Fun run! My favorite local half marathon!
I recently completed the Beach Cities Challenge, having run Long Beach, Surf City, and OC half marathons in one year, and OC tops them all.
What makes this a great race is the variety of scenes you see as you make your way from start to finish. You start at Fashion Island. Then head down PCH to the beach at Corona Del Mar. As you leave the beach you zig zag through a very beautiful neighborhood with a good number of supporters. The race takes you back up PCH to Back Bay. This transition may be the only difficult part of the race. There is a huge bottleneck under the bridge to the bay that may have you bumping elbows with other runners. After that, the hills emerge. Lucky for you, the view is quite nice at the top of the bay, which makes it all worth it. Once you’ve hit the last hill, it’s all flat until the finish.
I like this race because it’s fast even it it’s not all flat. There’s a lot to take in, even if it is my backyard.
Pre-race complaints. Last year they had a decent sized expo, nothing fancy. They also had a partnership for free admission to a food expo that wasn’t really worth it. Also, if you don’t like point-to-point shuttles, that could be a problem too, even though I had no real problem with it personally.
Post race complaint: no free beer, only expensive beer, something like $11/pint.