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Review of Ojai Half Marathon, 5k, 10K by

Posted by: on April, 30 2013

I won an entry to this race through Race Grader and I actually expected to have a bad review of this race given reviews I’ve read from this organizers events in the past (not enough course support, etc). I actually enjoyed the race very much and would consider running some of this organizers events in the future.
Packet Pick Up: I chose to pick up my packet on Saturday at the REI in Oxnard. The only bad thing I’ll say is that packet pick-up was upstairs but there was no sign letting everybody know. I saw a couple of people asking store staff. Other than that it was very easy and the packet included a 25% coupon for REI which I do plan to use before it expires.
Course: This really shouldn’t have been called the “Ojai Half Marathon” because you really don’t run through Ojai at all. If anything it should have been called the Lake Casitas Half Marathon. That said I loved the challenging hills of the course as I was looking at them as training for SF. Course support was adequate although at the first water station they only had one person there which created long lines since everybody was still bunched up. I was worried that would be a theme for the remainder of the race but thankfully it wasn’t. Once the sun came out it became quite warm and I’d wished I brought my own water since the water stops were kind of far apart but this was minor. There were a couple of portions of the course that were on roads with no shoulder and very few signs warning drivers to slow down. This has more to do with rude drivers than with the organizers though.
Post Race: The Start/Finish was at an elementary school so there really wasn’t much there. A few booths, some nice fruit and water. Luckily I was able to park on-site so getting back to my car was easy. I was a bit disappointed that all of the medals were just placed on tables with nobody directing you to them or handing them out to finishers. I almost completely missed them.
Overall this was a good race. Certainly the smallest Half Marathon I’ve run with only about 125 finishers. Not sure if all of this organizers races are as small or if it’s just because of pre-conceived ideas due to past reviews. I’d give this race a C+.