RaceGrader - Authentic Race Reviews - Swim, Bike, Run

Review of Long Beach International Marathon/Half/5K by

Posted by: on October, 14 2013

This was the second time I have done this run. It was my first ever half marathon last year so it will always be a special one for me. Having said that I have ran in 16 other half marathons as well as a 10k and a couple of 5ks during this last year so I have learned alot about runs and what I like and what I don’t.
The expo for this run is one my favorites. It is big and has a lot to offer and I like to be able to spend some time here. Since you have to pay $10.00 for parking it is also a nice place to hang out for awhile and have lunch and spend some time. It’s an easy walk to quite a few places.
The course is again…one of my favorites. I love the beach path and the run thru the boardwalk and running the bridge with a view of the Queen Mary. For me this course only runs second in competition with Malibu…it is only better than Malibu because it is flat. 🙂
Traffic getting to Long Beach is the biggest challenge about this race, and even though we stay local for a lot of our runs, we don’t for this one. I planned on being an hour early (6:30am) and we didnt get to the parking garage we had prepaid for until 7 am. It did create some stress as I had a newbie runner doing the race and we needed to bag check. Even with that added stress, bag check was a breeze and with the wave starts we ended up being just fine. But you do have to REALLY REALLY REALLY plan for the traffic and delays…they are pretty bad.
I must give a special kudos mention to the AMAZING organization of the UPS bag check. They were so organized that they checked my number on my way to them and had my bad waiting for me…all the trucks did that. Best bag check ever!!! In all 16 of my last years runs. EVER!!! Major props to the UPS peeps!!
Post race was conjested as is normal for the bigger runs, so no real surprise. I am a huge fan of Coconut water after a long so that is a major plus for me that it was available. The goodie bag was also one of the best one of the year.
The beer garden and the music was great…no real long lines by the time I got there, easy to navigate, good music.
Again….for a year of 16 different runs…this is in my top 3!! Great run, great course, great crowd participation…I will do Long Beach every year!!!