LB Marathon This Weekend

By: 
Eric Bailey

Athletes will be able to show if they have what it takes to sprint toward greatness in the 35th annual Long Beach Marathon presented by JetBlue Oct. 11-13.

“This event is much bigger than a one-day road race,” said Dan Cruz, head of communications for the event. “Marathon weekend kicks off on Friday with a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center, where all of the 15,000 registered runners will pick up their race number, T-shirt and swag bag.”

The Expo is free and open to the public featuring nearly 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest in nutrition, equipment and apparel.

The headlining event, the 26.2-mile marathon and bike tour, begins Sunday at 6 a.m. and will begin on Shoreline Drive. Participants will then jog past iconic Long Beach landmarks such as the bow of the RMS Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Lighthouse at Rainbow Harbor, Pierpoint Landing, and circling back to Shoreline Village.

The Long Beach Marathon is the longest running marathon in Southern California, with its initial run in 1982 and welcomes 15 legacy runners this year who have competed in all 34 previous editions. In addition to the Supreme 15 Legacy Runners, there are over 330 athletes in total who have run consecutively for 10 years since the revamped loyalty program launched in 2008.

Each of those athletes will have their name enshrined on a plaque near the Shoreline Aquatic Park, where the marathon has annually honored the winners and Volunteer of the Year on a memorial bench along the waterfront path.

“We have been so fortunate to have JetBlue join us in Long Beach for the past four years and are happy to be back for the fifth year,” said Alex Bennett, executive race  director. “We absolutely could not ask for a better partner. From their support of our legacy program to surprise and delight activations at the finish line, their involvement has been astounding; it has gone over and above anything we could have imagined.”

The Long Beach Airport and CO2 Coconut Water are also local sponsors of the event.  

The Aquarium of the Pacific 5K and Kids race take place Saturday morning and will welcome approximately 1,800 participants. It’s the only 5k in North America that runs through the middle of an aquarium.

The free community kids’ race will include over 1,000 future marathoners age 12 and under, each child receives a free entry into the aquarium after the race.

Festivities surrounding the marathon make the event one of the biggest weekends of the year in Long Beach, with entertainment along the course and a finish line festival. The marathon creates a 26.2-mile block party dedicated to helping people live a healthy and active lifestyle.

 

eric@beachcomber.news

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