A capacity field of 2,700 runners has entered Sunday’s 38th annual Long Beach Marathon, including 17 who have completed all 37 previous editions of the race.
The marathon was sold out three weeks in advance, race publicist Dan Cruz told City News Service.
A 13.1-mile half-marathon and a 20-mile bicycle tour will be held in connection with the marathon. The half-marathon also sold out, with 9,000 runners entered, Cruz said.
The bicycle tour will be held on the marathon course, conducted in the opposite direction and starting at the same time, 6 a.m.
Runners from 44 states and 21 nations have entered the races, Cruz said. The fields are 51% male and 49% female, with just over 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.
For the first time, the Long Beach Marathon is part of the Golden State Challenge, where a runner completing a race of 5 kilometers or more at four separate events in a year receives a medal.
The other races in the series are the Huntington Beach-based Surf City USA Marathon, the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, the Surf City 10, the Malibu Half Marathon and the Golden Gate Half Marathon.
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.