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Review of OC Marathon, Half Marathon, Wahoos 5K by

Posted by: on May, 5 2013

I love this race, I really do, but today I left the fair grounds with a bad taste in my mouth. I had a great run, PR in fact, but man the post race part of the half was just downright abysmal.
Let’s start at the beginning. I had a friend get my packet this year, but the pick up was seemless I heard. Getting on those shuttles was easy, but then again I arrived at 4:45 am and made it to Fashion Island by 5:15, plenty of time for the half that started at 6:15. The half started on time and the course was again scenic with plenty of good aid stations with a lot of Gatorade towards the end of the run. There were a lot of hills, but more downhills than I remembered from last year which was nice. Miles 2-3 and 6-7 were my favorites because of the views of the water. The path gets a little narrow coming up to mile 7, but people were nicer this year and not elbowing. There were more spectators than last year cheering people along which was a nice little boost. All in all, the course was great.
However….when the race ended, it was difficult to find the UPS gear trucks which were tucked away in a corner of the fairground. Once I did get there, freezing mind you, I waited an hour and 45 min (about 15 min short of my half marathon time) to get my gear. The volunteers from my UPS truck left crying and that left only runners to dole out the goods. It was awful. Once I got my gear, I thought, “yes, finally I am free!”. Little did I know that the marathon, which was still going on, was blocking all availible exits. I sat another 45 min in the parking lot with about 400 disgruntled runners who just wanted to leave, eat and shower. This experience made me question whether or not I want to do the OC again. It’s a great course but this year something went wrong in the planning. If it wasn’t part of the Beach Cities Challenge, I wouldn’t be back.