FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OUTSTANDING FIELD OF ELITE RUNNERS TO COMPETE IN
LONG BEACH INTERNATIONAL CITY BANK MARATHON
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2008) --- An outstanding field of elite
runners - including the men's and women's defending race champions - will
toe the line at 7:30 a.m. this Sunday, Oct. 12 for the start of the 24th
Annual Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
Mexico's Romualdo Sanchez will be back to defend his men's title and better
his 2007 time of 2:29:59. Sanchez used the Long Beach Marathon as a
springboard to a sensational 2008 season, which included winning the Great
Wall Marathon in China on May 8.
Defending women's champion Daniela Alonso, an accountant in Los Angeles,
won here last year in 3:02.54. Thus far in 2008, she has scored victories
in four SoCal 5K/10K races, including the Valley Crest Trail Half-Marathon
and the Santa Monica Classic.
Two-time (2005: 2:27.56, 2006: 2:27.17) Long Beach Marathon champion
Leonel Avalos has competed in eight 5K/10K events in 2008, recording wins
in the Historic Filipinotown 5K and the Valley Crest Trail Half-Marathon.
Michael Wardian has captured three marathons in 2008 and earned top-3
finishes in ten events. Currently, he is the national champion at both
50K and 100K. What's more, he also holds the Guinness Record for fastest
marathon pushing a stroller, a 2:42.22 in the Frederick Marathon while
pushing his six-month-old son!
Kyoto, Japan's Hajime Nishi will make the Long Beach Marathon his 548th
marathon, and is the author of an international marathon guidebook entitled
"Ecomarathon Data Book."
In the Half Marathon, Team USA's Jacques Sallberg, ranked No. 4 in the U.S.
by Track & Field News, will compete with an eye toward running full
marathons in the future. A veteran steeplechaser, Sallberg competed locally
in high school and won several events in the California Junior College
Championships while attending Glendale Community College. His best 3,000
meter steeplechase time was 8:28:18 at the U.S. National Championships in
Other key runners scheduled to compete include:
-Michelle Resendez, (Mesa, AZ), women's 2007 half-marathon champion;
-Benard Kimwetich Songoka, a Kenyan currently training in Mexico, who won
the recent Tamarindo Beach Marathon in Costa Rica;
-Kenya's Wilson Chepkwony, currently training in Colorado, finished second
in the Memphis Marathon in 2007;
-Dr. Dharam Paul Piplani (Phoenix, AZ), running his 910th marathon for ALS
awareness, with the goal of running in 1,000 marathons by the end of next
More than 18,000 runners, walkers and cyclists are expected to compete
Sunday in events that include the full-marathon, half-marathon, bike tour,
the "Run Forrest Run" 5K sponsored by Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the
Evergreen Kids One-Mile Fun Run.
The weekend also includes a free-to-the public Health and Fitness Expo in
Hall C of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. The Expo is
open noon-7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 10 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 11.
In addition, more than 30,000 people are expected to attend Sunday's
Michelob Ultra Finish Line Festival on Marina Green. The Festival, free to
the public, will include music and food, and is the traditional gathering
place and viewing area for friends, families and guests of participants.
For more information about the 24th Annual Long Beach International City
Marathon, visit www.runlongbeach.com or call (562) 427-4606.