SAN DIEGO–The fifth annual San Diego Half Marathon and 5K is set to take place on March 13 beginning at 7 a.m.
The 13.1-mile San Diego Half Marathon is joined by the shorter options of a 2-person half marathon relay (a team of two completes 6.55 miles each) and 3.1-mile 5K, all with finishes on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp District. A new school challenge program has been added this year encouraging students to get into running while earning funds for their schools. Students, teachers, and their parents receive discounts on registrations and earn money back for their school for every team member participating. Online registration is scheduled to close on March 6.
“This race was created specifically for the community by community members to benefit local charities and celebrate San Diego,” said Susan Briggs, executive director of the San Diego Half Marathon. “In the last four years, we’ve been honored to donate $250,000 to community service projects and charities serving San Diegans. We’re so proud of the work that’s been done with these 12 nonprofit organizations and look forward to another year of bringing together thousands for a cause – from serious runners and weekend warriors to families and volunteers.”
All finishers in the 2016 race will receive a medal featuring the Gaslamp District. The half marathon features a USATF-certified, 13.1-mile course with a new start on Harbor Drive in front of the San Diego Convention Center. The new start enables a straighter course with fewer turns, increasing chances of runners to achieve a personal best time (PR). The scenic course continues on Harbor Drive with great views of San Diego Bay, continues up through Mission Hills and Hillcrest, and then makes it way back down adjacent to Balboa Park into the historic Gaslamp District. The 2-person half marathon relay follows the same half marathon course with each teammate completing 6.55 miles and switching at the halfway point in Liberty Station. Runners are shuttled to Mile 13.0, where they are reunited with their partner to finish together. The “downhill into downtown” 5K is a speedy course – great for experienced runners as well as kids and families – that starts on University Avenue adjacent to Florence Elementary School in Hillcrest and follows the last 3 miles of the half marathon course along 6th Avenue past Balboa Park into the Gaslamp District.
The half marathon finish features a live jumbotron and “Celebrate San Diego” Gaslamp block party that includes a family fun zone, and special discounts from local restaurants. The Celebrate San Diego event is open and free to the public.
Festivities kick off on March 11 and 12 with a Sport, Health and Fitness Expo at the Broadway Pier where participants can pick up their race packets, meet fellow runners, and enjoy dozens of sponsor booths with samples and interactive demos. Participants also get a free entry to the USS Midway Museum by showing their race bib.
Last year, more than 8,000 runners and volunteers participated in the San Diego Half Marathon, which has raised $250,000 for local charities since 2012. The 2016 San Diego Half Marathon will benefit the following charities: ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, National Foundation of Autism Research, San Diego Police Officers’ Association Widows and Orphans Fund, Team Red, White and Blue, Toys for Joy, The Skinny Gene Project, Sienna’s PlayGarden, Mama’s Kitchen, Race Guards and Hole Hearted. Participants can donate to these charities during the registration process or set up individual fundraising pages to encourage friends and family to support them as they run for a cause.
The San Diego Half Marathon is sponsored by Mogiv, Mintz Levin, Rock Sports, Ultima Replenisher, Clif Bar, Dole, Gorilla Movers, Sign Distinction and Marathon Foto.