The first-ever Encinitas Half Marathon will be held on March 26. Open to elite athletes as well as first-timers, the inaugural event follows a flat 13.1-mile course along the coast.
“To kick off the adventure, you and thousands of other racers will toe the line at the renowned Moonlight State Beach with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean,” organizers say in a press release. “You’ll head straight to the historic Highway 101 and pass through the funky and whimsical community of Leucadia. You’ll then head south to set your sights on downtown Encinitas and its charming neighborhoods, zooming past famous landmarks like the Boathouses and Swami’s Temple. After popping back out onto the 101, you’ll cruise next to the ocean for seven beautiful, breathtaking miles all the way to downtown Solana Beach. Then it’s time to turn around at Loma Santa Fe and give it everything you’ve got back to an oceanfront finish at Moonlight State Beach! Cross the finish line and proudly wear your medal as we party with live music, an indulgent breakfast, and goodies from our sponsors. You’ve just accomplished something extraordinary and it’s time to celebrate!”
The course is mostly flat with one short, steep hill about 40 yards long. This is the hill on Third Street going up to the Moonlight Beach parking lot.
The run starts at 7:30 a.m., with a course time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.
The entry limit is 6,000 athletes; spots are still available as of press time for $115 each. The entry fee gets runners an assortment of goodies, including a high-quality, technical fabric race shirt; a unique finisher’s medal; support stations and entertainment along the way; a post-race organic granola agave oatmeal bowl and hot chocolate bar; a swag bag with more goodies, and such finish-line amenities as an “Aloe” Cool Down Tent, free massages, fresh fruit, boxed water, and Ultima hydration and refueling snacks. Local restaurants also are offering post-race runner drink specials.
The Encinitas Half Marathon is an outgrowth of the Surfing Madonna Project’s annual beach runs, the Save the Ocean 5K and 10K.
The Encinitas City Council in May 2016 voted to include the new half-marathon in the city’s 2017 events lineup on the condition that organizers commit to donating at least $100,000 to the city to fix up parks and finance a mosaic project on the new lifeguard tower going up at Moonlight Beach.
For more information or to register, call 760-846-5721 or visit encinitashalfmarathon.com.