Overall Rating
Overall Rating (13 Reviews)
4.5
(13 Ratings)(13 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.8
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4
Boasting a flat and fast Boston Qualifier course, the Big Beach Marathon reveals beautiful scenery as it runs through the paved trail system of Gulf State Park before finishing the last 3 miles on Beach Blvd with great views of the Gulf of Mexico. Choose from a flat, fast and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    TravelPrincess REPEAT RUNNER '20

    I needed "state of Alabama" race and this one was recommended by Jeff Galloway who was there for a short shake-down run on Saturday and his running school. This is … MORE

    I needed “state of Alabama” race and this one was recommended by Jeff Galloway who was there for a short shake-down run on Saturday and his running school.

    This is really a “Runcation” race. Staying at The Lodge overlooking the beautiful white beaches and gorgeous sunsets of the Gulf was like staying at a resort. (Pay the extra $ for an ocean-view room.) It was an ideal location – across the highway (with a pedestrian overhead crossing) from the start of the 7K on Saturday, a shuttle was provided to the start of the Half/Full Marathon, Expo was on site.
    Race Course: Both races were in beautiful Gulf State Park. FLAT on the wide asphalt trail and across the very unique wooden elevated walkways. Generous finish time made it very walker friendly. Plenty of water stops and restrooms. Bring your own nourishment, i.e. gels – there were none on the half marathon route. Quiet route since we were in the park but there was little chance of getting lost on the route. Course ends the last 2 miles along the road parallel to the beach.

    Race Swag: Tech long-sleeve shirt for half, soft t-shirts for 7K and Dolphin Challenge (if you did both 7K and half), Great medals. Half had a moveable runner and the Dolphin hangs from the bottom of the Half medal. 7K was patterned after a giraffe, the Alabama zoo charity supported by the race.

    Expo: Expo was large for a “small” race. Loved the steel drum band and the animals brought from the Alabama zoo.

    Pre- and Post-race: Wonderful experience pre-race at The Hangout where we could sit inside and keep warm before the race. Post-race, again great to have a place to sit inside (it was overcast and became rainy); food: yummy box lunch and 2 beers and many snacks.

    Negative: The only negative about this race was how disrespectful the runners were towards this fragile wetlands environment. The empty gel packets and cups scattered all over were so disheartening, especially when they blew off the path into the wetlands. There were enough trash locations that could have been utilized. Come on Racers!!!

    Overall: This race had almost all 50 states represented so really enjoyed talking to runners from all over. Definitely recommend this race and although it requires an airplane ticket, I’d fly there again to experience it.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Plecerf FIRST-TIMER '20

    Best pre and post marathon set up at the "Hang out" restaurant. Beautiful course in the park. First half is an easy flat course. The second half is a little … MORE

    Best pre and post marathon set up at the “Hang out” restaurant.
    Beautiful course in the park. First half is an easy flat course. The second half is a little more challenging with many wood bridges and boardwaks over marshes. Layed back and small race atmosphere. Very nice organizers.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Very smooth running race! I missed the expo due to flight delays. Was able to pick up packet that morning. Course was very well marked and plenty of aid stations. … MORE

    Very smooth running race! I missed the expo due to flight delays. Was able to pick up packet that morning. Course was very well marked and plenty of aid stations. The end had boardwalks for miles… or what seemed like miles! Awesome party at the finish for you and your family! Wasn’t my best race due to illness day before:(

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    RRWAEB83 FIRST-TIMER '20

    I was really pleased with this race. Great swag/medal, well organized, tons of food at the finish, fast flat course. I really liked that the staging had an indoor waiting … MORE

    I was really pleased with this race. Great swag/medal, well organized, tons of food at the finish, fast flat course. I really liked that the staging had an indoor waiting area since it was drizzling and cool prior to race start. The weather cleared just as the rate started and held! I cannot recommend this enough!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    erbVanZan FIRST-TIMER '20

    Course is a calm stroll through a beautiful park. Of course I was hoping for slightly warmer and no rain, (I seem to bring the north cold weather wherever I … MORE

    Course is a calm stroll through a beautiful park. Of course I was hoping for slightly warmer and no rain, (I seem to bring the north cold weather wherever I travel to), but it wasn’t disturbing and I think many PR’d. The hangout party post race was really fun!! The animals from gulf shores zoo were so cool at the expo

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    dmpg1127 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is a very well run race. Great organization, great fast & mostly flat course and the post race activities are above average. The first 10 miles are totally flat … MORE

    This is a very well run race. Great organization, great fast & mostly flat course and the post race activities are above average. The first 10 miles are totally flat and run in a park/preserve area and the final 3.1 miles ate along the Gulf road with a very gradual incline. Be aware that at that time of the year the winds in the last 3 miles can be strong.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    TrudyF FIRST-TIMER '19

    Fun and flat. This race is a nice combo of street, paved paths, and elevated boardwalks. It would also be a great course for a pr. The production is wonderfully … MORE

    Fun and flat. This race is a nice combo of street, paved paths, and elevated boardwalks. It would also be a great course for a pr. The production is wonderfully done. Packet pickup is smooth, small, but nicely done. Post race, wow! Sand castles, food, beer, candy table, and a great live band. So fun.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    erikxadams FIRST-TIMER '19

    Overall this a an awesome race. Most of it is in a national park and not a lot of spectators. Good aid stations and support. Free beer and food at … MORE

    Overall this a an awesome race. Most of it is in a national park and not a lot of spectators. Good aid stations and support. Free beer and food at the end. A lot of 50 state finishers did this one.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '19

    For the record, I'm not a beach person. (I'd rather be on a Cliffside beach or in the mountains.) I ran as the 2:15 pacer. Of the beach races I've … MORE

    For the record, I’m not a beach person. (I’d rather be on a Cliffside beach or in the mountains.) I ran as the 2:15 pacer. Of the beach races I’ve done (which is maybe a 1/2 dozen), this one is IMO very well managed and a repeater for me.
    COURSE: starts/finishes behind the hangout (a local music venue/beach front restaurant/bar). Parking is about a block away (if you get there in time). You can wait inside the Hangout for the race to start (it was pretty chilly this year). The course follows BUSY beach Blvd for a while and then enters Gulf state park and follows paved bike trails and boardwalks. This was my favorite area, although it was a bit crowded (the path is one lane). A staggered start may be beneficial to avoid this. Aid stations were spread out but adequate (had it been any warmer and if I were running the full, I would say they needed more).
    FINISH: The finish area is a nice sized party. Not to big and overwhelming. The beach is right there so you can frolic to your heart’s content. They provided several food choices, beer, drinks, or you could order from the Hangout. The medal was very colorful and nicely sized.
    BOTTOM LINE: Very well done. I would definitely run this race again, even if I wasn’t pacing.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The expo was small but I got to meet Jeff Galloway which was exciting. The race starts a really cool venue called the Hang Out which lets runners stay warm … MORE

    The expo was small but I got to meet Jeff Galloway which was exciting. The race starts a really cool venue called the Hang Out which lets runners stay warm in their spacious dinning room. The course runs through a nature walk of a state park. Several miles are board walks. Towards the end a local parrot head group gave runners leis before the last mile. The medal was nice. Runners got a choice of box lunch, two beers, ginger beer and more. A band played music for hours. It was a great event and well organized. I’d consider running it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    42kStraley FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is a pretty awesome race. Lots of hotel rooms and a beautiful beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The race is run on hiking & biking trails through a … MORE

    This is a pretty awesome race. Lots of hotel rooms and a beautiful beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The race is run on hiking & biking trails through a nature preserve so it naturally makes it difficult for supporters to get to. There are a lot of turns and the course could be confusing if there would happen to be a shortage of volunteers. Two points of advice. 1, run with a group and 2, bring your own hydration to make up for the limited number of aid stations. There was high quality food and beer for runners via the race bib coupons. I would recommend this race for sure.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    sfbabcock FIRST-TIMER '19

    You start at the beach and run most of the race through Gulf State Park. It was absolutely beautiful, pretty flat. There wasn’t a lot of swag in the race … MORE

    You start at the beach and run most of the race through Gulf State Park. It was absolutely beautiful, pretty flat. There wasn’t a lot of swag in the race bag, but the shirt is a nice long-sleeve dry fit shirt. I really enjoyed this race, I would run again for sure.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    steveboone FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is a low key race with a generous cutoff time. The course is flat and scenic. The post race food and drinks were excellent. We will return next year. … MORE

    This is a low key race with a generous cutoff time. The course is flat and scenic. The post race food and drinks were excellent. We will return next year. A good double with Mississippi Blues or Callaway Gardens. Off season hotels on the beach were a bargain.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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