The 34th JetBlue Long Beach Marathon/ Half Marathon has thousands of runners every year. The scenic course encompasses panoramic views of the ocean, which draws participants from all over. It definitely has its challenges though, including changing altitudes making its completion all too rewarding for its runners. Meet some of the Long Beach marathoners and half marathoners who couldn’t agree more:
Pizah Ervia: Marathon
From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Some marathoners trained for months while some were born ready, like Pizah! “Well actually, it’s a funny story. I am here for a conference Oct. 1 and I finished Oct. 4 and I love running, so since I’m here, why not?” She’s a part of the National Medical Staff Association. “We have a very stressful job and running is the outlet for me…when I go out running, phone’s off, me by myself. It’s just my time,” she said. So when Pizah saw there was a marathon, she decided to extend her trip an extra day.
Rhea Weiss: Half Marathon
From: Irvine, California
Many participants, like Rhea, ran the Long Beach Marathon in their path to completing the Beach Cities Challenge. Rhea said, “It’s Huntington, OC, and Long Beach in a calendar year.” Rhea, who had completed the challenge proudly wore her Beach Cities Challenge Medal alongside her Long Beach Half Marathon Medal.
Daniel Martin: Half Marathon
From: Long Beach, California
This year’s race was not short of people running to support a cause. This was the case for Daniel who said, “World Vision stopped in our church and asked us to help out and find sponsors.” World Vision, a humanitarian aid organization, had 317 participants in this year’s marathon and raised $281,134.
Chris Guillebeau: Marathon
From: Portland, Oregon
Chris made a special trip to Long Beach to run the marathon. Chris said, “This is my first marathon in six years and I like Long Beach. I’ve been here a few times before. It’s a beautiful place, and I thought this would be a great place to celebrate my return to long distance running.” He said that it felt great to be back and he’ll definitely be back for more.
Ruben Gonzalez: Marathon
From: Long Beach California
Ruben participated this year to remain consistent. He said that he loved running along the ocean. Afterwards, he cooled down with refreshing beer. In fact, every runner received a free beer for completing the race. Talk about a win-win!
Terry Castaneda & Angie Ontiveros: Half Marathon
From: Highland, California
Sisters that run together stay together—Terry and Angie did! Terry, who’s training for a marathon in Greece, brought her sister out for her first race. Terry said, “The most rewarding part was running with my sister.” Angie, who was joyful to complete her first race, declared, “We’re going to the pool and having a margarita.”
Lindsey Carter: Half Marathon
From: Huntington Beach, California
Lindsey, an avid runner, said, “I’ve done this event every year for the past nine years. It’s one of my favorite courses and the crowds and residents are always great. I always enjoy coming back out here.”
Eli Tarci-Maher & Nico Snyder: Marathon
From: Los Angeles, California
UCLA students, who trained every Saturday at 6 a.m. for two months straight, celebrated by sipping on a champagne bottle. Nico said that after the race, they were headed back to the school to do some homework. Eli said, “We’re going to the ocean right now. We decided we’re going to jump in.”
Ana Petrova & Anthony Grzyb: Half Marathon
From: San Pedro, California
Ana ran alongside Anthony in her first half marathon. She said, “The most challenging was running up the wind along the beach and the most rewarding is beer.” Anthony agreed that beer and ice cream were in order that day to celebrate.
Mike Dudek: Half Marathon
From: Chicago, Illinois
Mike ran for the sixth time in the Long Beach Marathon. He said that he loves the beach and dislikes the bridges. He jokingly said that he almost didn’t make it up one. As for what’s next, Mike said, “We’re going to go have a beer, listen to the band, and we’re going to a party with some other friends that are running from Chicago.”
Monica Patel & Tracey Ortiz: Half Marathon
From: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Friends ‘til the end, Monica and Tracey were each other’s motivation. Monica said this year’s race helped her get past a hurdle. She said, “I ran actually a couple of years ago and I fell in the middle of a race, broke my foot, and haven’t run since then. This is the first race back after two years, so getting back up on it!” Monica and Tracey finished their first Long Beach half marathon together and were looking forward to indulging in their cravings. Tracey said, “I haven’t had nachos in four weeks. I would love to have nachos.”