Thousands Face Record Heat to Take Part in Annual Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon


Photo by Rebecca Hernandez.

Despite record heat on Sunday, runners of the 2015 Jet Blue Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon made it out to the starting line on Shoreline Drive en masse, tackling high temperatures on top of 13.1 or 26.2 mile-courses.

The winner of the marathon in the men’s division was 35-year-old Kentucky resident Peter Chemaoy, with a recorded time of 2:31:24.

Tlaloc Venancio, 30, of San Diego came in second with a time of 2:33:27 and Nicaraguan Dirian Bonilla, 28, rounded out the top three with 2:36:20.

Lenore Moreno, 25, was the top finisher in the women’s marathon division. The West Covina resident clocked in at 2:40:42.

Runner-up Megan Woodward, 27, of Carlsbad finished with a time of 3:08:32 and San Francisco resident Haley Krentz, 24, came in third with 3:09:22.

This year, event organizers allowed half-marathon runners to start at 6:00AM with the marathon field instead of the half-marathon field at 7:30AM so they could run in cooler temperatures.

Half-marathoners competing for overall or age division awards were required to start at 7:30AM, however, to comply with rules of USA Track & Field—the sport’s national governing body.

According to organizers, about 4,000 runners entered the marathon, and about another 13,500 entered the half-marathon. About 2,500 registered for the 20-mile bicycle tour.

In addition, runners in both the marathon and half-marathon fields came from 45 states and 52 nations, organizers said.

Runners of the marathon course began at Shoreline Drive, then passed through The Pike at Rainbow Harbor retail and entertainment center, ran on the Long Beach (710) Freeway and crossed the Queensway Bridge to the bow of the Queen Mary.

The course looped around the Lighthouse at Rainbow Harbor, headed to Pierpoint Landing, then back through the start/finish area. Miles 6-10 were run on the bike path, just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean.

Runners then went through the Belmont Shore neighborhood, passed Marine Stadium, went around Colorado Lagoon, and passed the Long Beach Recreation Golf Course. The 16th through 20th miles were a 5-kilometer loop through Cal State Long Beach.

The runners then headed back to the finish line on Shoreline Drive.

The event raised $272,437 for various non-profit groups, including an estimated $60,000 in matching funds from Run Racing and title sponsor JetBlue for the Joan Van Bloom Foundation—part of Long Beach Unified School District Athletics—according to Scot Breithaupt, marketing director for race owner Run Racing.

This was the 31st annual Long Beach Marathon, since it was first held in 1982.

Financial problems disbanded the race in 1996, but it was then revived in 1999 under new managment.

For more information on the Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon click here.

Timelapse video by Johnathan Mora. 

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.