"Big" Baz Hawley opened up the first Saddleback Marathon back in 1988. Dubbed the hardest marathon in California, Baz made his race legendary with a serene setting and "I don't give a f*&%!!" race briefing.The course was shy the 26.2 miles back then (2 - 3 miles short!). Nobody cared, it was too *&%!! damn difficult to care. Even with a significant shortage it was still the hardest marathon around.Talk to just about anyone who ran the Saddleback Marathon, and guaranteed they'd have a story of resilience and determination to tell -- without it they wouldn't have finished.
In 2012, Baz turned over the reins to long time friend, the Old Goat himself, Steve Harvey. First things first, Steve added three miles. In typical fashion, he chose the hardest three miles he could find, which intensified this already excrutiating course. And then he added extra intrique when he reversed the direction of the loop each year! His stewardship kept this test of will going so that future runners could continue to exorcise their personal demons on a truly gruelling course in The Saddleback Mountains.
And now taking over from Baz and Steve to direct this storied race in 2019 . . . Lauren (on the run) Miertschin cut her trail running teeth on this race during the “Big Baz” days, later spending years behind the scenes with the “Old Goat” himself. These are the mountains that tempted then tested this trail runner and this is the race that taught her to defeat her inner self on
the course, so now she can call the Saddleback Mountains her backyard.
The Saddleback Marathon is back!