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April 28, 2014 | by Dan McKernan

This Memorial Day Weekend the community of Big Bear remembers the men and women who served in the military, especially those who incurred service-connected injuries or illnesses on or after September 11, 2001, with a half marathon race and 5k fun run. This is the second annual 5k fun run; however it marks the first half marathon race. A portion of each entry fee from both runs goes toward the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps thousands of U.S. Military’s Wounded Warriors and their families as they return home from current conflicts. Last year organizers donated more than $1,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project, and this year they hope to at least double that amount.  

The Big Bear Lake Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run is Sunday, May 25 starting at 9 a.m. The main purpose for the race is to salute America’s military, law enforcement and fire fighters. Discounted entry will be given to all persons with a military I.D. or official badge, including past and present military, law enforcement and fire fighters, as well as their immediate family members. Opening festivities include a special tribute to all those who put their lives on the line protecting America’s freedoms including a color guard ceremony and singing of the national anthem. Those who finish the  5K Fun Run get replicated military dog tags as a commemorative finish line memento.  

“The 5k race is fun for everyone. However it’s the half marathon that is the most fitting race to celebrate the military. The course we mapped out for this race is definitely challenging, and best of all it’s something to be proud of when you finish,” said Big Bear Lake Marathon and 5k Fun Run Event Organizer Matt Smith.  

Big Bear Lake Half Marathon is a sanctioned US Track and Field event with a combined purse of $2,500 for the top five finishers for both men and women and other prizes like King of the Mountain and fastest military finisher. For details of prize payouts visit  

“The best part about this race is the scenic beauty,” added Smith. “Sure the half marathon is a challenging course, but the scenic beauty will outweigh that!”  

Big Bear Lake Half Marathon starts and ends in Big Bear Village. It is an out and back course that meanders through the back roads of the most scenic neighborhoods in Big Bear. The half-way point is in Moonridge close to Bear Mountain Resort. The course offers rolling hills with a total elevation gain of 1,552 feet. The highest point of the course is 7,400 feet.  

“This run is a bucket-lister for many runners because it’s such a challenging course,” said Smith “There is no way to really determine which course on the circuit is the most challenging, but our half marathon is definitely a contender, and that’s coming from someone who runs a lot of long distance races.”  

One thing for certain is runners will be taken care of. There are three water stations and three aid stations along the course. Half marathon runners run past two water stations and two aid stations twice during the race. After the race, runners are offered a complimentary New Belgium beer to celebrate the finish. A lifestyle expo takes place near the finish line with live music, vendors and prize giveaways. An awards ceremony also takes place in the lifestyle expo area. Runners have the opportunity to get automatic updates online of their finish time accompanied with a finish-line photo immediately after they finish. There is also a touch screen kiosk on site for those who want to see their finish times.    

Big Bear Lake Marathon and 5k Fun Run takes place in the general vicinity as the StarLight Festival too, giving runners the opportunity to browse the Starlight Festival grounds to learn about astronomy and science. Organizers of the race also encourage festival attendees to sign up to run the 5k or half marathon.     

Big Bear Lake Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run is Sunday, May 25. Registration is Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and same day registration is Sunday, May 25 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The half marathon starts at 9 a.m. and 5k at 10 a.m.  Both races begin and end at the corner of Village Drive and Pine Knot Ave. in Big Bear Village. For more details about Big Bear Lake Marathon or to register in advance visit

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April 28, 2014

News tag(s) { Special Events. Half Marathon Running Race 5k }

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