Carlsbad Marathon 2024

Carlsbad Marathon Runners

The Carlsbad Marathon takes place on Sunday January 14th.  Don’t forget that’s also the Martin Luther King holiday weekend – Monday is Martin Luther King Day!

The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon is a popular world-class event and a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. As a result, it attracts runners from around the US. The Marathon is limited to 1200 runners.

There is also a Half Marathon that is limited to 4500 runners, starting after the Marathon. The 5K race the same morning is limited to 1000 participants.

The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon also offers a Double Down Challenge. Runners run in 2 races, first the 5K (3.1 miles) followed by the half marathon, a total of 16.2 miles. The Double Down Challenge is limited to 250 participants. (Photo is courtesy of Pixabay).


The Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon are popular both with world class and amateur runners. And there are plenty of appreciative viewers along the race courses. The Carlsbad marathon is a favorite running event because of the location, weather and views along the ocean. Who doesn’t appreciate Southern California weather in January?!

The gently rolling course has minimal elevation changes. A large portion of the course is along the Carlsbad beaches on historic Route 101 (Carlsbad Boulevard) so there are terrific ocean views.

The marathon and half marathon both start and finish at The Shoppes at Carlsbad Mall but follow different courses.

Furthermore, kids can enjoy the Kids Marathon Mile for all ages and abilities. This event takes place at Legoland Carlsbad on Saturday January 13th. The Kids Marathon Mile takes place in the morning before Legoland officially opens to the public. After the walk/run you can enjoy some time at Legoland!

Carlsbad residents and visitors should plan for significant road closures before and during the marathon and other races. Closures are from approximately 5 am until 2 pm on Sunday.

You will soon see signs around town as a reminder of the event and road closures. Carlsbad Boulevard along the ocean from Oceanside to La Costa Avenue is a major closure as part of the marathon and half marathon courses follow this road.

The Health and Lifestyle Expo is on Friday January 12th from 12 noon until 4 pm at the Holiday Inn at 2725 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. The Expo continues on Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm. Runners should arrange to pick up their race bibs during these times.

Why not join the fun at the finish line at the Shoppes at Carlsbad. There’ll be live music, refreshments, and a beer garden (21 and older only). Be sure to bring your ID. Festivities take place from 7 am until 1 pm.

If you haven’t done so already, you can register online here. But don’t delay since online registration typically closes before the event.

The FAQ section is worth a look for all you want or need to know, whether you are running or are a spectator!