For the first time in two years, runners participated in the Orange County Marathon in Newport Beach.

The running festival and community event was held in Sunday and marked the return of the marathon and half-marathon, which were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marathon runners took off before the sunrise to embark on the 26.2 mile race.

Roosevelt Cook, a P.E. teacher who took third in the half-marathon, had a message for his students in hopes of inspiring them to pursue their athletic passions.

“Find something that you can do for the rest of your life, don’t become a couch potato,” Cook said. “Find whatever activity it is so you can go out into nature, into the world, and have that passion so you can do it for the rest of your life.”

In addition to the race, the Celebrate OC Festival was held Saturday. The free festival showcases the culture and people that make Orange County what it is.

Christina Pascucci reports for the KTLA 5 Weekend Morning News on May 1, 2022.