California race boosts registrations and fundraising with the help of Active’s race management software
Santa to the Sea, held every December in Oxnard, CA, celebrated its third successful year in 2010. Race weekend features a half marathon, 2-person relay and 5K fun run. The primary goal of the event is to act as a fundraiser for disadvantaged children in the community, raising money for educational scholarships and collecting thousands of gifts via a toy drive (each registered participant is required to bring a gift). Thanks to its scenic courses, efficient operations and worthy cause, Santa to the Sea has become an extremely popular event that has more than doubled its participation each year.
Mike Barber, race director for Santa to the Sea, had been organizing a holiday toy drive and youth scholarship fund since 2003. By 2006, Mike realized that he needed to expand his efforts to maximize the donations and further the cause. The idea of a community running event came to mind and Santa to the Sea became a reality. From the beginning, Mike wanted to put automated running software in place to help him manage operations, process registrations and collect donations. He was also focused on finding successful ways to market the event to attract more participants and involvement.
In 2008, Santa to the Sea selected Active Network to provide race management software. “We chose Active because they are the biggest online registration company around and we wanted to leverage the national exposure they could give us” Mike notes. Active provides Santa to the Sea with a comprehensive package of technology, marketing and support, including:
Santa to the Sea is also part of Active Network’s Go Green program, encouraging and rewarding events that put eco-friendly operations in place. As a Green Certified Event, Santa to the Sea pledged to implement over 20 environmental practices, some of which include:
“A lot of participants commented on how they seek out green events,” Mike notes.
“We are really proud to be green certified.”
Registrations for the event have more than doubled each year, increasing from approximately 200 in 2008 to over 1500 in 2010! Most importantly, this past year Santa to the Sea distributed over 2,000 toys and gifts and awarded 30 educational scholarships to disadvantaged children. This is quite an accomplishment considering this was only the event’s third year in existence and only 6 scholarships were funded the previous year. Overall, Santa to the Sea has become an incredibly successful, popular event. Leveraging Active’s race management software to simplify operations and promote the event, 2011 promised to be even better.
A giant, 61-year old Santa Claus statue resides at the start/finish line of Santa to the Sea, acting as the unofficial master of ceremonies. Built in 1950, this Santa has become an Oxford icon.
Santa to the Sea also has a lively costume contest each year. Overheard at the finish line this year was. "I can't believe it! I was passed by a Christmas tree with garlands and lights!"