La Jolla Half Marathon sold out


Kiwanis Club of La Jolla’s 29th annual Half Marathon is sold out more than two months ahead of the April 25 event, a 13.1-mile run from Del Mar Fairgrounds to La Jolla Cove.

“We sold out three weeks earlier than we did last year, and we increased the field by 500 to 7,000 runners,” said Bill Uncapher, co-race director along with Barbara Baisch of La Jolla Sports Group promoting and marketing the event.

Uncapher said space is still available for a companion event, the La Jolla Shores 5k Run & Stride. Capped at 2,000 runners with a $25 entry fee, that event is also likely to sell out, he added.

The less physically demanding 5K is becoming increasingly popular, said Uncapher.

“The 5K does not require training like the half marathon. You can go out and start running a couple of weeks in advance for the 20-minute-per-mile pace.”

The half marathon commences in two separate “waves” starting at 7:30 a.m., culminating for most at least an hour and a half later at La Jolla Cove as exhausted runners are greeted with thunderous applause from a throng of well-wishers.

An expo is held at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St., the day prior to race events on April 24. Runners can pick up race packets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The race merchant expo is open all day followed by a carbo-load dinner for runners at the center from 5 to 7 p.m.

The La Jolla Half Marathon, which started as a weekend fundraiser sponsored by La Jolla Town Council, has grown over the years.

“We broke 3,000 (runners) in ‘94, 4,000 in ’96 and 5,000 in ‘98, then stayed at that level until 2007 when it went to 5,500,” Uncapher said. “In 2008, we went to 6,000, 6,500 last year and now 7,000 this year. I think that’s the max as the city of Del Mar has balked at extending the race too long closing down streets.”

The event is now nationally and internationally renowned, ranked by Runner’s World as one of America’s top 25 half marathons and one of the top 100 running competitions overall.

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