Ventura Marathon - Our Team & How it All Started

We (Steve Doll, Josh Spiker, Jen Livia) set out with a dream of creating a large community running event that was fast, fun, and embraced and supported our local community. Instead of just another run, we wanted to create something special where the community really got involved and excited. The initial concept was born in 2008 while Josh was coaching a local running club and they ran from Ojai down to the ocean as a club run. The official first year was in 2013 and used a very different course running from the Ventura Pier to the Port Hueneme and back. The marathon is the nucleus of the weekend, but we added other events such as a Half Marathon local craft beer garden, and more. We wanted to create an entire weekend of fun for everyone to enjoy.

Over the years we have played with other events like a Dog Walk, Century Bike Ride, Adventure Run, 5K, and even tried to jump off the pier for a swim. Some ideas were great and others not so much, but we are always trying new things and striving to make our event extra special for everyone who comes out.

Each year, we involve our runners in helping to shape the look and feel of the event. We take runner feedback seriously and ask for help choosing T-Shirt designs, medal designs, and more. We want our running community to feel like this is their race as much as it is ours, and go home with lots of incredible swag. 

We have a small team of organizers for our event and work hard to keep everything local.

Michelle Libman - Race Director, she is the one bouncing everywhere with a smile, backpack, and radio. She is the magic that makes sure everyone is in place and the races start on time.

Josh Spiker - Co-Owner/ Founder of the race, start line coordinator, and much more. Keep an eye out he might be the one leading the Full Marathon out on the scooter.

Jen Livia - Co-Owner, finish area/expo coordinator, and designer of the cool colorful swag from the shirts, medals, bags, and creator of the original paintings on the awards.

So much of our support team is from our local friends and family who dig deep and help make the event magical.

Thanks to our whole crew at the Ventura Running Club ( extra big thank you to Glenn and Marla for heading up the waffle breakfast), Peter our Volunteer Coordinator from the YMCA board who orchestrates our 300+ volunteers over the weekend, the Local Coaches who help convince their students to wake up in the dark to help at AID stations and with set up volunteers.


MadeWest Brewing Co
Transmission Brewing Co
Ventura Coast Brewing Co
Visit Ventura
Mile 26 Running Co
Mission Produce