I just did the inaugural Surfers Point Marathon in Ventura, CA yesterday morning. This was a well-organized event on a fast, scenic course offering marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K distances. There were over 500 participants, with the majority doing the half.
Pre-Race: Good communication regarding registration, race day checklists, packet pick up, race day logistics. Free & abundant parking on the morning of the race ,whether by design or by accident, was greatly appreciated. At race day check in, there were three distinct lines (marathon, half, and 5K/10K) but these weren’t clearly signed so there was a little confusion but that’s the only complaint.
Course: A beautiful course that parallels the ocean for most of the way, with a few rolling hills, nothing too challenging. Portions of the race on a public promenade near Ventura pier (final sprint to the finish) gets more crowded with the general public as it gets later in the morning and you have to watch out for people that have no clue there’s a race going on.
Post race: Big grassy area for runners and spectators to relax after the race, with plentiful recovery nourishment (bagels, fruit, water, FRS & muscle milk samples) on hand. Timing results were updated quickly and displayed on large digital screens, a big improvement over waiting for printouts to be posted & crowded around. I haven’t seen a post-race email to participants, however just by going to the website I found quick links to results and photos.
Swag: All runners received a reusable shopping bag and a nice navy-blue technical t-shirt. The finishers medals were really nice too, good quality.
This event was produced by Elite Sports of Ventura County. I’ve previously done some of the Camarillo Duathlon events; this was my first pure running event. All have been really positive experiences, well-run and friendly.