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Review of Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon by Cordelia George Stark

Posted by: on February, 29 2012

One of the most organized races I’ve ever been to! The pre-race Expo is awesome! Lots of vendors and picking up your packet is always a breeze! I’ve only done this race twice but never had any issues with packet pick-up the last 2 times! The vendors at the Expo are totally awesome and they had LOTS of great deals on all kinds of different running gear (running belt, sunglasses, etc.) If you’re planning on buying some running gear but would like to save some bucks, this is a great Expo to go to!
As far as its course, I only did the half marathon and it’s just beautiful! You get to run on PCH along the beach from downtown Huntington Beach toward Bolsa Chica & Seal Beach then back. I hear the full marathon is even prettier because you also get to run through Central Park HB.
One of the many things I like about this race is also the fact that they used Arrowhead bottled water, so you know it was clean water that you were getting at the water stations! Lots and lots of volunteers to pour you water, but this year they ran out of cups so it was rather irritating, especially when you relied so much on those water stations. Other than that, my only other complaint about this race is also the fact that they didn’t have enough shuttle buses to take us to the start line from one of the assigned parking at Hoag Health Center on Beach Blvd. There was a long line of people waiting for the bus and it was freezing. It took a long time for each bus to come by and pick us up!! I’m not sure why they were having this issue this year because they didn’t have this problem last year! Best places to park is probably near the race (if you can find them. So, get there early!) Otherwise, the assigned parking places and the shuttle buses are okay. But still get there early, in case of the delay we experienced this year! So, other than the water cups’ shortage and the delay in the shuttle bus taking us to the starting line, everything else about the race is really great!! I liked the fact that they had individual baggies of free food, so you had a bag to place your free gatorade & water, too, instead of trying to carry the free items you get at the end in both your hands! Spectators were ok – there weren’t that many. But meeting place for family & friends are really easy because a lot of open areas (unrestricted) at the finish line unlike some other races. Food vendors at the finish line were great, and the fact that they still had the Expo available on race day was even better!! The beer garden is also one of the best I’ve ever been to (3 different beers and you can get as many as you want!) I’m not a big beer drinker, but my friends sure enjoyed their many cups of free beers!! LOL Overall, this is a really great race!! I would go back and do one probably each year!! And yes, they have one of the best medals out there, too!! I mean, who doesn’t like a medal shaped like a surfboard?? 🙂