LONG BEACH — Supergirl avoided flying in the sky and participated as a cyclist in Sunday's 27th annual Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
Her alter ego, Yuthana Kong, 40, of Bellflower, was dressed in the complete superhero outfit: red cape and skirt, blue blouse with yellow and red pseudo boots atop her white cycling sneakers.
Kong says this year is the first time she had participated in the 26.2 mile marathon.
An avid Supergirl fan, Kong says she selected the costume with Halloween in mind and for its superhero quality.
"When you're peddling really fast, your cape is flying in the wind."
Among other sights along the marathon course.
Some real superheroes
Sgt. Gabriel Martinez, 23, completed the wheelchair marathon as one of the members of the Wounded Warrior Battalion from Balboa Navy Hospital near San Diego.
Martinez and his teammates were funded by www.semperfifund.org
Martinez, an active duty member of the Marine Corps, lost his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Nov. 25, 2010.
Martinez used a hand cycle during the race, which is part of his recreational therapy program, he says.
"I never competed in anything like this before, even before I was injured," Martinez said.
A reason to run
Long Beach residents John Leong, 48, and Jimmy Aragon, 52, and Huntington Beach resident Anne Keltner, 52, participated in the race to support the Children's Tumor Foundation, which funds research to help eradicate neurofibromatosis (NF). The genetic disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body with a variety of complications (deafness and brain tumors) and variation in severity.
The three runners, who are among a team of 20 who completed the race, were motivated to support the charity after meeting team co-captain Olivia Hernandez, 29 of Rancho Cucamonga, who has neurofibromatosis.
"Olivia is so inspirational," Keltner said. "We don't have NF, but we will run for a cause."
Husbands Gary Michovich, 53, and Henri Winters, 52, both of Long Beach, rode in the 26.2 bike marathon with their friend, Bill Duch, 63, also of Long Beach.
"My motivation for finishing the race was visualizing a hot man waiting for me at the end of the ride," Michovich said, chuckling.
But arriving at the starting line had its own set of challenges.
"Getting my butt out of bed at 5 a.m. took an act of God," Michovich said, chuckling.
Winters added: "It took many angles to lift him."
Heart and soles
Runners were encouraged to donate their "moderately worn" shoes to Give Your Sole www.giveyoursole.com), which had a tent located near the finish line.
The organization, which is based in Corona and travels to marathons around the nation, donates shoes to rescue missions and shelters in a marathon's particular city.
The Long Beach shoes will be donated to the Long Beach Rescue Mission," said founder Brett Byrd.
Byrd expects Give Your Sole will receive more than 500 pairs of shoes by the end of Sunday.
About five hours after the marathon started, the medical tent had received almost 100 participants. About 80 people had blisters and cramping, while another 20 had dehydration and heat exhaustion.
"I'm not sure why we are seeing so much cramping," said Alison Hunt, assistant manager for ER at the marathon. "It could be a lack of hydration. They want to finish quickly instead of drinking some fluids."
No disability here
Lisa Hayes entered the wheelchair marathon because "It was on my bucket list."
The 50-year-old Bellflower resident, who started training a year ago, has sacral agenesis, a congenital disorder that has caused paralysis below her waist.
Hayes, who was joined by six teammates and works at Southern California Rehabilitation Services in Downey, also participated in the marathon to show by example, she said.
"I want to show that people with disabilities can compete."