Museum Marathon: Two San Diegans to spend...

Museum Marathon: Two San Diegans to spend 26.2 days in Balboa Park

San Diego, 5.23.2011

San Diego, Calif. – Who really wants to live at their job?

Sure, there are plenty of people who do it—investment bankers, medical residents, cruise ship staff—but most of us would rather wake up to a hot breakfast at home.

Two adventurous twentysomethings who work at the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) in San Diego are choosing to forgo their nights off in favor of a new way of life: 26.2 days in Balboa Park.

From May 30 – June 25, Heather Hart and Maren Dougherty will sleep, eat and exercise in the 1,200-acre park, sleeping in 16 different cultural institutions during their stay. Without setting foot outside the Balboa Park campus during the "Museum Marathon," they will blog, Tweet, and post Facebook and online video updates about everything they encounter. Through a partnership with The San Diego Union-Tribune, they will also publish articles about their experience on the popular SignOnSanDiego website.

The project is designed to provide locals with an inside look at Balboa Park's world-class cultural institutions and engage them with the Park's people and places. In addition to being home to the San Diego Zoo (where Maren and Heather will crash a Girl Scouts sleepover) and the San Diego Natural History Museum (where they'll sleep on the rooftop terrace), the Park includes dozens of smaller cultural organizations that do not have sufficient resources to continually reach out to locals and tourists.

"Few people realize that there are more than 80 cultural, conservation, and recreation organizations in the Park," said Hart, 26, a project manager at BPOC. "We're going to take people inside the Puppet Theatre, the WorldBeat Center, and the Model Railroad Museum—the largest model railroad museum in the country. I've worked here for more than two years and I still find out about new places all the time."

Dougherty, also 26, is excited about the behind-the-scenes aspect. For the past year, she's been writing about the Park through the Balboa Park Beat blog ( but she says there's never enough time to cover everything.

"During the Marathon, we're going to go behind the Fleet's IMAX screen, into the Air & Space Museum's basement, and up to the carillon of the California Tower. We're also planning several in-depth interviews with Balboa Park personalities - and trust me, we have a lot of them."

Museum Marathon host organizations include Balboa Park Central/House of Hospitality, Centro Cultural de la Raza, Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Zoo, The Old Globe, and the United Nations Association of San Diego.

Follow Maren and Heather through Twitter (@MarathonMaren and @MarathonHeather), Facebook (, the Balboa Park Beat blog, and the SignOnSanDiego website.

High-resolution images of Balboa Park are available at Additional images of the Park and the two Museum Marathoners are available upon request.

About the Balboa Park Online Collaborative
BPOC addresses common technological problems faced by museums and performing arts organizations in Balboa Park while improving public access to their rich cultural resources. By emphasizing cooperation among 20 organizations, BPOC improves technical capacity in the park while encouraging cross-institution collaboration—preparing its members to meet the needs and expectations of the 21st century audience. Learn more:

About Balboa Park Marketing
Balboa Park Marketing focuses its resources on the provision of marketing service and support to a four-tiered customer base: 1) Balboa Park organizations and institutions; 2) City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department; 3) local, regional, national and international media; and 4) residents, business travelers and tourists of San Diego. 


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