The annual OC Marathon will hit the road for the 15th time this weekend, bringing thousands of runners, plus community activities and road closures, to Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.
Marathoners will begin their 26.2-mile trek at 5:30 a.m. Sunday in front of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa at 900 Newport Center Drive.
The course, which somewhat resembles a question mark when viewed from above, will take runners from Newport Center to Corona del Mar, then down Bayside Drive before eventually turning north and passing Upper Newport Bay and John Wayne Airport.
From there, runners will pound the pavement west past the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Plaza, whip north into Santa Ana, then take Segerstrom Avenue to the Santa Ana River. At the river, the course dives south, eventually zigzagging through the Mesa Verde and Upper Birds neighborhoods in Costa Mesa before turning east for the homestretch down Tanager Drive and Merrimac Way toward the finish at the OC Fair & Event Center.
Participants in the 13.1-mile OC Half Marathon will take off at 6:15 a.m. Sunday and largely follow the marathon course until splitting off for their finish at the Costa Mesa fairgrounds.
San Diego County Credit Union is the title sponsor of this year’s marathon.
Though the marquee races are Sunday, festivities begin Friday with the opening of the two-day OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo at the Fair & Event Center.
Saturday will feature the OC 5K Run/Walk — a 3.1-mile jaunt that will start and finish at the fairgrounds — as well as the culmination of Kids Run the OC, a 10- to 12-week health and fitness program during which participants run the length of a marathon.