Sunday’s 24th annual Surf City USA Marathon will pay tribute to Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the seven other Orange County residents killed in a helicopter crash.
There will be a moment of silence at the start of the race and remembrances at the eighth and 24th miles coinciding with the numbers Bryant wore during his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers, organizers said.
Huntington Beach residents Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, were among the victims in last Sunday’s crash in Calabasas. Mauser, 38, was one of Bryant’s assistant coaches on the Mamba Sports Academy girls’ basketball team.
The other victims were:
— John Altobelli, 56, the coach of the Orange Coast College baseball team;
— Altobelli’s wife, Keri, 46, and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa, who was a teammate of Gianna on Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy basketball team; and
— Payton Chester, 13, another member of the team, and her mother, Sarah Chester, 45;
The 26-mile, 385-yard race has drawn its customary capacity field of 2,500.
The marathon field is limited to 2,500 because the beachfront running path is not part of the race’s closed course and runners may encounter walkers, bicyclists and others not participating in the race. The path is only 8 feet wide for a few stretches, according to organizers.
The marathon is set to begin at 6:30 a.m., 18 minutes before sunrise, on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel.
The course will then quickly pass the Huntington Beach Pier. Miles 2 through 9 go through Huntington Beach’s Central Park and miles nine through 15 through the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
Miles 16 through 25 are on a beachfront running path paved over the sand. The final mile takes runners along Pacific Coast Highway to the finish line, also near the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort.
There will be more than 2,000 volunteers on the course and several surf bands.
Another 14,500 runners have entered the half-marathon. The races have drawn runners from 30 nations and 49 states, according to publicist Dan Cruz.