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couldn’t greet all 1,200 entrants, but he tried. Now in its third year, the Half Moon Bay marathon has become one of the trendy races to participate in despite having to limit the number of competitors because of the course width. “The slogan, ‘Running 26.2 miles of heaven,’ caught me,” said Cindy Forsyth from the Cayman Islands. “I was going on a trip to San Francisco with my friends. I was curious if there were any races around. I came across this one.” The trip was planned six months before the race, which came at the end of the visit. Prior to the event, Forsyth and her friends toured the Bay Area. “I would have preferred this to be at the beginning of the trip,” she said. “But at the end, it sounded too good to pass up.” The race is a nonprofit event guided by the Road Runners Club of America and its charter. That group answers to USA Track and Field, the governing body for all track and field events. Both those

groups are nonprofits as well. As a nonprofit, Vaughan says the race has a positive impact on the Coastside. With runners from 40 states and six countries, tourism benefits. All the hotel rooms in Half Moon Bay were sold out. Don Kardong, race director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane, Wash., said in an email that nonprofit running events are less expensive for the participants. “In addition, when the focus is on providing a service rather than generating a profit, decisions are made to enhance the experience for runners. And there’s less tendency to cut corners to save money,” Kardong added. The Half Moon Bay marathon committee designated Coastside Hope as the beneficiary of choice. Those who signed up and made an extra contribution to the local nonprofit had their donations matched by the marathon committee. All the leftover water and food was donated to Coastside Hope. The Boys and Girls Club of the

“In addition, when the focus is on providing a service rather than generating a profit, decisions are made to enhance the experience for runners. And there’s less tendency to cut corners to save money.” — Don Kardong, Lilac Bloomsday Run Runners make their way across the bluffs at Wavecrest during the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.

Bill Murray

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Half Moon Bay Magazine Nov. 2013