10th OC Marathon could break records, organizers say

Sunday's OC Marathon is poised to break records for attendance, fund-raising and economic impact, organizers said.

Some 22,000 entrants – about 2,000 more than last year – are expected to compete in the race, marking its 10th year.

The marathon will generate nearly $21-million for the Orange County economy, according to an analysis by Forward Analytics, a national marketing research firm.

"The OC Marathon is more than a race," Race Director Gary Kutscher said in a prepared statement. "It is a community event, a positive social institution for people of all ages. Our 10th edition should be something special, as we anticipate our biggest and best event ever."

The route will run through portions of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and Santa Ana. It includes the full marathon, half marathon, the Wahoo's OC 5K and a festival at the finish line.

Both the full and half marathons begin in Fashion Island and end at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The 5K route traverses the fairgrounds and Orange Coast College.

Associated with the OC Marathon is Kids Run the OC, part of a multiweek program to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. It culminates from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday with a route that goes around the fairgrounds.

More than 80 schools and 5,000 students are expected to participate in the kids run.

"At a time when physical education class is being limited in our schools, the Kids Run the OC training program is vital to the health and academic performance of thousands of Orange County children," Angie Rowe, the race's event director, said in a prepared statement.

Susan G. Komen Orange County is the newest of the marathon's 16 charity partners. Organizers said the marathon has cumulatively raised more than $3.5 million for various charities in the county, and that many entrants participate on behalf of nonprofits or other causes.

One of the causes this year is "Raise Your Hand," which seeks to fight childhood malnutrition throughout the world. The event at the fairgrounds takes place during Saturday's Kids Run the OC and Sunday's marathons.

Organizers want to use the effort to break a Guinness World Record for the biggest collage of cut-out handprints.

Each handprint will result in a $1 donation used toward giving malnourished children vitamins and dietary supplements made by Buena Park-based Nutrilite. The previous record is 30,006 handprints, organizers said, but they expect to surpass it with more than 200,000 gathered on Saturday and Sunday.

For a list of complete street closures, visit http://www.ocmarathon.com or call (949) 222-3327.

[For the record, 1:54 p.m. May 1: An earlier version incorrectly reported that the handprints cost $1. In fact, each one made will result in a $1 donation.]

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