Marathon Interview: Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon

26 Sep 2014 06:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
Carlsbad Marathon & Half - ocean views!

Hello, on January 18th 2015, you’ll be organizing the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

Our marathon takes place in North County San Diego, in the coastal village of Carlsbad. The start and finish line are held at the Westfield Plaza Camino Real shopping center, located at 2525 El Camino Real #100, Carlsbad CA 92008, which is also where our two-day Health & Lifestyle Expo takes place.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

There is not really a short answer to this question… The Carlsbad Marathon was once the San Diego Marathon and is rumored to be the second-oldest marathon on the West coast. The very first marathon ever held in San Diego, was run from Oceanside to Mission Bay. For many years the race was held annually in Mission Bay. In 1978 a new race was introduced in San Diego, The Heart of San Diego Marathon, which spanned the Coronado Bridge and finished at Qualcomm Stadium.


In Motion, Inc. was hired to produce this new marathon in 1985 and three years later, negotiated a merger of San Diego’s two marathons, the Heart of San Diego and the San Diego Track Club’s Mission Bay Marathon. In 1990 In Motion took over ownership of the merged races and moved the race to Carlsbad where it remains today.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The marathon’s out-and-back course is rolling, with much of it along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The highest point of elevation is 308 feet above sea level, reached gradually between miles 5 and 9.

After the starter’s gun goes off, marathoners will head for the coast, first passing the Buena Vista Lagoon in the early miles, setting the event’s naturalistic tone. The course and surroundings soon pick up the beat as participants make their way through spectator-packed Carlsbad Village, a quaint but popular mix of restaurants, shops and hotels.

Mile 3 exposes stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, providing an inspiring sight and gorgeous backdrop as rolling hills carry runners and walkers past sandy beaches and rolling surf. The course continues south along Carlsbad Boulevard (Highway 101), until turning inland just after mile 5 for a 3-mile trip inland along Palomar Airport Road. Runners will meet up with the coast again at mile 15 where they will stay, as they follow Carlsbad Boulevard south slightly, then north again as they make their final stretch towards the finish line.

Carlsbad Marathon & Half - coastal course

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect up to 2,000 marathon participants, and 8,000 half marathoners. Since our race accommodates runners and walkers, the type of participants that attract to Carlsbad vary from first timers making their marathon debut to seasoned elite runners, and everyone in between!

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

Yes! On Saturday, January 17 we have a great kid’s event called the Kids Marathon Mile at LEGOLAND®. This non-competitive fun run is for kids of all ages and abilities and allows participants to follow a 1-mile course through the LEGOLAND® theme park, before exiting to an exciting finish line where each finisher is presented with a shiny finisher’s medal and treated to a fun post-event party with a DJ, activities, light refreshments and booths. The event concludes at 10 a.m. with the opening of LEGOLAND® and SEA LIFE™ Aquarium where registered participants age 12 & under can enter the park for free and moms and dads can enter for 50% off admission.

We also have our half marathon on Sunday, January 18, which takes place just after the start of the full Marathon.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

We are fortunate to have ideal winter weather conditions, averaging 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit at the race start, warming by 15 to 20 degrees by noon.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We have our annual Heroes Reception on Friday night, in which we recognize 5 participants in the half or full marathon who have overcome challenges and/or are doing extraordinary things. We also have our 2-day Health and Lifestyle Expo that takes place in the southwest corner of the Plaza Camino Real shopping center, on Friday from 2-6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Finally, our finish line festival starts immediately after crossing the finish line on Sunday and is filled with live music, refreshments and lots of celebration!

Start line

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Carlsbad before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

What better way to celebrate your hard earned accomplishment than a delicious meal and relaxing on the beach?! One of the most coveted attractions in Carlsbad is its natural beauty, including sandy beaches and sparkling Pacific Ocean views. Plus the downtown Carlsbad Village area offers a wealth of brunch/lunch options that overflow with flavor and style.

If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we suggest you treat yourself to a post-race vacation and spend the rest of your long weekend at our host hotel, the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa. Special runner amenities included in your stay, not to mention beautiful ocean views!

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon?

With a boutique style race that offers ocean views, ideal weather conditions, a rolling course, a long-sleeve technical race shirt, a full marathon jacket, a race cinch bag and lasting memories – what more could you ask for?!

Credit : Chris Hunkeler

Interview with Christine Adams, CEO of In Motion, Inc., and daughter of the company’s founder, Lynn Flanagan. Along with her sister, Ellen Larson, she oversee the day-to-day operations of their active event management firm. In addition to producing the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half, they produce on average 10 to 12 large-scale events each year.

Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon