A field of 1,800 runners has entered Sunday’s 37th annual Long Beach Marathon, including 15 who have completed all 36 previous editions of the race.
A 13.1-mile half-marathon and a 20-mile bicycle tour will be held in connection with the marathon. The bicycle tour will be held on the marathon course, conducted in the opposite direction.
More than 6,000 runners have entered the half-marathon, race publicist Dan Cruz told City News Service. Runners can also run the marathon or half-marathon on a virtual basis.
A total of approximately 10,000 runners have entered the marathon, half-marathon, the virtual races, the bicycle tour or Saturday’s Aquarium of the Pacific 5K run, Cruz said.
Runners from 44 states and 19 nations have entered the races, with a 50/50 gender breakdown and approximately 20% of the runners running their first marathon or half-marathon, Cruz said.
The 26-mile, 385-yard marathon course starts on Shoreline Drive. Runners will then pass through The Pike at Rainbow Harbor retail and entertainment center, run on an on-ramp to the Long Beach (710) Freeway, cross the Queensway Bridge to the bow of the Queen Mary.
The field will loop around the Lighthouse at Rainbow Harbor, head to Pierpoint Landing, then back through the start/finish area.
The sixth through 10th miles are run a few feet from the Pacific Ocean. The course then goes through the Belmont Shore neighborhood, passes Marine Stadium, goes around Colorado Lagoon, passing the Long Beach Recreation Golf Course.
The 16th through 20th miles are a 5-kilometer loop through Cal State Long Beach. The field then runs on Ocean Boulevard to the finish line on Shoreline Drive.
The health order from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requires all race participants and attendees to be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus or obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to attending the event.
All participants must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed to pick up their race bib.
Physical infrastructure remaining from the last month’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has prompted an earlier start to the half-marathon to alleviate the crowd of half-marathon participants at the start of the race. The half-marathon will start in waves beginning at 7 a.m. with the competitive wave. The waves will continue through 7:50 a.m.
Runners will only be able to access the start line staging area at Marina Green via two pedestrian walkways because of the physical infrastructure remaining from the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted organizers to hold the race’s Health & Fitness Expo outdoors.
The Long Beach Marathon was first held in 1982. The race was disbanded in 1996 because of financial problems, then revived in 1999 under new management.