Catalina Island News

Record Breaking Catalina Island Eco-Marathon and Run Catalina Racing Series

Catalina Island Conservancy

Sunny skies, dry trails and endurance-run-friendly temperatures in the low 60s greeted the participants in the 6th Annual Catalina Island Eco-Marathon and 10K that took place on Saturday, November 10.

The popular marathon, established in 2007 by Spectrum Sports Management, Inc, the Catalina Island Eco-Marathon has established a reputation of being one of the most challenging and beautiful trail marathons in the country. The race, recently named “Best Island Run” by Runner’s World Magazine, took runners from the flats in Avalon up challenging trails to scenic ridgelines, deep valleys, and spectacular views that only Catalina Island could provide.

A record-breaking 269 marathon runners crossed the finish line back in Avalon. In the 10K, 192 finished the race. Included in those runners were 20 registered Legacy Runners. Legacy runners have been registered in the Catalina Island Eco-Marathon every year since the inaugural Catalina Island Eco-Marathon in 2007.The overall winner of this year’s marathon was Mike Davies of Santa Monica with a time of 3:22:26. The first place female winner and second place overall winner, was Sheri Foster of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a time of 3:52:14.

In the 10K, the overall winner was Dano Swanson with a time of 00:39:47. The first place female winner and second place overall winner was Liliana Hernandez with a time of 00:40:01.

Wayne Griffin, president of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce, said that visitor numbers were up because of events such as the Catalina Island Eco-Marathon and the Catalina Island Triathlon, held the prior weekend. “Participation in the Triathlon was up 27 percent than in 2011,” Griffin said. He added that on September 29, the day of the Catalina Island Half Marathon, the city also hosted the first-ever Catalina Air Show and two large weddings. “Everything was off the charts!”

Helping make the Catalina Eco-Marathon, and all of the endurance races, such a success year after year is the Avalon Lion’s Club. The Avalon Lion’s Club provides the volunteers on the courses and is the official charity partner for the races. Proceeds received by the Avalon Lion’s Club will go towards benefiting on-island non-profit organizations for the youth of Avalon.

John Regalado, a Lion’s Club member who acts as volunteer liaison between the Avalon Schools and the Conservancy, said that 16 school kids were standing by the finish line to cheer the tired runners as they came in. “We always have a good bunch of kids,” he said. “Their enthusiasm always makes it fun for the runners.”

Patty Engel, Athletic Director for the Avalon Schools, said the clubs and organizations that supplied volunteers would split $500 for their work. However, for the Triathalon and the Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon to be held in March, more than 70 school kids will volunteer. Last year, Avalon Schools received a $25,000 to help fund a multitude of events and projects during the course of the school year.

Guinness Book Hopeful
Yolanda Holder of Corona, California, ran in her fourth Catalina Island Eco-Marathon this year. She is currently on record to break her own Guinness Book of World Records of 106 marathons run in a single year by a female. Saturday marks Yolanda’s 400th lifetime marathon as well as her #97th marathon in 2012. If all goes to plan, Yolanda will set the record at 115 marathons run in a single year by a female by December 31, 2012.

2013 Run Catalina Schedule
According to Spectrum Sports, the Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run, a fundraiser for the Lions Club, is already tracking to have a record number of participants in 2013. The Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon, the second race of the Run Catalina Series, continues to gain momentum within the running communities. It was recently ranked #6 on’s “World’s 15 Toughest Marathons” list.

In 2013, the five major annual running events on the Island include:

• Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run – January 12, 2013
• Catalina Island Conservancy Marathon- March 9, 2013
• Catalina Island Conservancy Half Marathon- September 28, 2013
• Catalina Island Triathlon- November 2, 2013
• Catalina Island Eco-Marathon- November 9, 2013

It was my first time on Catalina and my first trail marathon. This marathon is my new favorite. The volunteers were so helpful and happy to be there. The aid stations were fully stocked and the course was well marked and provided a very good challenge to the runners. I think you guys did a wonderful job and I would happily return to run it again.
Kris Martinez, Los Angeles

"My marathon running days are behind me, but I always participate in the 10k and it's a BLAST! What a great course - and the organization is awesome. I love the encouragement along the course, and the smiling, supportive faces at the finish line - thank you for a fabulous event!"
Mindy Malen, Avalon