Christopher Zablocki crosses the finish line first in the men’s category for the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene
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Tri-City marathon draws thousands of runners

CARLSBAD — They were all there for different reasons. Many were dedicated marathon runners and people giving the half marathon or 5K a go for the first time. Some runners pushed wheelchairs with their partners from Team Hoyt chapters or with Lucky 13 from the Tri-City Medical Center in Carlsbad. Others walked or cheered on the sidelines. That was the scene at the annual Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon on Jan. 14.

In 2017, more than 7,500 people took part in the event. This year, early estimations are 8,500 participants with 1,100 running the marathon, 6,700 in the half marathon and 800 in the 5K.

Participants journeyed from around the state and the nation as well as more than 10 different countries including Australia, Germany, China, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and the United Kingdom. 

Tri-City Medical Center CEO Steve Dietlin said the marathon was significant for both the community and Tri-City Medical Center.

“Bringing a world-class event to this community is really important,” Dietlin said. “We have over 100 volunteers here out here today. We have doctors on bicycles, several medical tents, volunteers at all the stations and nurses waiting at the finish line. We are part of this community — this is a health and wellness event, and we couldn’t be happier to be here.”

People of all ages enjoyed the day with runners as young as 15 years old in the marathon and eight years old the half marathon. On the other end of the age spectrum, the oldest runners were 77 for the marathon and 82 for the half marathon.

Mayor Matt Hall was on hand at the finish line holding one end of the drag strip as the lead runners broke through. 

For the top men marathon category, Christopher Zablocki finished first. Following Zablocki in second place was Brandon Velasco and Parker Gutzmann in third. In the women’s marathon lineup Mary Akor finished first, Sarah Gulli came in second and Jessie Goodell in third.

At the finish line, a festival awaited the runners with 17 vendors taking part in the day.

A long list of sponsors supported the event. In addition to Tri-City Medical Center, other sponsors were The Shoppes at Carlsbad, Cape Rey Carlsbad, Hilton Garden Inn at Carlsbad Beach, Ultima Replenisher, Arrowhead Water, Visit Carlsbad, Go Macro Macrobar, Legoland California Resort, Cobian, Ballast Point, Souplantation, KyXy 96.5, Graced by Grit, Tru Moo Chocolate Milk, Fertility Specialists Medical Group, Lexus Carlsbad, In Motion Event Marketing and Management and Rancho La Puerta.