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

Posted by: on October, 16 2013

This is my second time running the Long Beach Full Marathon (first time was in 2009, which I believe had a slightly different course) and in between I ran all the half marathons. I originally signed up for the half, but when I heard about the earlier start time, I went ahead and switched it over. In my opinion, the race was 100% better. There was no bottle necking on the beach path, as it typically is with the half marathon. The weather was great, and everything went as planned, for me. I wanted to finish under 4:30, and I came in 4:24!
The split comes around mile 11, and we merge back with the halfers around 24, I think. It was pretty crowded by then because it was pretty much all walkers from the half marathon, and unfortunately, they were all over the course. I’ve run other ones where there are people trying to direct them to stay on their “side”, but not the case here. I know this will bother some runners, so I want to mention it here. I did have to weave a bit in and out to get around them. But personally, for me, it makes me feel like I’m going so much faster than I really am, that I can deal with it.
The post-race goodies were great, as most others has mentioned. I didn’t gear check this year, so I can’t speak to that experience. The crowd/spectators were kind of everywhere, and I had some friends that weren’t able to even find me as a result. I’m hoping maybe next year they can work on being more vigilant about stuff like that.
This was my 3rd time completing the Beach Cities challenge, and was so happy to get my Beach Cities medal and towel afterwards! Of the three full marathons, I think this one has the best course and race support/spectators. Thankfully the weather cooperated and was cool, for the most part. But it isn’t always that way.
Can’t wait to finish the challenge again!