HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Paul Sarris, age 34 of Aliso Viejo, won the 16th annual Surf City USA Marathon in a time of 2:30:07. Competing in his first-ever marathon, Sarris finished more than seven minutes ahead of runner up Gray Augustus (age 26 from Ammon, ID). “Surf City was a great event,” said Sarris. The volunteers were everywhere and very helpful. The whole experience was amazing.”
California’s largest combined oceanfront marathon and half-marathon featured more than 20,000 pre-registered runners from all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. A crowd of more than 50,000 lined Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach for near-perfect racing conditions. An additional 50,000 spectators attended the Active Lifestyle Expo on Saturday.
The race reached its capacity on Jan. 5, the earliest in its history, according to general manager Amy Tomchak. This was the seventh consecutive year it has sold out, Tomchak said. “The race field was capped at 20,000 runners to preserve the spectacular running experience and ensure the participants don’t feel crowded,” Tomchak said.
For the seventh consecutive year, the Surf City USA Marathon served as a fundraiser for the Free Wheelchair Mission, an Irvine-based nonprofit group that builds and delivers specially engineered
wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. The “Run for Mobility” fundraiser raised more than $2 million during its first six years, Tomchak said.