Runners cover ground from Newport Beach to Costa Mesa as OC Marathon returns

Genevieve L'Esperance of Los Angeles, Tiffany Costello of Huntington Beach and Joanah Westbrook of Corona.
Genevieve L’Esperance, of Los Angeles, Tiffany Costello, of Huntington Beach, and Joanah Westbrook of Corona cross the half-marathon finish line.
(Spencer Grant)

After a two-year-long hiatus, runners returned to the 26-mile OC Marathon on Sunday.

Technically, the event took place last year, after being delayed to November in response to surges in coronavirus infections, but it was limited to the half-marathon — 13.1 miles — to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Los Angeles Marathon.

The 2020 marathon, traditionally held each May, was canceled due to the pandemic.

Wearing a "Happy Birthday Jen" sash, Jennifer Sunahara crosses.
Wearing a “Happy Birthday Jen” sash, Jennifer Sunahara crosses the half-marathon finish line.
(Spencer Grant)

Nearly 15,000 individuals signed up for the various races that took place over the weekend, according to organizers.

The main route began near the VEA, Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa on Newport Center Drive and took runners all the way to the Orange County Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

Heather Huggins, 48, won the women’s marathon with a time of three hours, seven minutes and 29 seconds.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas resident J.J. Santana finished the men’s marathon in two hours, 22 minutes and 57 seconds. In November, Santana finished first and set the record in the men’s half-marathon.

The marathon was sponsored by the San Diego County Credit Union.

Ryan Tessier and Isiah Quiambao hug after finishing the half-marathon.
(Spencer Grant)

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