The 34th annual JetBlue Long Beach Marathon will welcome over 17,000 runners from around the country Friday through Saturday, but the official race day is Sunday.
For full marathon runners, the starting time will be 6 a.m. and half marathon runners will start at 7:30 a.m. The starting line for both full and half marathon runners will be on East Shoreline Drive at Shoreline Village Drive.
According to Long Beach Marathon, the marathon has raised between $350,000 to $700,000 for charities such as City of Hope, Dream Street Foundation and Life Runners. So far, it has accumulated an estimated total of $6 million.
Since 2015, JetBlue Airways has been the sponsor for this event and plans to continue its sponsorship in 2019.
Participants will receive bibs, a piece of paper with a unique number, at the Health and Fitness Expo in the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.
To get a bib, participants will be emailed a code prior to the event which they are to show at the expo. After the bib is scanned, they will be eligible to run.
The Health and Fitness Expo is free and will be held Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is mandatory for all participants, in order to receive their bib. There will be over 100 local and national exhibitors such as Aquarium of the Pacific, KIND Bar and Road Runner Sports.
Olympian and organizer of the marathon, Bob Seagren, encourages each participant to bring two to three people with them to this expo. Because of this, Seagren expects there to be at least 50,000 people in the center.
A full marathon has a distance of 26.219 miles while a half marathon is 13.1 miles. The half marathon will take an average time of two hours to complete and the full marathon will take a little over four hours.
The marathon starts in downtown Long Beach and leads toward the Queen Mary and then to Shoreline Village. After this, participants who are running the full marathon will venture right, running through Belmont Shore toward the Marine Stadium. For those running half of the marathon, they will continue down Ocean Boulevard.
“It’s a humbling experience for both the runner and I when they cross the finish line,” Seagren said. “There are some cases where some of them cry of joy and also pain. A lot of the times they can’t even believe they finished, and that goes for half and full marathoners.”
To become a participant or an exhibitor, you can register for the Long Beach Marathon online. If the races have not sold out, people can still register in person at the Health and Fitness Expo for any event.
For more information regarding running times, medical needs and more, visit Long Beach Marathon.