I ran the full marathon. It was a good experience, but I’ve enjoyed better-organized races in the past.
-Never received my corral assignment (seems like some received an email and others did not)
-Was not given the option to personalize my bib during online registration, although I saw others with personalized bibs.
-Had to pay for expo parking even though expo packet pickup was required.
-The race provided a shuttle from my hotel, but the driver’s instructions took us to the finish line, not the starting line.
-The marathon started over 15 minutes late.
-My husband told me that he had a terrible time getting to the OC Fairgrounds to meet me at the finish line. Streets were blocked and parking was unavailable. It took him almost an hour to get there even though our hotel was a mile away.
-You could tell they worked hard to bring us through the best south OC has to offer. It wound through gorgeous homes, amazing ocean views, a trail, a school, and more. I loved the variety.
-Aid stations were plentiful, well-staffed, and full of positive energy. Fabulous volunteers!
-Each mile marker sign had a quote about why people run. It was so fun to read them at each mile. Some of them recharged me right when I needed it!
-The MC announced my name as I crossed the finish line. Love that!
As far as I could tell, there wasn’t much to the post-race. It was fine but nothing special.
I will run this race again. Despite the pre-race negatives, the course was fast, scenic, and varied. The volunteers were great. And I beat my PR by over five minutes and qualified for the 2013 Boston Marathon.