Profile Maria Korcmaros-Run for Sharks

Triathlete Maria Korcsmaros has more reason to run from sharks, than run for them. In 2016 while swimming alone, the 53 year old mother of three was bitten on the right arm and torso by a great white shark.

shark attack
Shark Steward’s Maria Korcmaros and Friend

Training for the formidable Ironman Triathlon, Maria had missed her 8 AM swim with her team Tri la Vie, out of Orange County.  It was Memorial Day and she had decided to go later in the afternoon with her son, Lucas, and husband, Alex to the beach at Corona del Mar in Orange County.  She struggled into her wetsuit and set out into the small surf and murky water alone heading to the first buoy 200 yards from shore.  With the plan of swimming a mile for her upcoming half Ironman in June, she rounded the final buoy for the first lap.  As she passed the swim buoy, a sudden strike followed by a piercing pain went through her right side from her arm to chest.  She knew it was a shark.

A true competitor, as if in a race, she assessed the situation and seeing a Lifeguard boat close by screamed for help.  Two Orange County Lifeguards rescued her and rushed her to the nearest triage center.  As the first person to be bitten in Orange County, Maria survived the encounter of what is estimated to be a 10 ft Great white shark.  One hundred and sixty-one staples and 5 months later she was back in the water doing a triathlon in Mission Bay, San Diego. The event changed her life, and directed her into the world of shark protection.

shark team
Maria (center) and So Cal shark team.

During her recovery I reached out to Maria and we became friends. Months after her recovery while taking her son Lucas scuba diving at Catalina shortly Maria joined us snorkeling along the surface.  Already passionate about the ocean, Maria learned about the huge threats facing many species of sharks.  She is now an advocate for sharks and ocean health leading the Southern California chapter of Shark Stewards.  With our Run4Sharks & Ocean Protection we are inspiring athletes & youth to get into nature and help protect the ocean.  Together we are engaging divers, swimmers, scientists, legislators, kids and the public to save sharks.  Our first run in Newport Beach on November 2018 was a huge success with close to 100 participants running & walking a 5k/1 mi Fun Run around the Back Bay.

Join us for Run4Sharks 2020 in October

In October 2018 we held our first Run 4 Sharks in Newport Beach. Sponsored by KPC Health & Orange County Global Medical, and supported by individuals and non profit partners, over 100 athletes ran and walked the 5K and 1 mile loop around the beautiful Back Bay estuary. An important element is motivating youth to be healthy and learn about the ocean and is joined by the 100 Mile Club. “In October 2018 we held our first Run 4 Sharks in Newport Beach.

This year we are joining forces once again with 100 Mile Club to support youth running in our shark suits for our 3rd Annual Run4Sharks in October. This event is generously sponsored by KPC Health & Orange County Global, and includes a health fair with Sports Conditioning and Rehab, Orange County Paramedics and Lifeguards and other health professionals. Shark education is provided by Jim Sherpa, the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab with Dr. Chris Lowe and Shark Stewards.

Thanks to the generous support of people like Gretchen J Augustyn, Tom Ciccione Designs, Peter Farmington, Lush Cosmetics,, Medical, Pathwater, Kelly McDonough, Morgan Morgan and Family, Patagonia, Ryder Integrated Systems, Sharkbanz, Smart & Final and Surfrider Foundation Newport Beach Chapter and all the volunteers.

Learn more and sign up for the 2019.