This was my first year running the O.C 1/2 Marathon and I do have a lot to say about it.
Bib Delivery:I had originally ordered bib delivery but was excited to find out later I was actually going to be about to make the expo after all. My bib was delivered about 4 days before the race but I received an email apologizing because many people did not received there bibs in the mail and were being offered refunds.
The expo: It was well organized and very large will lots of vendors. I went with a pocket full of cash and bought some things I had been interested in for some time. I also bought parking for the next day for $5.00 rather than having to pay $10.00 the day of. Tech shirts were kind uhhh in color but ran true to size which was nice especially when I found out they had strict rules on not changing your size at the expo. The only thing I was bummed about was that I had ordered a personalized bib in and didn’t get it. When I visited solutions they asked for my confirmation email which I presented and they didn’t have and answer for me as to where it was or what happened. Only to email the company they used and ask for a refund.
Race day: What a mess that was….. they did not have enough shuttles and traffic was a nightmare so we had to get dropped off and run towards the starting line. I needed to gear check and there was long line for that and a long line for e restrooms. They didn’t have very many ports potties and they did not have toilet paper! We ended up missing both of our corrals and starting in the last wave and fighting out way through the course since we had originally been set for corral 2. Thanks to the long lines and lack of facilities starting on time was not possible.
The course: It was very beautiful and the ocean views were amazing. The people along the course were great in giving support. We both in Boston colors and it was awesome to hear everyone yelling Boston Strong as we passed by. There we some hills and I do a lot of hill training so it was okay but I saw some people dropping of like flies so just be sure to hill train for this race. The water stations were stocked as I went by and they plenty of cliff shots on mile 10. I passed 2 aide station which was nice to see. I had a pace tattoo on for the race and noticed right away with my Garmin that the mile markers were off by quite a bit. It seemed to be okay because I was ahead of my set pace for a while but it was very irritating, I thought for a awhile my Garmin was off but that has never happened before but I had never ran a race with the course off before either so it was confusing.
Finish Line: It was a bit chaotic the kids were passing out medals and goodies out you kinda had to chase them down to get your stuff and they actually ran out of 1/2 marathon medals at some point. I heard they gave out full marathon medals to finishers but that’s just not the same. The goodie bags in a word sucked. Once you walked out of the the finish area you welcomed to land of lines.
Gear Pick Up: I have never seen anything like that in my like. It was HORRIBLE a NIGHTMARE. My family waited in the freezing cold for me for over an hour because my clothes were in a truck with number 5000 to 10,000! Nothing but a bunch of kids scrambling around looking at each and every tag because they didn’t seem to be organized and they were all in clear plastic bags. I should have just left my stuff there. Some people waited 2 hours only to find out there bags had been lost. I had hoped when they said UPS truck were there that they had actual UPS employees but that was not the case and it was the absolute worst thing I have ever seen at any race. If I dare go back I will never gear check at O.C. again.
The Parking Lot. Trying to get out was not good. We were very lucky to have parked near the exit otherwise we have waited over an hour to exit like everyone else. There was one exit for the entire place and no one directing traffic. Luckily our wait was about a 1/2 and we only parked about 20 feet from the exit.
Later when I checked the O.C Marathon Facebook page I found out from others the course was indeed long. People clocked it between 3.42 and 3.58 which is what I got too. I was using this race as a qualifying time for another race and the added length of the course threw my time off. As some runners know there are times when every single second counts. Needless to say I am frustrated by the events of the day and have to really think about if I ever want to to run O.C again that is why I am giving it an overall rating of C,