From the 5K to the marathon, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon offers a race for everyone—not to mention a quality dose of the Southern California experience. If you're looking to run a Boston Marathon qualifier or a personal best this fall, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, staged on one this country's most scenic courses, is the race for you on October 12.
Few among autumn's annuals can match the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon's striking seaside course and Sunday smorgasbord of races.
On Sunday, October 12, nearly 18,000 runners, walkers, bicyclists, wheelchair and handcycle participants are expected to compete in the 24th Long Beach International City Bank Marathon. Registration remains open for the event, which includes a marathon, half marathon, 5K Run/Walk, kids' one-mile fun run and recreational marathon bike tour.
"There's a race for everyone, and Long Beach is a great place to visit," said John Parks, International City Racing Inc.'s executive vice president of marketing. "The Long Beach International City Bank Marathon is one of the original marathons in Southern California."
International City Racing (ICR) Inc., led by CEO and gold medalist Bob Seagren, "specializes in the development, management and implementation of road racing, endurance and fitness events," including the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
"The Los Angeles Marathon is a whopper in the spring and the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is the big summer marathon out here," Parks said. "We are hoping to build up the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon to be Southern California's fall marathon."
So far, so good. Since ICR produced its first Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, which drew 4,500 competitors, on Nov. 11, 2001, participation in the event has grown 10 to 15 percent per year, said Parks.
Along with race-day amenities, including finishers' medals and post-race prizes and giveaways, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon offers a combined prize purse of over $11,000 in the marathon and half marathon.
"The course is flat and fast and gives people a great opportunity to run a Boston Marathon qualifier or personal-best time," Parks said. "Plus there's the whole Southern California experience to enjoy. For those looking to run a fall marathon, the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon is a great option."
To register for the event online, visit: http://www.active.com/page/Event_Details.htm?event_id=1513248&assetId=451b5687-e6b3-4ae9-be15-b8560f82a5ef
As its name implies, a beach--a long, beautiful beach--is the hallmark of the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
"It's just an incredibly scenic course that we truly believe is one of the prettiest in the country," said Parks. He noted the course provides runners with oceanfront vistas for the majority of each race, weaves past notable Long Beach destinations and landmarks, including the iconic Queen Mary, and is well supported with ample aid stations, fireboats spraying "a touch of mist," and bands and cheerleading teams that encourage the runners.
"Then there's the Marina Green Beach Party Finish Line Festival," Parks said. "It's a nice finishing environment, a beautiful grassy area located between the beach and the marina. There will be bands and plenty of food and vendors. It's a great time for runners and their friends and families to celebrate."
For a detailed course description of the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, including a video gallery, visit: http://www.runlongbeach.com/Page100.aspx
Come to Long Beach"Within an eight-block area in downtown Long Beach, there are over 100 restaurants. There is free public transportation, so it's easy to get around town, and there's great night life," Parks said, mentioning the city's many top-notch hotels and other tourist destinations in the area, such as The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, Catalina Island and the Aquarium of the Pacific, to which race entrants receive free admission.
And, of course, there's the "whole Southern California scene," said Parks.
"There are world-class beaches and sightseeing destinations, and we are only 30 minutes from Disneyland and 30 minutes from Los Angeles," Parks said. "People can finish the race on Sunday morning and then later that day take a 5 p.m. cruise to Mexico."
For travel and lodging information, including a list of hotels in the area, visit: http://www.runlongbeach.com/Page114.aspx
Race Expo and More
The Long Beach International City Bank Marathon weekend kicks off with a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. All race participants must attend the expo to pick up their race packet, timing chip, T-shirt and goodie bag. Athletes may also register for the race at the expo.
If you are looking to fuel up for race day, several local restaurants are offering pre-race carbo-loading dinners. In addition the YMCA of Greater Long Beach is hosting a pre-race morning pancake breakfast.
A Fall Marathon to Experience
The 24th Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, scheduled for October 12, is an excellent entree from the fall marathon menu. This Southern California original will not disappoint.
For information on all aspects of the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon, visit the race's website at: http://www.runlongbeach.com . To register for the event online, click here.