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Catalina Island Marathon FAQ
What events will the Catalina Island Marathon offer?
This event will have a Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run.
What are the start times for each event?
Marathon Walkers– 6:30 AM in Two Harbors (Must check in with start line crew. IF you change to the 7am start, let timer know upon finishing)
Marathon – 7:00 AM in Two Harbors (8 hour cut off time. IF you start early, you must let timer know upon finishing)
Avalon 5K– 8:30 AM in Avalon
Avalon 10K– 8:15 AM in Avalon
Avalon Kids Run– 9:00 AM in Avalon
Is there an early start for the Marathon?
We offer an early start for the Marathon at 6:30 AM. This is for walkers and any other runners that don’t think they will make the 8 hour cut off. You must check in with the head timer and give them your bib number before you depart. Your results will be listed under "Marathon - Walker" regardless if you walk or run.
Forgot to add the "morning of boat ticket" from Avalon to Two Harbors?
If you need the morning of the race boat ride from Avalon to Two Harbors and need to add it to your registration please sign in to your Runsignup account. Please follow this link for directions on how to "manage your add-ons" in your Runsignup account and purchase the "morning of boat ticket." https://help.runsignup.com/support/solutions/articles/17000062916-add-on-management
How is the course marked?
The course is marked with arrows to guide you and cones to block roads/trails you should not head down. Look for flour on the ground to keep you in the right direction.
Are walkers allowed to participate and are there time limits?
Walkers are allowed to participate. There is an 8 hour cut off time for the Marathon. Any runner/walker that fails to maintain the minimum pace will be asked to get in the SAG wagon. The finish line will officially close at 3:00 PM.
May I use an iPod or other device for music?
iPod or other music devices are allowed but we ask that you stay safe and aware by keeping volumes at a low level in case of emergency. Rule 144.3 of USA Track and Field enables race directors to choose to allow the use of headphones by runners in non-championship races.
What if I can’t pick up my bib? Can someone else pick up my bib for me?
Yes, someone can pick up your bib and registration materials if you cannot make it to packet pick up. You MUST provide BOTH:
A copy of your valid driver’s license or photo identification card (Smartphone picture will be accepted)
A signed and printed out Event Waiver
A signed Bib Authorization Form
WE WILL BE UNABLE TO RELEASE YOUR BIB TO ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT THIS INFORMATION.
Click to print: EVENT WAVIER for Catalina Island Marathon.
Click to print: BIB AUTHORIZATION FORM. BIB Authorization form will not be available onsite.
Can I register on race weekend?
Absolutely! You can register at packet pick up in Avalon from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at 708 Crescent Ave, 2ND FLOOR OF THE CATALINA ISLAND CONSERVANCY’S TRAILHEAD VISITOR CENTRE, Avalon, CA 90704. You can register onsite at packet pick up in Two Harbors from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Harbor Reef Restaurant. You can also register race morning at the start line in Two Harbors (Marathon ONLY) or at Wrigley stage in Avalon (10K, 5K, & Kids Run).
Can I run in a different race than I registered for?
Yes! We realize that training can go much better than expected, or maybe not quite as well. You may switch from Marathon to 5K, or vice-versa, and back again, and again.....if you wish. $15 fee per switch plus the price difference if upgrading to a longer distance. No refund of price difference if downgrading to a shorter distance. You may switch on the Runsignup site using the ‘manage registration’ tab.
Can I transfer my registration to someone else?
No Transfers after 15 days before the event. $15 transfer fee plus any price difference if upgrading distances. No refund of the price difference if the transfer is to a shorter distance event, such as from Marathon to Half or 5k. Transfers can be done in your Runsignup account.
Are there refunds?
CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: This is a live event. The Cancellation/Refund policy is non-negotiable. Our cancellation/refund policy is that your registration and any related fees are not refundable. Refunds will not be issued at any time after purchase for any reason. We understand that last-minute emergencies and unforeseen events happen, but the Cancellation/Refund policy will be applied without exception. No refunds will be issued even if the event is canceled or postponed due to an act of God or government mandates.
May I defer my registration?
We encourage you to defer your entry to next year if you can’t make it this year. There is a $15 deferral fee and you will be given a code to enter for next year. You may defer in your Runsignup account using the ‘Manage Registration’ tab. You will need your confirmation number. You must take care of deferring at least 10 days prior to the event and follow all instructions to ensure you complete the deferral process for next years event to be properly registered.
Where can I order merchandise?
You may order official merchandise from the event website's store. Official Run Catalina merchandise will also be available for purchase at packet pickup on the Friday before the race in Avalon from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
What if I can’t finish the race?
We will help you out! Throughout the day, there will be various event vehicles driving the course to assist runners. If you cannot finish the event, please notify a Conservancy Ranger, a Catalina Island Fire Fighter, or any of our aid station volunteers. Anyone who cannot finish or cannot keep the minimum pace will enjoy a free ride back to the post-race area.
Are there any age minimums?
Participants must be at least 16 years old to compete in the Catalina Island Marathon. Additionally, all those under the age of 18 must have a parental waiver signed.
Are baby joggers, strollers, rollerblades, dogs or bicycles allowed in any event?
No, they are not. The courses are unfriendly to baby joggers/strollers/rollerblades. Additionally, USATF does not allow dogs on the course. If you wish to cycle through any portion of the course, you will need to obtain a permit through the Catalina Island Conservancy.
May I exchange my event shirt for a different size at packet pickup?
Yes! If the shirt you receive doesn’t fit the way you like, you can exchange on the spot at packet pick up.
Will there be drop bags for runners?
There will be drop bags ONLY for Marathon runners. Bring your own drop bag (none will be provided) clearly labeled with your name/bib # to the start line in Two Harbors. There is no event day gear check available. If you need to store items while on course, please make alternate plans with your hotel, lockers at the pier, or family/friends who may be spectating.
How can I collect my drop bag?
Drop bags will be taken from the start line in Two Harbors to Wrigley stage in Avalon (near the finish line). We are not responsible for any lost or stolen items, you leave your drop bag at your own risk.
If you do not collect your drop bag, you will need to contact Spectrum Sports. You will be responsible for sending the price of postage first (usually around $10).
What is the course elevation and terrain like?
The Marathon has an elevation gain of 4,310’. The course primarily runs along dirt roads throughout the interior of Catalina. Please be prepared for a hilly and challenging course. The final miles back into town are down a paved road. The 5K &10K is exclusively on the streets of Avalon.
Is there an official race photographer?
The event is photographed by SCS Photoworks.
Will there be water and medical stations on the course?
Yes, each water station will contain water, Gnarly Nutrition products, and various nutritional snacks such as bananas, oranges, M&Ms, and pretzels. All stations will contain a first aid kit. A list of water station locations can be found on the Marathon Course Map. For your comfort, please plan ahead and bring what you have trained with. You must bring your own hydration system as the Catalina Island Marathon is completely cupless.
Will gels be offered on the course?
No, gels will not be offered on the course. In the past, gels have been left scattered around the course and the island. Over 85% of Catalina is a protected conservancy so if you run with your own gels or nutrition please be careful to pick up your trash. Please leave no waste on the trails.
Will there be Aspirin on the course?
No, there will not be pain reliever medications on the course. For medical liability reasons, we are not allowed to offer them.
What does it mean that Run Catalina races are cupless?
This means that we do not provide any cups at our aid stations. In 2015, we decided to lessen the impact our races place on the scarce resources of the island. For all distances of a half marathon or greater, our participants are required to carry their own cup/bottle throughout the race. This allows us to not waste over 20,000 cups a year on Catalina.
We sell reusable and collapsible Hydrapak cups. These have been a big hit with our participants! Others opt to carry their own bottles they used during training. We recognize that carrying your own cup/bottle may be a small inconvenience, but we firmly believe that this step is worth taking for the long-term health of Catalina Island.
How do I get to the island and is this included in my entry fee?
The most common transportation to Catalina Island is via the Catalina Express which serves Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. Travelling with the Catalina Express is not included with your registration fee. Please visit Run Catalina's Travel section to see the other options to travel to Catalina.
Are the streets in Avalon/Catalina closed to traffic?
No, it is not necessary to shut down the roads to the finish line. There are very few cars in Avalon and most vehicular traffic is from golf carts.
Will there be vehicles throughout the interior of the island?
There are very few cars on Catalina, and very few of these cars are allowed into the interior. There may be some traffic from the Catalina Island Conservancy Rangers, Eco Tours, and light traffic to and from the Airport and Two Harbors. Do not expect to see too many vehicles throughout the course.
Is there wildlife on the course?
The majority of the Catalina Island Marathon is run through the Interior of the island and it is highly likely that you will see much of the wildlife that lives there. Keep your eyes out for bald eagles, the Catalina Island Fox and of course the most recognized resident the American Bison. If there is a bison on the course, or near the course, DO NOT stop to take photos or pet them, these are wild animals and they will protect themselves.
Cancellation of the Race?
All runs will take place rain or shine, so long as the boats can deliver the runners the runs will happen. Race management and the Conservancy Rangers reserve the right to change the course due to inclement weather or Acts of God.
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