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  • Chris Twomey June 2018 $55.00
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  • Christohper Twomey June 2018 $100.00
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  • Chris Twomey June 2018 $55.00
  • Marc Gomes June 2018 $52.50
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Come run with us on Saturday, June 23!

Big Sur Land Trust's Race for Open Space is an inclusive trail run/walk that promotes healthy outdoor recreation in connection to our local landscapes while raising funds to take on new open space projects and provide our community with more opportunities to get outside. You can register as a fundraising or non-fundraising participant, and you can also register to fundraise without participating in the race. All race participants will receive post-race refreshments, a chance to win some great raffle prizes, and a goody bag and medal (while supplies last).

About the property: Marks Ranch is home to 90 species of wildflowers and provides important habitat and wildlife corridors. Marks Ranch was originally settled by Benjamin and Nisene Marks in 1890. Suddenly widowed, Nisene raised chickens in order to support her family, eventually building one of the largest egg ranches in California. In addition to its historical significance, Marks Ranch is an important wildlife corridor between the Sierra de Salinas and Fort Ord conservation lands, a significant regional connection. Deer and small mammals, as well as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions find habitat on the property. Open grasslands provide excellent foraging opportunities for a variety of songbirds and raptors. California quail and turkeys also make their home on the ranch.

Same-day registration opens at 7:30am. Come run, walk, and explore the majesty of the ranch on one of the following trail options:

2.5K (8:30am): This trail takes you around the Avalon Flats, a relatively flat loop winding through pastoral oak woodlands and meadows. The Avalon Flats pass by and near historic structures and points of interest including the hacienda, incubator house, dance hall, and Grandpa’s House. This is the perfect trail for beginners and families with young children to connect with the land.

5K (9:30am): This trail takes you through the gently-sloping Avalon Flats through oak woodlands and past historic structures to the steep Robert V. and Patricia M. Brown Overlook, a moderately strenuous loop through meadows with a spectacular hilltop view. The breathtaking panorama of the entire Marks Ranch and Salinas Valley makes the trek uphill well worth the effort. Total elevation gain: ~550 ft.

10K (9:30am): This trail is a rugged course that crosses through most of the property and all of the many habitats represented at Marks Ranch, including oak savannas, canyon forests, and grassy meadows.  Be prepared for a true back-country adventure run: steep hills, sweeping vistas, challenging terrain, and colorful wildflowers await you on this trail. Total elevation gain: ~1100 ft.

Note: We love your four-legged friends as much as you do, but unfortunately Marks Ranch is not a dog-friendly property.

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About Big Sur Land Trust's Race for Open Space

Open space is a community need: Salinas residents have very limited outdoor recreation and trail opportunities within the city and its closely surrounding areas. At 157,000 residents, Salinas provides just 360 acres of public parkland in the city to choose from – a mere 3 percent of the city’s total area. This means that for every 1,000 residents in Salinas, there are only 2.3 acres of park space available for outdoor play, exercise, and enjoyment--a staggering statistic given that this is lower than Los Angeles (9.3 acres), San Francisco (6.8 acres), and the California state average (10 acres).

Why participate? It is more important now than ever to demonstrate the importance of parks and open space for our wellbeing, and to advocate for increased access to parks and open spaces in areas like Salinas. This is why we invite you to participate in Big Sur Land Trust's Race for Open Space, a fundraising trail walk/run that promotes healthy outdoor recreation in connection with our local landscapes. All funds raised from this race will further Big Sur Land Trust's mission of inspiring love of land across generations, conservation of our unique Monterey County landscapes, and access to outdoor experiences for all. Your contribution as a runner, sponsor, or supporter to this cause is crucial to expanding the places in our county where people and nature thrive together.

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