My Profile

@fotogmike

Lake Forest, CA Raving since 2020 Boston Marathon finisher, 50 States hopeful/finisher, World Marathon Majors Six Star hopeful/finisher Active 6 days, 4 hours ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    A Snail's Pace Running Club, Beach Cities Road Runners, & WOOT! running

  • Rave race:

    Boston Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Berlin Marathon

  • I run because:

    I want to maintain my youthfulness, mobility, and overall health.

    I want to travel and see the world through the variety of races available to us.

    I want to race against the clock, against others, but especially to be with friends at these races and in training.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (106)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Fargo, ND Jun 1, 2024
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 5, 2024
Marathon Springdale, AR Apr 20, 2024
Marathon Newport, RI Apr 13, 2024
Marathon Yorba Linda, CA Mar 2, 2024
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 4, 2024
Marathon Santa Clarita, CA Nov 12, 2023
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 15, 2023
Marathon Crazy Horse, SD Oct 8, 2023
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Sep 16, 2023
51K Rachel, NV Aug 6, 2023
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Jun 17, 2023
Marathon San Diego, CA Jun 4, 2023
Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 7, 2023
Marathon Nashville, TN Apr 22, 2023
Marathon Hopkinton, MA Apr 17, 2023
Marathon Bakersfield, CA Mar 26, 2023
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 5, 2023
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Jan 21, 2023
Marathon Carlsbad, CA Jan 15, 2023
Marathon Big Bear, CA Nov 12, 2022
Marathon Durham, NC Oct 30, 2022
Marathon Lexington, VA Oct 29, 2022
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 9, 2022
Marathon Cerritos, CA Jun 25, 2022
Marathon San Diego, CA Jun 5, 2022
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 1, 2022
Marathon Lahaina, HI Apr 24, 2022
Marathon Calistoga, CA Mar 6, 2022
Marathon Ventura, CA Feb 27, 2022
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 6, 2022
Marathon Big Bear, CA Nov 13, 2021
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 10, 2021
Marathon Ely, MN Sep 25, 2021
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Sep 11, 2021
Marathon Casper, WY Jun 6, 2021
Marathon Coeur d\'Alene, ID May 30, 2021
Marathon Omaha, NE Oct 11, 2020
Marathon Galveston, TX Feb 9, 2020
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 2, 2020
Marathon Bakersfield, CA Nov 17, 2019
Marathon Bar Harbor, ME Oct 20, 2019
Marathon Chicago, IL Oct 13, 2019
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 5, 2019
Marathon Hopkinton, MA Apr 15, 2019
Marathon Waimea, HI Mar 9, 2019
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 3, 2019
Marathon Homewood, CA Oct 14, 2018
Marathon South Lake Tahoe, CA Oct 13, 2018
Marathon Incline Village, NV Oct 12, 2018
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 7, 2018
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 6, 2018
Marathon Eugene, OR Apr 29, 2018
Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 12, 2017
Marathon Iron River, WI Oct 14, 2017
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 8, 2017
Marathon San Diego, CA Jun 4, 2017
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 7, 2017
Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Apr 22, 2017
Marathon Hopkinton, MA Apr 17, 2017
Marathon Santa Clarita, CA Nov 6, 2016
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 9, 2016
Marathon Santa Rosa, CA Aug 28, 2016
Marathon Vancouver, WA Jun 19, 2016
Marathon Seattle, WA Jun 18, 2016
Marathon Las Vegas, NV May 7, 2016
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 1, 2016
Marathon Los Angeles, CA Feb 14, 2016
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 7, 2016
Marathon Carlsbad, CA Jan 17, 2016
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 3, 2015
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 1, 2015
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2014
Marathon Carlsbad, CA 2014
Marathon Long Beach, CA 2013
Marathon Homewood, CA 2013
Marathon Newport Beach, CA 2013
Marathon Calistoga, CA 2013
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2013
Marathon Avalon, CA Nov 10, 2012
Marathon Boulder City, NV Nov 3, 2012
Marathon Newport Beach, CA 2012
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2012
Marathon Los Angeles, CA 2012
Marathon Houston, TX 2012
Marathon Avalon, CA Nov 12, 2011
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 6, 2011
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2011
Marathon Big Sur, CA Apr 25, 2010
Marathon Hopkinton, MA Apr 19, 2010
Marathon Long Beach, CA 2010
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2010
Marathon Long Beach, CA 2009
Marathon San Diego, CA 2009
Marathon Phoenix, AZ 2009
Marathon Pasadena, CA 2009
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2009
Marathon San Francisco, CA 2008
Marathon Big Sur, CA 2008
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA 2008
Marathon Newport Beach, CA 2008
Marathon Los Angeles, CA 2007
Marathon Carlsbad, CA 2007
Marathon San Francisco, CA 2006
Marathon Los Angeles, CA 2006
Marathon Carlsbad, CA 2006

My Raves

If you're a local, you're probably familiar with the Santa Ana River Trail. If you live out of the area, it's an asphalt paved recreational trail that follows the Santa … MORE

If you’re a local, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana River Trail. If you live out of the area, it’s an asphalt paved recreational trail that follows the Santa Ana River from the inland border of Orange County all the way to the ocean. That may bring visions of lots of greenery along a serene waterway. No such luck. Almost the whole river is a giant concrete-lined flood control channel. Most of the trail runs behind nice residential areas, past sports venues, small neighborhood parks, and a golf course. A few short segments are next to industrial parks with lots of graffiti and tall fences topped with razor wire.
Buses got us to the start area with plenty of time to warm up. Aid stations were approximately every two miles with dedicated volunteers who braved some challenging weather. Pre-race emails were timely and informative. Drop bags were supplied and were right next to the finish line for easy pick up. Swag was a mix of a basic poly/cotton shirt with simple graphics and a finisher’s medal of impressive size and design. The medal even had a section imitating beach sand – appropriate since you finish in a parking lot at the beach.
Since the trail crosses under every major street and highway, you have little downhill and uphill intervals to deal with. Hill training isn’t necessary, but it would help.

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2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Normally a very nice race, but multiple problems led to disappointment for lots of runners. The marathon started 25 minutes late. On a hotter-than-usual day, that's a problem. There's little … MORE

Normally a very nice race, but multiple problems led to disappointment for lots of runners. The marathon started 25 minutes late. On a hotter-than-usual day, that’s a problem. There’s little shade on the course so you got more sun exposure and dealt with the heat longer. The on-course electrolyte drink remains a mystery. Nothing about the brand or product name on their web site. It was there in two flavors and one tasted awful. The first aid station to have it was 6 miles in and it was only in really small cups the whole way. I heard that they ran out of medals for those completing the Beach Cities Challenge. Easily fixed if they mail them later, but still disappointing. A couple of friends reported timing problems, with one showing no finish time. The corrected results the next day showed a time about 2 hours faster than the true time. Drinks at the finish line were not cold. On a hot day, that’s bad.
It wasn’t all bad though. The finisher’s medals are very impressive. The shirts are a quality product with a nice design. The course has some hills, but nothing terrible. Conserve on the uphill portions, take advantage of any downhill portions, and you can get a fast time. I got a BQ here one year.
Hopefully race management fixes all this because this is usually a fun race. Lots of good scenery along the way and the spectator support always provides some memorable highlights. People were handing out Otter Pops during mile 23 and there were not one, but TWO people in unicorn costumes at mile 10.

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2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This race follows the same Lovell Canyon course as the race in June, but with a 5 pm start. Cooler weather although the hills are still just as tough. This … MORE

This race follows the same Lovell Canyon course as the race in June, but with a 5 pm start. Cooler weather although the hills are still just as tough. This is not a PR course, but it is a great way to get some hill training in, see the canyon in a different light (pun intended), and enjoy the cool, clean high desert air. Once it’s dark, the canyon scenery disappears and the stars become your scenery. You’ll see stars you didn’t know existed because you’re about 30 miles west of Las Vegas. Course support and finish line atmosphere are great. I ran the marathon, but there’s also a shorter distance for everyone.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
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SWAG
4

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Out in the high desert somewhat near Las Vegas is this infamous place known as Area 51. You've probably heard about it. UFOs, aliens, government secrecy, and more. Want to … MORE

Out in the high desert somewhat near Las Vegas is this infamous place known as Area 51. You’ve probably heard about it. UFOs, aliens, government secrecy, and more. Want to run a race there? It starts at midnight. Party time! Put on your best alien apparel and choose your distance from 5K to 51K.
I ran this one as my first official ultra and took it easy to make sure I had enough energy left for the final post-marathon miles. The finishing stretch is flat, which really helps. The first 7 miles are uphill, the next 7 downhill, and the rest is flat except for a little climb before the second turnaround for the 51K.
I met people from many different states at this event. Lots of runners dressed up for this race, adding to the fun. The excellent spread of food and drink at the finish helps to jump-start your recovery. Not much to see in the darkness of race time, but if you wait around for the sunrise, you get to see the beauty of Nevada’s high desert.
I’ve run other Calico Racing events and they always do a great job providing what runners need and like. I highly recommend paying extra for bus transportation to and from the race. No school buses. They get quiet, smooth-riding tour buses with comfortable seats.
The marathon course is the same as the 51K except for an earlier second turnaround. Half marathon and shorter distances are different.

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1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

You know the saying. "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" has been applied to many things in life and it applies here. Not that you're risking death at this … MORE

You know the saying. “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” has been applied to many things in life and it applies here. Not that you’re risking death at this race, but your running ability will be tested. It’s hot, it’s dry, it’s hilly, and you’re at elevation. Fortunately, course support is excellent. Aid stations have all the things you need. If you like high desert scenery you’ll really enjoy this one. Lots of greenery, some red rock formations, and still some wildflowers despite the heat. About 4.5 miles from the start you get a fantastic view of the broad canyon you’re running in.
I ran the marathon and it’s almost all uphill for the first 11 miles. It’s also almost all downhill for the last 11 miles, but my legs were too tired to take advantage of it. There are shorter and longer distance options so there’s something for everyone. Parking was a little challenging for later arrivals. The medal was nice but nothing to get excited about. The shirt is a quality tech fabric with graphics like the medal – nice but nothing to get excited about.
All things considered, I’ll recommend this race since production details are far more important than bling. This company does a great job with all their races. If you’ve run lots of races and you’re looking for something different and challenging, this one should satisfy that desire.

DIFFICULTY
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This year's race got a lot of attention because of the weather, but the more important details are what runners can expect in other years. At the top of the … MORE

This year’s race got a lot of attention because of the weather, but the more important details are what runners can expect in other years. At the top of the list is the fantastic spectator support. They went well beyond cheering by decorating, being in costume, playing fun music, and setting up extra aid stations.
The course has some hills and all the tougher ones are in the early miles when your legs are still fresh. Keep your effort level from spiking and save some energy for later. I discovered the finish area was like a buffet line, with lots of items from the sponsors, especially Kroger and the local LaRosa’s Pizzeria. After you’ve gotten your medal and post-race goodies, you can relax in Riverfront Park, a beautiful place to rest, recover, and take photos.
Two more important details: The expo was bigger than most and shows great sponsor support. Access to the start corrals was very well-controlled. When I started running, there were no problems dealing with slower runners getting in the way or faster runners pushing through. Everyone around me was at the same pace.

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While you're enjoying the great scenery, watch your step in the open range. Curious cows may leave some obstacles on the trail, but that's the only thing to worry about … MORE

While you’re enjoying the great scenery, watch your step in the open range. Curious cows may leave some obstacles on the trail, but that’s the only thing to worry about in this little race. It made me feel like a bunch of friends and neighbors organized a race and did a great job. It’s on a dirt trail in the woods that’s a little rough and rocky in a couple of sections, pretty smooth most of the way, and being on a retired railroad line next to a river, it’s flat. Really flat. I appreciated the great support from the race crew, spectators, and fellow runners. Parking was a little hectic because the race is on the verge of outgrowing the available space. In addition to the usual shirt and medal, I also got a very nice hat. Good snacks and pizza at the finish, too.
This race was a perfect fit for my preference to run smaller, lesser-known marathons on my 50-state journey. Put this one on your calendar.

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Running downhill with a tailwind is great, but it doesn't last forever. This course starts with a barely noticeable downhill, then gives you a little more push as you go. … MORE

Running downhill with a tailwind is great, but it doesn’t last forever. This course starts with a barely noticeable downhill, then gives you a little more push as you go. As you get close to the south coast, you get a moderate climb, then mixed uphill and downhill, then flat for the second half. The scenery is a variety of what’s on the island. Farms, lava fields, beaches, and then the tourist resorts. You get to run down Lahaina’s famous Front Street when it’s nearly deserted – a rare sight – and through the only tunnel on Maui. The 5 am start is to avoid the heat as much as possible, but it still gets uncomfortable before you’re done. At least the humidity is mild and the scenery is a beautiful distraction. Race production was excellent from packet pickup to post-race buses. Even though the highways are open to traffic and you run on a narrow shoulder at times, I found drivers to be careful, courteous, and many gave supportive horn honks and cheers as they passed.

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It's a Revel race, so you expect lots of downhill to give you a push and get a PR or a BQ. What you need to expect at this one … MORE

It’s a Revel race, so you expect lots of downhill to give you a push and get a PR or a BQ. What you need to expect at this one is the little uphill portions during the first 9 miles. You’re still at elevation there, so be ready for the challenge. Another good thing about Revel races is that they do an excellent job in so many ways. Little surprise extras with swag, great post-race food and drink, and a super-organized drop bag pickup with no waiting or searching.
Oh, and about that BQ…yes, I got it. Fastest I’ve run in almost 4 years.

DIFFICULTY
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1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The 2020 course was different from the one in previous years, so I'll just say that they should use it again, despite the uphill finish. Most of the miles were … MORE

The 2020 course was different from the one in previous years, so I’ll just say that they should use it again, despite the uphill finish. Most of the miles were on paved trails along two creeks in Papillion, southwest of Omaha. Construction in downtown Omaha forced the course change and the Covid pandemic forced other changes, but the race went on and the organizers showed that it can be done. Face coverings were required until you got to the start line, three runners started every ten seconds, and water stations had 10 ounce bottles of water or Gatorade instead of cups.
The course markings were the best I’ve ever seen. Every turn or trail intersection had multiple signs with big arrows to make it nearly impossible to go the wrong way. Most of these locations also had a volunteer stationed there. Not many spectators, but all were enthusiastic and supportive. Same energy from the volunteers. Nom-nom bag at the finish had some tasty goodies inside, but no protein bar or other source of good post-race protein, so bring your own. Maybe they can get a sponsor for that in the future.
Everything from packet pick-up to the finish line was very well-organized. This group does a great job.

DIFFICULTY
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If you like running at or near the ocean, you'll like this one. The ocean here is actually the Gulf of Mexico, but it has the same effect. Nice breeze … MORE

If you like running at or near the ocean, you’ll like this one. The ocean here is actually the Gulf of Mexico, but it has the same effect. Nice breeze and relaxing scenery. The marathon is two loops of the course, so once you get halfway done, you know the rest. You also run through a couple of beachfront communities with their unique houses, a small nature preserve, and down to the pier with its rides and attractions. The course does have a couple of small uphill sections and a couple of small downhill sections. The elevation change at each is about 7 or 8 feet. Yeah, that’s all. It’s a flat course. Since it’s a small race, they give you the option of picking up your bib and stuff race morning, but expect to stand in line for a while. Parking is on a big beach with hard-packed sand, it’s free, and it’s right next to the start/finish area. Post-race food was great because a couple of local restaurants provided it. Yummm, keep those sponsors. Aid stations had the basics and volunteers were friendly, welcoming, and supportive. Top-notch announcer, too.

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If you think Bakersfield sounds boring, think again. The course runs through a variety of different neighborhoods and sections of the city while offering a few surprises along the way. … MORE

If you think Bakersfield sounds boring, think again. The course runs through a variety of different neighborhoods and sections of the city while offering a few surprises along the way. The start and finish are at the Cal State Bakersfield campus with plenty of free parking. Going through different sections of the downtown area, even the seedy part with its dive bars seems strangely scenic when it’s quiet and deserted in the early morning hours. My favorite part was running through the grounds of the Kern County Museum. If you enjoy learning about local history, go here after the race. Many people envision Bakersfield as being flat, but there’s a hill you’ll climb in the second half of the marathon that will challenge you a bit. The half marathon is totally flat, but the marathon’s climb to Bakersfield College lasts for 3 miles. It’s gradual, so nothing too difficult, but you need to be ready for it. Once you run through the campus, you’re rewarded with a great view of the the valley and a huge oil field. From there, the last 10 miles are downhill on a paved trail that follows the Kern River. Spectator support in the residential areas was great. Even the police doing traffic control cheered for the runners and were very friendly. In addition to the usual shirt and medal, runners got a very nice hat suitable for running. Although the race has been cancelled for 2020 because of the annoying little virus issue, 2021 should be a great time to go.

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2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Known for the great scenery, this race never disappoints. Mount Desert Island is one of many islands along Maine's coast, but also home to Acadia National Park. Part of the … MORE

Known for the great scenery, this race never disappoints. Mount Desert Island is one of many islands along Maine’s coast, but also home to Acadia National Park. Part of the course goes through the park, but even the other sections, especially along the coast, will keep you wide-eyed and smiling at the beauty of the area. Plus, the fall colors will impress, the cheering from some very small towns along the way will lift your mood, and the enthusiastic aid station volunteers give your energy level a little boost. The course is fairly hilly, but the hills are small. Lots of them, but lots of downhill parts as well. Finish line food was excellent, the announcer does a great job of calling out first-time marathoners (you get a different bib), and the medal is uniquely Maine.
One drawback to the race is the shortage of port-a-potties on the course. Very few and far between. You can’t always hide behind a tree or bush.
This is one of few races that I recommend running at least once in your lifetime.

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My Media

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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