More than 8,000 runners will participate in the 2017 Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon in Carlsbad. (File photo: Gina Yarbrough/San Diego County News

CARLSBAD–Thousands of runners from around the world, amateur and elite, are expected to hit the road running Sunday at the 26th annual Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon.

The 26.2 and 13.1-mile race, sponsored by TriCity Medical Center, will begin at The Shoppes at Carlsbad and pass by the Buena Vista Lagoon in the early miles, setting the event’s naturalistic tone. The course and surroundings soon pick up the beat as participants make their way through Carlsbad Village, a quaint but popular mix of restaurants, shops and hotels. Mile three exposes scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, providing an inspiring sight and gorgeous backdrop as rolling hills carry runners and walkers past sandy beaches and rolling surf.

Live bands at every mile, race volunteers and thousands of spectators will be on site to  motivated runners throughout both courses, offering encouragement all the way to the finish.

Once crossing the finish line, participants are presented with a dazzling finisher’s medal, mylar blanket and Nom Nom food bag before entering a celebratory festival that includes live music, refreshments and a beer garden for those 21 and older.

Participants in the marathon and half marathon will receive a high-quality, technical fabric 1/4 zip pullover in addition to Carlsbad’s signature long-sleeve race shirt.

The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon works with 15 charities that use the event to raise funds and awareness through their association with the event. Race participants are encouraged to “run for a reason” by raising funds for one or more of the organizations.

The 2017 charities are:

  1. American Association of Zoo Keepers San Diego Chapter
  2. Connected In Motion
  3. DLH Foundation
  4. Donate Life
  5. Fresh Start
  6. Huntington’s Disease Society of America
  7. International Bipolar Foundation
  8. Lab Rescuers
  9. LHON Project at UMDF
  10. Lupus Foundation of Southern California
  11. Partnerships with Industry
  12. San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation
  13. Sugar Bear Foundation
  14. Tri-City Hospital Foundation
  15. UCSD and Autism Sports Project

The race weekend will includes a two-day Health and  Lifestyle Expo and Kids Marathon Mile at Legoland California, a non-competitive 1-mile fun run for kids of all ages and abilities.