Road Closures and Runners: The Carlsbad Marathon

Beau Prince

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26 local bands, 13 road closures, nearly 7000 runners, and the bang of a gun is a lot to process at 6:00 in the morning. This past Sunday, runners and walkers from all over the world converged on Carlsbad to partake in yet another running of the Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon.

The Marathon takes participants from Marron Road by the Shoppes at Carlsbad down the Coast Highway, inland for at Palomar Airport Road, back down the coast all the way to La Costa Avenue, and finally north on the coast towards the start line.

Racers exert the remaining energy that they have to hustle to the finish line. Photographer: Jacob McKibben

The Half Marathon starts at the same location and takes runners simply down and back on the Coast Highway. The course is known for its relatively gentle, rolling hills, and its coastal scenery. Also along the course is a band for every mile marker, or 26 bands in total.

Kory Skattum, an accomplished trail runner and triathlete in his own right, was the ninth place finisher in the half marathon in a time of 1:14:44, averaging roughly 5:42 miles for the duration of the race.


“[The course] was good,” said Skattum. “I come out from Colorado every year and I love it. It’s a lot of fun.”

The runners and walkers enjoyed near perfect conditions for marathoning, as the temperatures topped out at the low 60s and the sky remained overcast throughout the day. When combined with cool temperatures, the gently rolling course made for a good day of racing.

“[The weather] was perfect. One of the best days for sure that I’ve been out there. It was nice and cool,” Skattum said.

Despite the excellent conditions, none of the winners won in record time. Christopher Zablocki from Essex, Connecticut took the men’s marathon title in 2:20:10. Zablocki and second place finisher, Japhet Kipkoech quickly put away the rest of the field, running together until Zablocki pulled away in the the last few miles. Kipkoech came in at 2:23:26, nearly twenty minutes ahead of third place finisher Fernando Blanco.

On the women’s side, the race was close. The top three changed position often over the course of the 26.2 mile race, with Jill Deering of Santa Barbara pulling away in the last mile to finish in 2:54:06. Deering was followed closely by Dani Steinbacher in 2:54:51 and Maggie Yount-the world record holder at 5k and 10k whilst pushing a stroller-came in third in 2:55:49.

In the half marathon, the men’s and women’s races were tightly contested. In the men’s race,  Sergio Reyes of Palmdale ran away from Dominic Korir in the last mile to take first place in 1:06:58. Korir came in at 1:07:29, nearly five minutes ahead of third place finisher Anthony Fagundes. The women’s race came down to a final sprint, with Helena, Montana’s Heather Lieberg finishing first in 1:16:10, just four seconds ahead of Christina Vergara Aleshire, who finished a minute ahead of third place finisher Gadise Magersa.