Long Beach Marathon returns this weekend, with thousands expected to take part – Orange County Register

The Long Beach Marathon, one of the city’s biggest annual events, returns this weekend, with thousands of people expected to line the starting line during the running and cycling events — and race officials excited to bring the competition closer to its start. glory days of the pandemic.

The 38th edition of the marathon is expected to see 15,000 people attend the series of in-person events, some of which are still participating virtually. The marathon went entirely virtual in 2020 and saw low participation last year with an estimated 10,000 participants.

On Monday morning, October 3rd, there were fewer than 100 seats available in the marathon, fewer than 200 for the 5K and fewer than 300 for the bike ride.

Marathon officials said they were excited to see how marathon attendance would recover.

“It’s definitely higher than last year,” spokesman Dan Cruz said, “but we’re not quite where we were during our all-time highs — over 20,000.

“Everyone is still getting used to coming back to races and events and lining up at the starting line together,” he added, “but it’s such a big win and a tremendous testament to the quality and longevity of the Long Beach Marathon.”

The weekend begins with the Race Exhibition – from which all participants must collect their bib numbers – on Friday, October 7 from 12:00pm to 6:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Long Beach Convention & entertainment centers. Hall C, 400 E. Seaside Way.

The weekend celebrations, meanwhile, start in earnest with the Aquarium of the Pacific 5K race taking place in front of the Aquarium on Saturday at 7am. Race number distribution for this event begins at 5:30am on race day.

Course map for the Long Beach Marathon on October 8th and 9th. (Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Marathon)
Route map for the Long Beach Marathon on Sunday October 9th. (Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Marathon)

During the 3.1 mile race, participants can enjoy the aquarium exhibits, mascots, staff and volunteers cheering them on as they make their way through Shorline Village Park, past the lighthouse at ShoreLine Aquatic Park, across Queensway Bridge and back move the aquarium to the finish line.

“They can run through the aquarium to their epic finish line,” said Natalia Mendez, the marathon’s operations manager. “I consider it a big highlight, a big win for our runners and participants to be able to walk through those doors again.”

The main event, however, is Sunday, when athletes compete in a half marathon, a bike ride, and of course, the Long Beach Marathon.

The 26.2-mile marathon and 20-mile bike ride begins at 6 a.m. on Sunday. The Marahone begins at the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Shoreline Village Drive, while the bike tour begins at Shoreline Drive and Linden Avenue.

Throughout the marathon course, runners head towards Queen Mary, through Shoreline Village, along the coast on the flat beach path and through Belmont Shore towards Marine Stadium. The marathoners will then complete a 5-kilometer loop around the Cal State Long Beach campus and then head back toward Ocean Boulevard to the finish line at the intersection of Shoreline Drive and Linden Avenue.

Bike tour participants will ride much of the same route, except in reverse and without the CSULB loop.

The 13.1-mile half marathon, meanwhile, starts at 7:30 a.m. from the Shorline and Shoreline Village drives

It follows the entire marathon route until runners cross the Queensway Bridge and the bow of the Queen Mary; They will then circle around the Aquarium of the Pacific and the lighthouse in Rainbow Harbor, then drive the last few miles through Shoreline Village before reaching the finish line.

“This is a race that showcases the diversity, communities, and eclectic neighborhoods,” said Cruz, “that make Long Beach such a special place.”

Participants who are at least 21 years old can celebrate the finish in the marathon’s beer garden. There will be live music and television with Sunday soccer, Mendez said.

The Long Beach Marathon will also welcome back the Legacy Runners.

The dozen or so Legacy Runners are a dedicated group whose members are in their 70s and 80s and have competed in all 37 repeats of the Long Beach Marathon, which began in 1982.

John Sumpter, 78, of Long Beach is part of this group of friends. The former Poly High School golf coach will be running the half marathon virtually to ensure his safety among the thousands of in-person participants.

He will be chasing the marathon course, which starts near where he lives, with one of his old friends, Jim Warnemünde, on Sunday morning before everyone else has started.

“When (the marathon) started, I (entered) because I was looking for a marathon,” Sumpter said. “In the first year I did it in just under four hours.”

After receiving a medal for running the marathon for five years – from 1982 to 1986 – Sumpter was enthusiastic and continued to do so even after the marathon was suspended for a few years.

Sumpter said he and his fellow Legacy Runners plan to continue until they complete their 50th Long Beach Marathon together.

And because Sumpter lives so close to the route, he doesn’t have to worry about parking either.

Runners and cyclists have parking spaces in the convention center garages, subject to availability. The cost is $15 and access is from Pine Avenue. There will also be a dropoff area for runners at 448 E. Ocean Blvd.

Most of the road closures and diversions will be implemented on Sunday from 5am to 2pm because of the events. The streets near the start and finish on Shoreline Drive will be closed earlier for construction.

Roads will reopen when the last participants pass a designated area and the course’s supporting material is removed. Marathon runners must complete the course in the allotted time, 7 1/2 hours for the marathon and six hours for the half marathon.

Local residents living along the route should plan accordingly, especially on Sunday, marathon officials said.

If people aren’t already registered to attend, they should do so quickly, Mendez said — since there aren’t many spots left.

“It’s such a big deal,” she said. “We are very pleased with these figures and the enthusiasm that is returning after the last few years.”

“This is an incredible race that tells a great story about the community,” added Mendez. “It’s been known as the People’s Race for so many years and we’re excited to bring that back.”

Visit the marathon website runlongbeach.com for more information on routes, prizes and regulations.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/05/long-beach-marathon-returns-this-weekend-with-thousands-expected-to-participate/ Long Beach Marathon returns this weekend, with thousands expected to take part – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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