Memorial Day - May 30, 2016 - marks the 18th annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5k, and 10K, Honoring the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. This favorite Memorial Day running event takes place in the beautiful Orange County cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. Runners and walkers of all experience levels are invited to come out and enjoy the Memorial Day festivities! With a half marathon (13.1 miles), 5K Run/Walk (3.1 miles), 10K Run/Walk (6.2 miles) and a Kid's Run (1/2 Mile), there is something for everyone! All events and the Finish Line Expo will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016.


The half marathon, 5K and 10K both start in front of the Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and finish at the Laguna Hills Community Center.


The Kids Races start and finish at the Laguna Hills Community Center.





The top three male and female finishers in each age division (listed below) will receive a commemorative  City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5k, and 10K, Honoring the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion award. Awards will be available after the race on Memorial Day. Awards not picked up on race day will only be mailed upon request (a small shipping charge will apply).

Become a Joint Chief of Staff by 2018!


Over the next five years the race will have a different US armed forces themed medal. If you race every year for the next five years, in 2018 you will earn a Joint Chiefs of Staff medal to commemorate your accomplishment.  The 2014 event medal honored the US Marine Corps.  The 2016 medal will honor the Air Force.


















Legacy Medal















Lance Corporal Jorge A. Ortiz, a Combat Cameraman veteran attached to 3rdBattalion, 5th Marines, is Laguna Hills’ Grand Marshal for 2016. Jorge will be on hand to fire the starting gun, and be present at the Community Center Expo following the race. Jorge was on his first deployment as a Combat Cameramen with the city’s adopted Marine Battalion when he lost both legs, and sustained severe arm injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Sangin, Afghanistan on January 15th, 2011.


LCpl Ortiz attached to Kilo Co, 1st Platoon on a dawn patrol tasked to search, identify and destroy weapon caches in identified homes/compounds.  Located weapons were photographed and inventoried prior to their destruction. On one such compound where a cache of weapons and explosives had been found, LCpl Ortiz stepped on a pressure plate that ignited an IED that was not identified.


Immediately following the blast LCpl Ortiz was still alert and could hear voices asking if anyone had been hit.  He realized the severity of his own injuries when he next heard his teammates yelling that they’d found him in the crater created by the explosion.  He lost consciousness, but awoke soon after to find his teammates working to save his life; applying tourniquets and medication to prevent him  from going into shock. His Marine brothers placed him on a litter near a creek, then carried him through the freezing cold water to the British helicopter which transported him to Bastion Hospital.


He was airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany, where he was stabilized after suffering a collapsed lung. Over the next two years Jorge received treatments and therapies, at Bethseda National Medical Center,  VA Palo Alto, and finally Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego. LCpl Ortiz retired in August 2012 and currently lives in San Diego.


LCpl Ortiz has been involved with athletic programs in the San Diego area including Surfing, SCUBA diving, swimming, mono-skiing and lifting weights.  He married his wife, Aiyanna Coleman ( an Army/Navy veteran who deployed to Iraq during her service) on Valentine's Day 2015.  Jorge has been selected by Homes for Our Troops to receive a specially adapted mortgage free home, to which he and Aiyanna will soon move, and where they hope to begin a family. Team Darkhorse intends to provide Jorge and Aiyanna with a grant to assist them.

Keep cool during your summer training with this premium event branded hat.


All Half Marathon participants receive a hat plus a premium tech fabric t-shirt.


Additional hats available for sale for $12 while supplies last.


The City of Laguna Hills adopted the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, of the 1st Marine Division. This infantry battalion, nicknamed "DARKHORSE" is based out of Camp Pendleton. The City of Laguna Hills intends to donate $3 per race participant to the 3/5 Support Committee.

For more information on the 3/5 Battalion or the 3/5 Battalion Support Committee go to

Please join us after the race for

Beer Garden, Food Trucks and a DJ!

(open 8 am - 12:00 pm)

For more information click here

If you are unable to find the information that you are looking for, please call us at

949-975-8506 or email