Jacques Sallberg of Pasadena and Leng Klukken of Huntington Beach were the top finishers in the 13th annual Surf City USA Marathon. Sallberg, 34, won in 2:24:56, shaving nearly eight minutes off the course record, while Klukken, 37, won with a time of 3:04.52. California’s largest oceanfront marathon and half-marathon featured 18,000 pre-registered runners from all 50 states and eight foreign countries.
With the Pacific Ocean and Surf City USA’s iconic Pier as a backdrop, a crowd of more than 30,000 lined Coast Highway in downtown Huntington Beach for near-perfect racing conditions. An additional 35,000 spectators attended the Active Lifestyle Expo on Friday and Saturday.
Sallberg, a member of Team Running USA, received a $1000 speed bonus for his record run. For Klukken’s it was her first win in five marathons, and especially meaningful for the longtime Huntington Beach resident and Huntington Beach High School grad. “It was a big accomplishment,” she said. “I gave it all I got. I’m very happy.”
The winner of the men’s half-marathon was Joseph Chirlee of Murrieta, Ga., followed by reigning champion Peter Gilmore, 31, of San Mateo. The top woman in the half-marathon was Heather Gibson, 29, of Carpinteria, followed by Mary Coordt, 39, of Elk Grove.
For the fourth year in a row, racers used the event, dubbed the “Run for Mobility”, to raise funds for the Free Wheelchair Mission, an Irvine-based nonprofit group that provides wheelchairs to poor people in developing countries. In the first three years, Surf City USA Marathon participants have raised nearly $1.2 million.
Other notable accomplishments:
Arizona resident and sextuplet mother Jenny Masche, finished the half marathon in 2:02:29.
Barry Wallman from Camarillo and Huntington Beach completed a marathon for the 89th consecutive month. He was first in his age group.
Paralympic Gold Medalist Josh George (McLean, VA) won the wheelchair division in 50.04.
Los Angeles resident Adrian Broca, the nation’s fastest blind runner, finished the half marathon in 1:23:07; 45th overall.