Since 1975, the Ironguard has been a longstanding tradition in the Long Beach Junior Lifeguard program. Each year, the conclusion of the junior lifeguard program is marked by this event. Junior guards, parents and swimming enthusiasts alike gather at 1st Place and race all the way to the end of the sand at 72nd Place on the Peninsula. The course consists of four miles of running and two miles of swimming. Participants swim around 14 buoys, one at each lifeguard tower, plus all the way around the pier and run the distances in between. Participants who complete the race in under 2 hours will receive an event hat. A perpetual trophy for the boys & girls champions of the A, B and C divisions respectively was created in 2009. Winners will have their name engraved on the trophy for perpetuity.

  • Date and Time: TBA

  • Registration: Registration begins at 8:00am for all participants. We will have separate lines for A's, B's, and C's. Parents - if you are going to participate with your JG, you do not need to register. 

  • Parking: Parking for the day will be free in the 72nd Pl and Alamitos parking lots. We do not provide transportation between the start and finish. If you want to run the course with your child, one option is to find a friend in the program and drop one car off at 72nd Pl and leave one at the start. Or, you can get your child checked in at the start then drive to the pier or finish area to cheer them on!

  • Starting areas: The event begins at 1st Place lifeguard tower. We will have separate start funnels and first buoys for A's, B's, and C's. The C's will be closest to the rocks on the west side, B' will be in the middle, and A's on the west side. Each funnel will be marked with the corresponding age group.

  • Gear transport: If your JG has a backpack or other gear you don't want to or are unable to carry, we will have a truck available to transport gear from the start line to the finish. Please note that Long Beach Junior Lifeguards is not responsible for lost or stolen items. 

  • Water stations: There will be water stations at Beach Operations, the pier, and 55th Pl. If anyone is available to volunteer at one of these stations please email LBJG@longbeach.gov to let us know!

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If for some reason your child does not finish the Ironguard, they are required to notify a Lifeguard truck or cart on the beach before they leave. For obvious safety reasons, we need to make sure every child is accounted for. 

  • Many seasoned parents or other supporters will run the course with their child, don't worry you can choose to rest while they swim.

  • This event is designed for the junior lifeguards; however, the general public is invited to participate as well. The event is free for all participants.

The Finish Area

Be sure your child is listening for their time as they cross the finish line! Right after they cross there will be tables for each age group where they report their time. We will have a celebration at the finish line for all competitors, where we provide a free meal for all JGs. If you would like to purchase additional food for the cheering squad please bring cash. We also ask that JG families donate the following to help provide treats for the kids:

  • C's: Desserts, cookies, etc.

  • B's and A's: Waters, juice, Gatorade, etc. 


All JGs who complete the Ironguard will receive a finisher t-shirt at the Awards Banquet on Friday, July 31st. Those who finish in under two hours will also receive a hat. The top boy and girl finishers from each age group will have their names added to our perpetual trophy. 

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Email us: LBJG@longbeach.gov   / 3205 Lakewood Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90808

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