The Mega consists of 5 beach runs totaling 8.5 miles (13.7 km) and 4 ocean swims totaling 4000 yards (3.65 km). It is an informal event with two aid stations on the course. There are no entry fees, no awards, no wetsuits, no fins, no shoes. It is open to both municipal and state lifeguards and organized by John Rodgers.
The lifeguards who first started this said it was 'a gathering of friends to celebrate life.'
The eight-mile running course of the Mega starts at the mouth of the Santa Ana River at the Huntington State Beach and goes north to Warner Avenue, ending at the northern end of Bolsa Chica State Beach. Interspersed are four ocean swims to offshore buoy markers, including one swim around the 565-meter-long Huntington Beach Municipal Pier.
"The hard thing is the transitions," said former event organizer and local lifeguard Steve Hawkins. "There's the problem of transitioning from running to swimming and then running again. It's definitely an endurance event. You not only have to be a good swimmer, but you also have to be an incredible runner."