Malibu marathon rallies more than 3,000

The second annual Malibu International

Marathon raised funds for various causes, including local charities.

By Erica Andrews / Special to The Malibu Times

This past Sunday, more than 3,000 thousand runners came out to compete and raise money for various causes at the second annual Malibu International Marathon. These causes ranged from environmental conservation to supporting Christopher’s Haven, a house for children undergoing cancer treatment; the Malibu Boys & Girls Club, the Malibu GreenMachine and the Malibu Special Education Foundation, which provides services to children with disabilities.

The full marathon started at 7 a.m. at the Camarillo Airport and was a 26.2-mile race along the Southern California coastline. The half marathon started at 8:30 a.m. at the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground in Malibu. Both races finished at Zuma Beach.

James Nielsen, 31, won the full marathon in 2 hours, 44 minutes and 24.6 seconds.

A group of girls dressed in matching magenta tutus came together to run for their friend’s 16-month-old daughter, who recently underwent multiple organ transplants due to cancer. The girls dressed in matching outfits because they met each other while cheerleading at Long Beach College, and their friend, whose daughter they ran for, was also a cheerleader.

“We’re running in support of her and her recovery, and to help support the family financially,” said fellow cheerleader and friend, Lara Drew. “We’ve raised around $1,800 for her now.”

However, not everyone ran for a cause. Some just love being active and enjoying the scenic views this race has to offer. The marathon took runners through the flat farmlands of Ventura County and the last six miles took them along the coast past north Malibu mansions. The final stretch had the contenders passing the Malibu sign and finishing at the Pacific Ocean, which pleased many of the runners, including Jeff Gust.

“It’s the most beautiful day possible for a run,” Gust said. “I normally run for exercise, but it’s also fun and it’s a great social event. I have friends who are running as well.”

Another running enthusiast, Brendan Brazier, finished in 2nd place overall in the half marathon at 1:19:21.5. He was defeated by Josh Cox, who is currently the American 50K record-holder and is sponsored by K-Swiss. Cox finished the race at 1:10:09.2. Brazier was also once a sponsored marathon runner, but over the years he has delved into making his own dietary supplements, which are now sold at Whole Foods and GNC. Although he still jogs every day, Brazier doesn’t like to compete anymore, but said the Malibu Marathon was hard to pass up because of the stunning course.

Lisa Ohlson, Malibu Marathon coordinator, said the event went well and the number of runners doubled from last year. About 1,500 runners participated last year. On Sunday there were more than 3,000. She said she hopes next year more people will volunteer to help with the event, as they were slightly understaffed this year.

“This year we doubled our numbers, which was awesome, but it was also very intense and we always need more volunteers,” Ohlson said. “You can never have enough.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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