NEWPORT BEACH, California – The U.S. Bank OC Marathon’s field of “elite” runners is poised to be best-ever as several high-profile, Olympic hopefuls have entered the 11th annual race. The 2015 elite prize purse is as strong as its elite field including over $20,000 in the half marathon and full marathon alone, with an additional $3,000 dedicated specifically to California resident top overall finishers. In addition to the overall winnings, runners have the opportunity to earn additional bonuses if they meet the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials “A” or “B” qualifying standards, and/or break a current course record. Detailed information is available at http://www.ocmarathon.com/
The U.S. Bank OC Marathon elite program allows local top athletes to qualify for California resident-only prize money in addition to the traditional prize purse. Runners are able to earn both overall and California resident prize purses. Qualifying athletes will be considered for a complimentary bib number, entry into a seeded race corral, race day amenities and VIP finish line festival access. To be considered for the elite program, a runner must have proof of race results for the marathon at sub-3:05:00 for women and sub-2:35:00 for men. Athletes may also qualify with half-marathon times from the past 2 years that meet the time standards of sub-1:24:00 for women and sub-1:13:00 for men.
The U.S. Bank OC Marathon is considered one of the top full and half marathon courses in the state with its diverse terrain, changing vistas and majestic ocean views. The race traverses Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana and boasts a blend of chic coastal scenery, tranquil nature and sophisticated arts and shopping. The Nutrilite Finish Line Festival is a great race day experience with headliners from the 80’s, free massages, tacos, beer and tons of giveaways.
The 11th Annual U.S. Bank OC Marathon will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2015. More than 22,000 runners will participate in the marathon, half marathon, Wahoo’s OC 5K and Kids Run the OC. Additionally, thousands of spectators line the course, the start line in front of the Newport Beach Marriott and finish line at OC Fair and Event Center.
Key runners to date include:
· Bonnie Keating (formerly Bonnie Axman, age 29, Imperial Beach) 2014 OC Marathon Champion returns to defend her elite women’s full marathon title. Keating's personal best was in 2014 at the Ventura Marathon with a time of 2:45:15.
· Abigail Swift (age 26, San Diego) a 2012 Marathon Olympic Trial Qualifier with a personal best of 2:42:45 in the marathon at the 2011 Long Beach Marathon enters the women’s elite half marathon field.
· Megan Lizotte (age 31, La Jolla) 5 time IAAF World Mountain Running Champion, 2 time USA Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, and 2011 USA Trail Marathon National Champion will join the Elite OC Half Marathon field. Lizotte holds a personal best of 1:16:38 half marathon and 2:41:59 full marathon.
· Liz Camy (age 31, Simi Valley) winner of the 2013 OC Half Marathon, is a top contender in the 2015 OC Half Marathon field with an overall personal best of 1:15:56, and a personal best of 2:46:58 in the marathon.
· Molly Friel (age 47, Fresno) is a 2 time US Olympic Marathon trial qualifier and SRA Elite Club team member. Her personal best includes a time of 2:41:30 from the Cal International Marathon and 1:17:56 from the Motorola Half Marathon in Austin, Texas. She will be running in the elite half marathon field.
· Ryan Cosens (Costa Mesa) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate, who will race the OC Half Marathon, holds a1:05:23 personal record from the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon and a 2:19:31 full marathon personal best from the 2014 Twin Cities Marathon.
· Juan Paredes (Santa Ana) UC Santa Barbara Alumni, runs for Aztlan Athletics, and has a personal record of1:05:35 from the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon.
· Stephan Shay (age 28, Huntington Beach) returning OC Marathon Champion will run the half marathon this year and holds a 2:16:48 Marathon personal record at the 2012 Olympic Trials, with a fast half marathon performance of1:02:26 at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships.
· Matthew Petersen (age 24, Long Beach) an elite runner and member of the Sketchers Performance Division, was the overall champion at the California Classic Half and ran a personal best of 1:09:33.
For more detailed information, visit the event’s brand new website at www.ocmarathon.com.