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Surf City USA Marathon

Jan 30, 2009

Washington, Jan 30, 2009 - Yesterday, I received an SOS email from the organizers of the annual Surf City USA Marathon, which is taking place on Sunday, February 1, 2009, along an oceanfront course in Huntington Beach.

The cargo container carrying the 89 cartons of Marathon medals was detained at the Port of Long Beach by U.S. Customs for special inspection. The container was packed with a variety of unrelated shipments to unrelated importers and an anomaly was detected by Customs which required that everything in the container had to be inspected.

Of course a Marathon isn't complete without medals for the winners and finishers, and so our community had a mini-crisis on its hands.  There will be 18,000 runners participating this year, and I couldn't let them work their hearts out only to learn that there were no medals for them.

My staff and I immediately contacted U.S. Customs in Long Beach, explained the medal dilemma and respectfully asked that the inspection of the medal cartons be expedited.  We worked with the medal shipment broker, the importer and the Marathon organizer relaying information between the parties. 

A U.S. Customs team inspected and cleared the medal shipment early on Thursday morning; the Customs guys and the warehouse crew worked way beyond their usual hours, to ensure that the medals will be delivered in time for the big event on Sunday.

It makes me so proud that my staff and I, the Customs and warehouse crews, the importer and the Marathon organizers could all work together to solve this problem.  I especially want to note the team at Customs, and thank them for the great work they do in our district; they first detected the cargo container's discrepancy that aroused their suspicion, and second, they exercised the professional smarts necessary to deal with this dilemma while still ensuring that America remains safe.

For more information about the annual Surf City USA Marathon, please visit their website:

Good luck to all the runners in this year's marathon, competing for the famous surfboard style medals.

In Freedom,