If you’re a runner, a cyclist, or a triathlete from the Santa Barbara area then you probably have a Joe Howell story. Howell has competed in numerous marathons, including LA, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, Ventura, and NY. His triathlon “career” began back in 1990 at the then resurrected Santa Barbara Triathlon. Joe’s breakthrough race though was up at Escape from Alcatraz in’98. Since then he has participated in a number ofraces including the Hawaii Ironman Championship (200 I); Everest Challenge bike race (2006); SB County Triathlon (1989-present).
Aside from being a participant in these races, Howell’s leadership activities within the community are remarkable. He organized the annual Ironman SendoffParty that has grown into a showcase ofour own world class athletes. It brings the triathlon community together as a benefit for the Los Banos pool. The Santa Barbara Athletic Association’s (SBAA) Grand Prix was an idea that was brought together by Joe and his cronies. The Round Table awarded Howell the R.F. MacFarland Trophy in 2001, the same year he was voted Triathlete of the Year by the Santa Barbara Triathlon Club.
As well as being a board member on the SBAA, Joe is a past president ofthe Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table. And then there’s Joe’s involvement with the Santa Barbara County Board ofEducation, where he has been on the board and served as president. Howell is associated with a number of nonprofit organizations either as a Board member or by providing pro bono legal services.
Joe and his wife Barbara drove through Santa Barbara on their honeymoon in 1973 and decided it was the place they wanted to live. They moved to Santa Barbara a year later. Barbara recently retired after serving as a teacher and education coordinator. Son Ben is a lawyer in Los Angeles and daughter Sarah is a teacher/tutor currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.