San Diegan places second in Surf City USA Marathon - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diegan places second in Surf City USA Marathon

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Bryce Williams of San Diego placed second in Sunday's 15th annual Surf City USA Marathon in Huntington Beach, with a time of 2:45:34.

Gilbert Salazar of Long Beach and Beth Woodward of Orrville, Ohio were the men's and women's winners, topping a record field of 3,300 entrants.

Salazar, 38, completed the 26-mile, 385-yard course in two hours, 35 minutes, two seconds. Woodward was timed in 3:00:59, 3:23 ahead of runner-up Bonnie Axman of San Diego.

The race also drew capacity fields of 15,600 for its half-marathon and 1,000 for a one-mile charity run. With 400 entrants for a kids run, the total number of registered runners was 20,300, general manager Amy Tomchak said.

The increased participation continues a pattern of recent years.

Entrants for the marathon went from 2,300 in 2009 to about 3,200 runners last year while there were 12,000 registrants for the 13.1-mile half-marathon in 2009 and 13,600 last year, according to Tomchak.

One factor in the race's growth is increased participation by runners from outside of California.

Between the marathon and half-marathon, all 50 states were represented in the race, with 40 or more runners each coming from Idaho, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Tomchak said.

"We continue to be a little stunned at the national attention that this event brings, though it is an ideal setting for professional and amateur runners alike," Tomchak said.

"The beach atmosphere and typically mild winter weather provides an attractive option. People across the country have been training in snow, blizzards and driving rain. Getting to come here in February to run for a surfboard medal is a postcard opportunity."

The marathon and half-marathon fields also included runners from 18 foreign nations, topped by Canada and the United Kingdom, Tomchak said. The Surf City USA Marathon was named among the nation's top five marathon experiences by Marathon and Beyond.

The 26-mile, 385-yard scenic and flat marathon course includes about eight miles along a beachfront running path that is eight feet wide in some places, one reason for the field's limited size.

The race began on Pacific Coast Highway between the Pacific Ocean and Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, then quickly passes the Huntington Beach Pier.

Miles two through nine went through Huntington Beach's Central Park and miles 9 through 15 the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Miles 16 through 25 were on a beachfront running path paved over the sand.

The final mile took runners along Pacific Coast Highway to the finish line, also near the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort.

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