NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Marathon organizers today announced an exciting course change for the OC Marathon to be held on Sunday, May 1, 2011. The new route now blends the spectacular beauty of Upper Newport Back Bay with the supportive cheers of neighborhood residents. The OC Marathon is considered as one of the best full and half marathon courses in the state due to its diverse terrain, changing vistas and majestic ocean views. Detailed information is available at www.ocmarathon.com.
The OC Marathon and Half Marathon now feature a new start line location utilizing the loop at Newport Center Drive in front of the Newport Beach Marriott (the previous start line was at Farallon Drive). Runners will now proceed clockwise around Fashion Island and find themselves turning onto MacArthur Blvd. with a breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean stretched out before them.
Running through beautiful Corona del Mar and the bluffs overlooking the scenic coastline, participants will encounter the only significant hill on the course at mile 6.5, heading up to the bluffs overlooking the Back Bay (previously the course utilized Back Bay Drive). Cheering neighbors (and more water stations) will greet the runners as they make their way through Dover Shores and onward towards the OC Fair and Event Center.
“The OC Marathon is sensitive to environmental concerns about running on Back Bay Drive posed by the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Game so we implemented a course change,” said Race Director Gary Kutscher. “The new route is more downhill, the ocean views are better, and the course is more welcoming with added neighborhood participation.”
While the vast majority of marathons are held within one city’s limits, the OC Marathon traverses Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana and boasts a blend of chic coastal scenery, tranquil nature and sophisticated arts and shopping. Additionally, the OC Marathon is USATF certified and can be used as a qualifier for any marathon in the U.S. including Boston, further adding to its allure.
The Seventh Annual OC Marathon is held on Sunday, May 1, 2011. More than 15,000 runners will participate in the marathon, half marathon, Wahoo’s 5K and Kids Run the OC. An estimated 25,000 spectators line the course and the start line in front of the Newport Beach Marriott and finish line at OC Fair and Event Center, while an additional 30,000 attend the two-day Health, Fitness and Nutrition Expo which showcases national brands and state of the art footwear and training technology. More information is available at www.ocmarathon.com.