Submitted by Lauren Olerich
January 31, 2013
Full review with photos on my blog: http://www.sugarcoatedsisters.com/2012/11/13/malibu-half-marathon/
My sister and I woke up at 4 AM in downtown Los Angeles and were out the door by 4:15 AM to get to the finish line of the Malibu Half Marathon… EARLY START. This was a point-to-point race with three offerings: full marathon, half marathon, supathalon (7 mile run + 6 mile paddle in the ocean = WOW). Everyone took a bus to their respective start line. The last bus was supposed to leave 1.5 hours before the race start… a little early, wouldn’t you say?
When we arrived at the start, the sun was rising over the Pacific Ocean and the pre-race excitement kicked in! The ocean and surrounding cliffs were b-e-a-uuuutiful. Unfortunately, it was really cold out and we weren’t dressed for the wind chill. We kept our warm clothes on for as long as possible, snapped some pictures by the start line, and ate breakfast. We each had a banana and Clif bar. We visited the bag-drop area and then found a spot in the start line.
My sister was a little stressed about getting back to USC in time for her 12:00 call-time for the women’s basketball game, and when the race didn’t start on time at 7:30, she started to get very nervous. The race started 20 minutes late, at 7:50. At the scheduled start time, three buses were still en route to the start line (despite the multiple warnings buses would stop at 6 AM). Race coordinators also needed an ‘all-clear’ from highway patrol.
The race traveled along the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean views were amazing. It got hot, but the ocean breeze kept the temperature moderate. My sister and I ran together for the first half mile before I broke ahead. Miles 1 – 4 flew by! At mile 3 I stopped to go the bathroom, fearful of another RWTJ accident. I felt great the first few miles; pacing behind an extremely athletic 6’4″ guy really boosts your self-confidence. The first hill came at mile 5 – I used a lot of my energy to power up it at a fast pace. There was a narrow switchback between mile 7 – 8 along a beach parking lot. When I returned to Pacific Coast Highway, my energy faltered.
The final three hills at mile 7, 10, and 11 really wore me out. I battled in my head – race it? run it? race it? run it? In the end I decided NOT to push it because 1. blasting up hills is not my forte and 2. my Nike Frees do not offer enough support. I kept a comfortable pace and daydreamed about living in a Malibu mansion…. After running past the million dollar listings, I welcomed the final, downhill mile 13 and sprinted to the finish line. Swag: race medal and beach towel. Food: bananas, fruit cups, and granola bars.
I was really happy with my finish time: 1:41:49. I ran fast the first few miles because it felt right. I’m okay with positive splits because I didn’t set out to race the whole thing, just sort of run it, you know?
My sister almost beat her best time on this course. She was very proud of her time for the first 7 miles and despite her struggle during miles 8-11, she was glad that she finished strong. This was her second fastest finish of the five half marathons she has completed.
Submitted by bkmichele
January 24, 2013
This is a runner’s marathon. I would not recommend it for anyone just giving. The 13.1 or 26.2 their first shot.
This was admittedly my backup marathon – having signed up for it within hours of the NYC Marathon being cancelled.
The expo is just packet pickup at a bar. Considering only 800 people run the full & that’s a 30% increase from the prior year, nothing more is really necessary. The Malibu Inn has a tiny parking lot, so maybe next time they just rent a banquet room at the Sheraton and save everyone the trouble.
Race morning sucks. All the hotels are on the opposite side of the canyon, so you have to drive (if you’re not staying at the Sheraton where they do have shuttles), to the beach and park at the finish line. Then you get bussed to the start, where you stand and freeze for an hour at least. This year the race started 30 minutes late. I’m not even going to pretend my nutrition or warmup is that perfect, but I got freaking cold and I’m sure this messed with more seasoned racers’ nutrition.
The course has almost no spectators. There is no shade and it gets hot as you get to the beach.
Bottom line, I got bored.
Post race there is plenty of fruit cups and a beach towel waiting for you.
Not bad. I kinda like the towel because I never wear the short sleeve tech shirts and not enough races offer the long sleeve ones.
I doubt I will be back.
Submitted by btangredi
November 30, 2012
I loved this race. Anytime you get to run along the ocean on a beautiful day is worth getting up before the crack of dawn. The packet pickup was a little hectic as the Malibu Inn is not the easiest place to get in and out of and it was a little tight inside so for that reason, I gave Pre-face a B. But it was easy to get your bib and get out once you were inside. And we actually had a very nice lunch at the Inn.
Race Day parking was easy enough to get in. The pre-pay parking was a great idea. The buses each missed a turn and then had to back up on the way to the starting line. I don’t understand why they aren’t given directions in advance. It was a little worrisome when you can hear them giving directions to the bus driver right before we were leaving – I would’ve thought that all that should be sorted out before.
There were plenty of bathrooms at the starting line, which is always a blessing. And the race only started a little late, but not late enough to be a problem. it was a little bunched up at the start but once we actually got out onto PCH there was plenty of room to run. I didn’t carry any water but the support out on the course was great. I never worried about hydrating because the water stops were plentiful and well-manned. The volunteers were great.
Post-race support was excellent, plenty of water available and the finish line specatators were great. During the ride home, my friends and I couldn’t stop talking about what a perfect day it had been.
I look forward to running this again.
Submitted by Rocky Morales
May 7, 2012
As a legacy runner of this race, I’ll admit that the Malibu International Marathon has been an acquired taste. The first time I ran this race in its inaugural year, I struggled greatly after running the first 10 miles too fast and then hitting the wall once the sun and wind along PCH half killed me. I vowed never to run this course again. It took me 5:11 to finish that year with splits of about 2:05 / 3:06 and this was after running a 4:32 at the Silicon Valley Marathon three weeks earlier.
Ran it much smarter in 2010 dropping my finish time to 4:45 which was just 3 minutes slower than I ran the San Francisco Marathon 3.5 months earlier. I was able to enjoy this race far more as I ran it smarter and was ready for the late hills and the wind.
Improved by 17 more minutes for a 4:28 in 2011, 10 minutes slower than I ran the NYC Marathon the prior weekend, although I would’ve probably been a couple minutes quicker on fresher legs.
I don’t mind one bit that it is a tiny expo and I love that it is right on the sand of the beach in Malibu.
Also, I really like the course that starts in Camarillo, runs through agricultural / farming areas (but no livestock so only good smells!) and then has amazing ocean views during the second half of the course with the finish at the beach.
Post race on the beach is nice and I do like the finishers towels instead of a race shirt. I do so many races that I need another race shirt like I need a hole in the head.
Although this is one of the toughest road marathons out there, Malibu is a must do marathon for me each November and I look forward to keep improving on this tough course. Iin 71 marathons to date, only the Kauai Marathon was tougher while the ET Midnight Marathon is the only other about the same difficulty.
Submitted by The Bear
January 2, 2012
OK. I was warned. If you like small marathons, then this is good for you. I have never seen such a small amount of vendors for the pre-race. I think there were about ten (maybe.)
Also, you do not get a shirt for this marathon. You get a towel. I like to wear my shirts. They are like a badge of honor, or in the case of the last LA marathon, a conversation starter on how much it rained. I just did not get the whole towel thing. Again, I was told before.
It is a point to point so you have to get there early to catch a bus to the starting line. The buses drop you off by the airport, and off you go out into the farmland of Oxnard. It was not well marked as far as I could see, but there are enough people in the race you can see where they turned. It is really, really flat. The scenery at beginning is really boring unless you are a farmer. Howvere, the last half is beautiful. I think that is why most people just run the half in this event. It seemed to be a better half than full. Also, It is flat and fast at the beginning, but there are a lot of hills along the coast.
During the race they serve you water and coconut water (gross!). I hate coconut. So, that kind of blew it for me. There were enough stations though.
The post race was as small as the pre-race
I don’t know what to say. It really was not the race for me. Maybe it would be for you.
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