Racing Full Speed Ahead: Five Things To Do in Long Beach During Marathon Weekend

Marathon weekend brings with it a slew of exciting events and and plenty of ways to burn some calories. But what if you want to branch out and experience Long Beach in something other than running gear and sunblock? Check out the Post‘s picks for a variety of weather-proof events, in our usual top five things to do this weekend.

File photo. 

The Long Beach Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Expo will commence as it does every year—even in 90 degree heat! If you’re running, carbo-load up and get a move on. Race day begins at 6:00AM for marathoners and half marathoners alike, if they so choose. Runners can pick up their race numbers, buy race gear, sample energy bars and more at the marathon Expo, located at the convention center, today from 12:00PM to 7:00PM and tomorrow from 9:00AM to 6:00PM.  Vendors such as Cliff Bar, Magic Masseuse and Nuun & Co will keep things exciting. The 5K, sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacfic, will kick off Saturday, while the marathon start time is slated for 6:00PM, with the option to start at that time also available to half marathoners, due to the heat. The official start time for the Half Marathon is 7:30AM. Visit the event’s website for more information. May the fastest runner win. 

Thanks to a partnership between the Arts Council for Long Beach and the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), artist Candy Chang’s Before I Die project took residence in the East Village Arts District beginning Thursday and is currently available to view. The story behind Before I Die began with one woman’s need to resolve her deep depression brought on by the loss of a loved one. So Chang created an interactive wall on the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood, painted it with the prompt, “Before I die I want to ____,” and simply waited. The next day the wall had been filled with responses. What began as an experiment became a movement toward stimulating more and much-needed community interaction worldwide. Earlier this year, the DLBA partnered with the Arts Council to create two $1,000 grants in support of the arts. Enter Long Beach artist and arts advocate John Thatcher Montgomery, Jr. who applied to bring the project, a traveling art piece that has allowed participants in 73 different countries to express their hopes and dreams, to Long Beach. So walk on over (away from the marathon crowds), and contribute to a beautiful, artistic bucket list.

Tickets are sold out online for the annual Promenade Beer & Wine Festival, sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), but you can still suit up, show up and drink up if you’re one of the first 500 people to arrive at the event on Saturday, to be held from 6:00PM to 10:00PM on the Promenade.  The DLBA will be giving out 500 tickets in person and is still inviting all to celebrate the growth of wine bars and craft beer brewed and loved in Long Beach, set alongside the city’s diverse array of culinary options. Live music from local bands, a free bicycle valet, art classes and more will make up the lively, festive scene akin to DLBA-thrown parties. Click here for the full lineup of breweries, wineries and culinary options participating to date, which includes Beachwood BBQ, Ascension Cellars, Pier 76 and other Long Beach staples. 

Looking to be inspired for that big race, or to achieve another lifelong dream? Check out Underwater Dreams. You can do what you set your mind to, no matter where you’re from, who you are or what your present situation may be, according to The ArtExchange and PalacioMagazine.com. The two organizations are working to relay this message Saturday through the film’s screening. In partnership with Ambulante California, the two Long Beach-based organizations will screen Underwater Dreams at the Second Saturday Art Walk on October 10 at 7:00PM. Written and directed by Mary Mazzio and narrated by Michael Peña, the film tells the story of four teenage boys, the sons of Mexican immigrants, who entered a sophisticated underwater robotics competition, going up against the likes of engineering powerhouse MIT, and winning.

Then there’s theater for a purpose. The Voice Bank, slated to run Friday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11, tells the true story of one woman, Terry, who defies her ALS diagnosis in the fight to keep speaking. According to the announcement, in this powerful one-woman show, playwright and performer Andrea Caban plays both herself and Terry, a woman (referring to Terry) with an unbreakable resolve and a passion for performance. Together they work to manage and overcome Terry’s progressing symptoms through vocal training. Performances October 9 and 10 will start at 7:30PM, and October 11 at 3:00PM. This production will be in the Players Theatre, located on the CSULB Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Convenient paid parking is located outside the Theatre Arts building in Lot 7 for $5. Space is limited; to reserve seats please call 562.985.5526, or click here. For all other information, please call 562.985.4500.

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