This was my fourth full marathon and by far my favorite!! Surf City offers incredible scenery, great weather (although it was a little warm this year), and great people. the expo is kind of small but everything is there that you need before a race. I would recommend not getting there on Sat afternoon before the race. With the size of the expo and number of people, I would try to get there as early as possible. The SWAG bag was great and something that I will use again! I liked the fact that it wasnt full of junk that I was just going to throw away when I got home.
The course was awesome with some incredible views. A good number of water stations and great snacks to munch on too. There wasnt as many spectators as I have seen at other races, but enough energetic people to keep you moving. Rarely did I find myself looking for someone to cheer me on. There were a lot of kids in Central Park who were so full of energy and cheering for everyone! One word of advice, they say there is only one “incline” on the course…they lied!! There are a couple but nothing significant! They are pretty short and sweet.
The post race activities were great too. Plenty of water and post race food. My only complaint about the water at the end was that they seemed to have run out of individual bottles and began pouring water in cups which was kind of a pain, but bearable. Again, there was plenty of volunteers offering encouraging words and smiles.
Overall, in my very limited experience running marathons, this IS the best one!! My wife and I will be running it again next year if everything goes as planned. Obviously the organizers and planners of this race are runners and they not only listen to the suggestions of those who run the race, they take them to heart!! Runners working for Runners!!
Whether you are running your first marathon, or your 100th marathon, this is an incredible marathon for Runners of all abilities!
See you next year!