Thousands of runners participate in 37th annual Long Beach Marathon

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Thousands of runners participated in the 37th annual Long Beach Marathon on Sunday.

This was the first in-person marathon and half-marathon for some runners as the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the first year Ken Richardson participated, and he ended up winning it.

"I almost cried," he said. "It was a lot of fun. Always fun to win. You know I ran around 2:27 which is pretty close to a lifetime PR for me. PR is the personal best or the personal record."

Richardson said he has not done any in-person marathons this year but he did complete several prior to the pandemic.

"It's fun to get out to an event and fun to see people. I know there's a lot of changes still even with COVID but it's nice to get through it and come out and do the race."

Some runners say it's not just the physical preparation, but the mental work that is a challenge.

"It's a lot of miles and a lot of time," said Richardson. "It's just months of training and a lot of early mornings. Getting your miles in before work and a lot of just trying to stay disciplined. Keep your workouts coming and keep the mileage coming and stay healthy."

About 20% of those who participated Sunday said it was either their first marathon or half-marathon.

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