Thousands expected to take part in Long Beach Marathon

The Long Beach Marathon will take place over the October 9th and 10th weekend after a year off because of the pandemic.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The annual Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon is back! Last year, due to the pandemic, the event had to be a virtual one.

"This marathon is very different simply because of the location. Not many places can you run along the ocean," said Ward Shaw, president of the 26.2 club.

2021 marks the 37th edition of the marathon.

More than 10,000 runners are expected over the October 9th and 10th weekend.

They'll start and finish on Shoreline Drive in downtown Long Beach.

"The best part about the marathon is just the community aspect of it. There's tons of residents throughout the community that come out and cheer on the participants. It's something you don't get everywhere," said Jason Burton, who is the operations manager for the Long Beach marathon.

But this year because of COVID-19, there are safety protocols to follow and there are some different things runners need to know.

"Every runner will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination in order to participate," said Dan Cruz, event organizer for the Long Beach Marathon.

Runners will get wrist bands indicating that COVID-19 status has been verified.

There are also some barriers and fences still in place along the route, leftover from the Grand Prix a few weeks ago.
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And while lots of new runners are joining, some keep coming back every year, like legacy runners who have been a part of this marathon for 10 years!

"I always do this one because its flat and you can test yourself every year because there's no hills and you know it's a real run," said Bill Zappen, a runner.

Race weekend will feature the Aquarium of the Pacific 5K, 13.1-mile Half Marathon and a 20-mile Bike Tour fun ride.

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