Bill!

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