I loved running Long Beach! It could be biased because I live here and train on the course weekly but it really is a great race.
The expo: The expo was large with a tons of vendors and was easy to get around in. Whats nice about the Long beach expo is that it is in the convention center so they have places to eat inside and plenty of restrooms, Even some really cool art work as you enter. Packet pick up was quick and they had a shirt exchange which I really appreciated.
Race Day: Long Beach has the largest amount of portable restrooms I have ever seen at any race.
While I was standing in my wave the director of the O.C marathon was announced and I thought to myself ” I hope he sees all these restrooms and learns a lesson” We all know what 2013 O.C .Marathon was like 🙁
I do wish the waves were marked a little more clearly as the the half marathon has the largest amount of runners and it gets pretty jammed packed. They were supposed to release 4 waves but it was more than that and a little confusing as to how it was done but whatever they did it seemed to work.
The course is beautiful and in my opinion the best of the 3 in Beach Cities Challenge. It is mostly flat and ran along the water expect for the last 3 miles. They had plenty of water stations and portable restrooms. The aide station seemed well staffed. I brought my own water but my cousin said that mile 9 water ran out of water. I took her down the beach path a little ways to AREC water fountain that no one seemed to notice so it worked out fine. Cliff shots were available on mile 10. They had multiple flavors and each one was clearly marked so you knew what to grab.
The finishers chute is well organized with lots of goodies and a mylar blanket. Long Beach always has a lot of food trucks and large beer garden so its nice to just hang out for awhile afterward. It is also right on shoreline village with lots of restaurants to go to. The virtual goody bag include free entry to Aquarium of the Pacific which is nice.
The tech shirt was much nicer this year and the medal was huge. I earned my Beach Cities Challenge medal at this race and couldn’t believe how big that medal is. I will be back next year to run Long Beach again!