Running Marathons in Orange County: What You Need to Know

Orange County is a great place for runners of all levels, from 5Ks to full marathons. This Sunday marks the 19th annual Orange County Marathon, and tens of thousands of runners are expected to attend. Whether you're looking for a challenge or a fun way to get kids excited about physical activity, there's something for everyone. But before you hit the pavement, it's important to understand the rules and regulations of running marathons in Orange County.

Time Limit: The full Orange County Marathon course has a time limit of 7 hours (16 minutes per mile). This means that if you don't finish the race within 7 hours, you won't be eligible for an official Dino Dash trophy.


The race course follows the trails of Irvine Regional Park, with some hills and individual tracks. It starts at Fashion Island and ends at the Orange County Fairgrounds, passing through the heart of Orange County and past the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The first mile includes a breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean, before passing through the coastal town of Corona del Mar.

Medical Restrictions

Before running any marathon, it's important to consider any medical restrictions that may apply.

In Orange County, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Medical Team: Consider how accessible each part of the circuit will be to the medical team in the event of an emergency. Be sure to review this plan with the medical team in advance so that they know what to do in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Air Quality Index (AQI): If the AQI is in the range of more than 100 to 150, contact the medical team so that they can prepare in advance any additional materials or personnel they need.
  • Finish Line Workers: Ask finish line workers for instructions on the procedures needed to contact the medical team if a runner who finishes is in danger.

Other Races

In addition to marathons, Orange County also hosts other races throughout the year. The annual Dino Dash is a great way to get kids excited about physical activity, while the Reebok Ragnar Road SoCal race is a 200-mile adventure through Orange County, La Jolla, Encinitas and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The profits from Hearts & Heroes 5K will go to local foster children and will be used to organize birthday parties for these children who work in a local children's home in Orange County.

Rules & Regulations

It's important to familiarize yourself with all rules and regulations before running any race.

After last year's marathon ended on Sunday, a protest was organized, and the organizers said that it was a violation of rule 144 of American athletics, relating to the attendance of athletes. The video presented by Nathan Shay, brother of marathon runner-up Stephan Shay, showed Fadil, who was runner-up in last year's race, along with a cyclist at the racetrack setting the pace of the runner and giving him fluids along the way.

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