First Annual Bakersfield Marathon
By Joshua Rivera
Bakersfield’s first USA Track & Field organization’s certified full marathon, half marathon, 2-person half-marathon relay, and 5k run was held on Nov 13. More than 1,500 participants from Kern County and other parts California came together to experience this fun event.
This isn’t the first marathon that has been held in Kern County. The Golden Empire Marathons were 26.2-mile runs that were held in the 1980s. But this is the first year for the new Bakersfield Marathon & Half Marathon, and Kern County is hoping to make this an annual world class event. Being USATF-certified means that the Bakersfield run is a Boston Marathon-qualifier.
The marathon was supposed to start at 6 a.m., but was delayed for more than an hour. The reason behind the delay was because the KRC Safety Company, the company that the city contracted for the marathon, had to reposition the barriers and roadblocks they had set up. There was also a car crash at one of the intersections that the runners had to cross.
The course started at California State University, Bakersfield, and took the runners through downtown Bakersfield, the Stockdale Financial District, and several more iconic Bakersfield neighborhoods. The finish line was located on the Kern River Parkway Bike Trail across from CSUB near Finish Line Bikes. Mile markers were present across the course for runners to rehydrate and rest if they wanted to.
Many vendors were present for the race and were located on CSUB’s campus. Participants and spectators were encouraged to relax after the race and enjoy the food and drink that were being sold. Massage tables were even established for the participants that completed the marathon.
The fastest time for the full marathon was 2 hours, 43 minutes, and 46 seconds, and belonged to Fresno resident Jose Campos.
“This was a really fun event to participate in because I was able to run with all of my friends,” said a runner that participated in the half marathon. “I hope to run the next one with my family and maybe attempt to run the entire 26 miles.”