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Review of Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon by Stacey Parzik

Posted by: on February, 4 2013

I love this race! I just completed my 6th year in a row, my 4th time doing the Half Marathon. It definitely seemed more crowded this year. From the expo on Saturday, to parking and the course on Sunday.
Though the packet pickup, shirt pickup and Longboard Legacy areas I got through really quickly, the expo itself was mobbed. I really appreciate that parking is free for the expo, but like another reviewer said, an earlier start time on Friday so I could go while the kids are at school and really ‘shop’ would be awesome. That being said, I was able to get all I needed from the vendors, and some free samples and get out in an hour.
Race day-I decided to park at the school since from experience last year Beach traffic is pretty bad; Brookhurst flowed nicely and I arrived at the school at 6:25-6:30…there were still quite a few spaces… and figured since I planned to start at 8:03 wave I had time to use the bathrooms there, big mistake. It was 7am by the time I got out of bathroom line and in the LONG shuttle line. Finally arrived at the course at about 7:45am and did have time to hit the bathroom one last time thanks to someone pointing out a ton more port-a-potties under the Hyatt bridge. I don’t know if my wave started on time or not, I wasn’t really paying attention. I was really focused on getting a PR this year so I definitely noticed having to navigate around a lot of walkers. Didn’t reallly annoy me. I know this race is walker friendly, just seemed to notice more this year. I finished at 10:30am. There was still Cliff Blox, Vitalyte and water at the aid stations and plenty of stuff at the finish. Thanks to my legacy (having done the race 3+ years) the special beer garden entrance line was only about 10 deep so got in there right away!
So my notes for next year to myself are: plan to park at Edison by 6:30, stop at McDonalds on Brookhurst before parking if I have to go, and/or use the under bridge port-a-potties vs. the beach bathrooms or parking lot ones, no lines!) Take Brookhurst back to freeway, WAY less post race traffic than Beach!