HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The rising national and international stature of the Surf City USA Marathon is adding an "out-of-town" flavor to the popular So Cal winter race. While Californians still dominate, all 50 U.S. states are now represented. Participation from Arizona, Illinois, Colorado and Nevada has doubled from last year (Washington jumped 50 percent); all boast 150 or more runners.
Several states feature 40 or more runners -- Oregon, Texas, Utah, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Canada, with 110 entrants, tops international registrations followed by the UK, Australia, Mexico, Italy and Japan.
Staged on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2010, the Surf City USA Marathon is the largest combined oceanfront marathon and half marathon event in California. It features more than 19,000 entrants participating in three divisions - marathon, half-marathon and 5K - and is preceded by a two-day exposition. Detailed information is available at www.runsurfcity.com.
Myriad reasons account for the growing appeal, ranging from the development of running clubs to the award-winning ocean-front course, but the allure of Surf City and its mild winter weather is clearly strong especially to those runners from snowy climates.
Sixty-plus members of the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) are among 100 runners fleeing the "Windy City's" harsh winter. In 2006 a group of 10 CARA members participated in the Surf City Marathon. "They had so much fun running beachside for 19 miles, staying in their oceanfront hotel and watching the Super Bowl in a local sports bar that CARA members decided to make Surf City their 'Winter Marathon'," said Jim Laubsted, Site Coordinator for CARA.
Further north, several members of Ontario, Canada-based Barrie Road Runners are making the 2500 mile trek to Huntington Beach. According to Keith Lascelles, "Coming from north of Toronto, a warmish January/February race was preferred. Initially there were six to eight runners signed up and now we have more than 20."
The Surf City USA Marathon, which serves as a "qualifier" for the prestigious Boston Marathon, was rated among the top five marathon experiences in America by Marathon and Beyond. The award-winning course is scenic and flat with much of the race taking place on the beachfront running path, but also featuring the famed pier, beauty of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands and serenity of Central Park. More than 30,000 spectators from the 48 contiguous states and 19 foreign countries are anticipated to pack the downtown and outlying areas.
Formerly known as the Pacific Shoreline Marathon, the 14th Surf City USA Marathon begins at 6:50 a.m. on Sunday, February 7, 2010. The starting point is on Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Main St. and the famed Huntington Beach Pier. Weekend highlights include the two-day Active Lifestyle Beach Expo and Michelob Ultra Post Race Beer Garden. More information is available at www.runsurfcity.com.
SOURCE Surf City USA Marathon