NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ninth Annual OC Marathon is on track for a record 20,000 entrants on Sunday, May 5, 2013, up from 17,000 last year. One of the premier destination races in Southern California, OC Marathon entries are up an average of 15 percent across its four divisions: marathon, half marathon, OC Wahoo's 5K and Kids Run the OC (KROC). Among the reasons for the growth spurt are the enthusiastic charitable supporters and the ongoing popularity of the "Beach Cities Challenge" and "Kids Run the OC."
The OC Marathon is considered as one of the best full and half marathon courses in the state due to its diverse terrain, changing vistas and majestic ocean views. It traverses Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana and boasts a blend of chic coastal scenery, tranquil nature and sophisticated arts and shopping. Detailed information is available at www.ocmarathon.com.
Helping fuel the surge in entries is the high interest among runners embracing the 18 official Charity Partners, the newest of which is the Jesse Rees Foundation, a pediatric cancer foundation inspired by 12 year old Jessie Rees. Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate girl who fought two brain tumors for ten months and two days. Jessie created "Joy Jars" to spread hope, joy and love to children fighting life altering medical illnesses.
According to race director, Gary Kutscher, "Each Charity Partner is carefully screened and is active in recruiting volunteers and participants to support our event. In the last eight years, the OC Marathon events collectively have helped generate more than $3 million for Orange County charities." Kutscher added, "We are proud of our association with these organizations and look forward to continuing partnerships that benefit the citizens of the OC."
Also continuing its impressive growth is the OC Marathon's "Kids Run the OC," which will host a record number of 70 schools and 4500 kids on Saturday, May 4. The program is designed to help pre-adolescent kids become more physically fit, promote an active and healthy lifestyle and combat the onset of childhood obesity. Additionally, the California Beach Cities Challenge, an alliance of the Surf City USA Marathon, Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and OC Marathons, is fueling entries. Since the series was launched in 2011, more than 7000 people have completed the challenge by running the three events consecutively.
The OC Marathon, like its "Challenge" counterparts, features myriad heart-warming human interest stories including hundreds of runners who have fought and conquered disease, obesity and personal loss to those who participate on behalf of several notable non-profits and causes including autism, cystic fibrosis, cancer and many more.
"It's very exciting to see the OC Marathon continue to grow and evolve," said Gary Kutscher, event director. "The community participation for our charities is truly amazing while the myriad human interest stories are humbling and heart-warming."
SOURCE OC Marathon