More than 11,000 participants from 47 states and 19 different countries completed the course Sunday morning — 1,592 of those hailing from Huntington Beach.
Runners began and ended their respective races in front of the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort on Pacific Coast Highway. They made their way north along the coastal stretch into the city's Central Park, then looped around to complete their journey.
The half-marathon has gained a great deal of popularity, this year attracting nearly 7,500 runners from around the globe. The $11,000 offered by the race organizers to those who broke last year's record times might have contributed to the increase in entries.
The prize money is split every year among runners who beat the course record from the previous year.
Silvia Mosqueda, 40, of Los Angeles, won the prize money, breaking her 2006 record with a time of 1:14:25 and coming in first place for the women and 15th overall in the half marathon. Nick Arciniaga, 23, of Fountain Valley; Christian Hesch, 28, of Morro Bay; Sergio Reyes, 25, of Palmdale; and Ibraham Limo, 29, of Albuquerque, N.M., all broke the men's record.
Even though they were forced to split the winnings five ways, both Arciniaga and Mosqueda — who both broke records in 2006 — were thrilled, considering that last year they shared that year's pot of $10,000 with almost 30 record breakers.
"People just had a hard time passing 1:15 this year," Mosqueda said.
The only negative remark concerning the day's activities seemed to be focused on changes made in the course layout from last year. Many return participants such as Cindy Demarco, who ran the half-marathon, felt stymied by the rerouting.