La Cuesta Ranch Trail Run: The Best New Race in California

  This past weekend we were thrilled to join our friend Luis Escobar  at his newest race – the La Cuesta Ranch Trail Run in…



This past weekend we were thrilled to join our friend Luis Escobar  at his newest race – the La Cuesta Ranch Trail Run in San Luis Obispo, California.

The La Cuesta Ranch is hosted on a private property, and once a year the owners open up the gates to their ranch for runners to have the opportunity to run along their gorgeous scenic trails. The trail run has a 10K, 14 mile and 28 mile distance, with huge climbs and views of the San Luis Obispo Seven Sisters (seven large volcanic peaks surrounding the area).

Dirtbag Runners hosted the finish line aid station (Crista & Michael Tappan, Niki Pasion, Erin & Tim Thomas and our new friend April!). We set up a little DBR pop-up booth and were stoked to sell some of our newest merch to new members of the SLO running community. It’s always a joy to share our story with runners in the community who have seen our hats or have heard of us through Instagram but have never met any of us directly.

You can find more of Michelle’s running photography on her personal Instagram (@RunningWithMountainGoats).


11-year-old Sebastian Salsbury on one of the climbs at La Cuesta (Photo: Michael Salsbury)

The La Cuesta Ranch is typically a wedding venue May-August every year. This is by far the most gorgeous location for a race we have ever been to – and for a group of dirtbag runners, it was such a special treat! Countless  ancient oak trees covered in moss with arms that span hundreds of feet, a giant barn with handmade chandeliers and wood barrel tables, this race is fancy in the most dirtbag way possible.

We were so stoked to spend the day with old friends and new, listening to one incredible band (the Cello player – a local SLO ultrarunner named Louis – ran the 14 mile distance and then stepped up for four hours playing some jaw-dropping sets). We also were able to use Instagram Live for the very first time at an event – typically we don’t have any cell

Highlights include getting some time with Nike-pro Sally McCrae (who is one of the most genuine and down-to-earth people we’ve ever met!) who earned herself first place in the 28 mile, and getting to enjoy watching Sebastian Salsbury, our favorite 11-year-old ultrarunner, crush the course and run around giving us all high-fives . We gifted him half a jar of peanut butter and although I’ve seen him at the finish line of several challenging ultras, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him more excited. We were able to watch Arnulfo Quamire, a famous Tarahumara runner, give us an instruction on bola racing. It was a pretty special moment for us to all be witness to.

Several of us were also gifted fun patterned tights by our Arizona friend Erica Smith.

Who wore it best? 🙂 (Click the arrow over the photo to see more).

Lastly, we discovered our new favorite energy source for running – Muir Energy! Their ingredients are gluten free, paleo, vegan, and seriously beat the gels we have been trying to choke down for the last ten years. Go give them a follow and consider trying out their products instead of the traditional sugar-based gels many of us think are our only choice. (And no, they didn’t pay us to say that 😉 ) You can snag 15% off your order of Muir Energy products by using the code DIRTBAGS15.

Want to join in on these shenanigans? Head over to and come out to our next adventure!