Overall Rating
Overall Rating (17 Reviews)
4.1
(17 Ratings)(17 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.7
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
3.1
The annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5K, and 10K, honors the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. This favorite Memorial Day running event takes place in the beautiful Orange County cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. Runners and walkers of … MORE
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2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 67 70 67 70 68
L (°F) 50 57 58 54 58
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Recent reviews

    spifko FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course is pretty with a lot of rolling hills The finish area is very family friendly and is a great area to hang out and relax after the race … MORE

    The course is pretty with a lot of rolling hills
    The finish area is very family friendly and is a great area to hang out and relax after the race
    I only wish they gave out a tech shirt instead of a t-shirt

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '19

    2019 was the start of a new 5 year challenge. They offer a 5k, 10K, as well as a half. Race day bib pick up. It's a point to point … MORE

    2019 was the start of a new 5 year challenge. They offer a 5k, 10K, as well as a half. Race day bib pick up. It’s a point to point race. The start is at a mall and makes parking super easy. Very hilly course.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was my 5th time running this half marathon. Every year, the medal honors a different branch of the military. If you ran the race (any distance) every year since … MORE

    This was my 5th time running this half marathon. Every year, the medal honors a different branch of the military. If you ran the race (any distance) every year since 2014, in 2018 you received the Joint Chief of Staff challenge medal. That was enough motivation to keep me coming back! The course is challenging with lots of hills, especially in the first half. The downhill portions are nice and long which helps make up for some of the time lost on the uphill portions. The course starts on roads, transitions onto a single lane dirt trail and then finishes on a bike path. Be mentally prepared for the end of the race. It is uphill, you know you are close, but you can’t see the finish line. The race offers free race morning packet pickup, which always earns brownie points from me. The best part of this race is the finish line festival. There are lots of vendors and a few food trucks (hint: get “The Broadsword” from The Viking Truck). You can also purchase a beer tasting in the beer garden. I have discovered several new beers and ciders thanks to this beer garden. I tend to hang around for quite a while after I finish and catch one of the last few buses back to the start. I have enjoyed collecting the set of medals honoring the branches of the military. The shirts are mediocre (I don’t even remember what this year’s shirt looks like) and get thrown into my pajama drawer (actually, I think this year’s shirt might still be in my car). If you run the half marathon, you also receive a trucker style hat. This year I fell at mile 9.5 and decided to walk the rest of the race with another participant who had just fallen only a minute or two before me. We both tripped over a crack in the asphalt caused by the root of a nearby tree. The race staff was extremely attentive wanting to make sure we were ‘ok.’ A course marshall followed us on bicycle until we reached an aid-station where he provided us with first aid supplies.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a point to point. It's best to park at the start. They busses go pretty quickly and the line at the finish usually isn't too bad. Weather can … MORE

    This is a point to point. It’s best to park at the start. They busses go pretty quickly and the line at the finish usually isn’t too bad. Weather can be hit or miss for this time of year so plan ahead accordingly. the back half of the half is pretty much rolling hills. Overall a fun channeling course.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    kmjarema FIRST-TIMER '18

    I liked the respect they showed for the holiday, and they level of participation. The hills were a bit hard, but you end with a park run which makes up … MORE

    I liked the respect they showed for the holiday, and they level of participation. The hills were a bit hard, but you end with a park run which makes up for the first 5K which is all roadside.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    chrisy129 FIRST-TIMER '15

    Race was very well organized, but that's because it's put on by Renegade Racing. They were pretty on time and it's same day packet pick up. Shuttle back from the … MORE

    Race was very well organized, but that’s because it’s put on by Renegade Racing. They were pretty on time and it’s same day packet pick up. Shuttle back from the finish to start was very well organized as well. The course runs through Laguna Hills, which in the name itself tells you that it’s going to be hilly. Loads of rolling hills. Great way to burn off some calories before the Memorial weekend celebration. Swag was just a cotton tee, but this race is so affordable, you can’t ask for more. Medal was pretty good for the price tho. It’s part of a five year series, but I’ll have to make up the 2014 race to get the Chief of Staff at the end of the series.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I've done this race for 4 years now because it is a club race. I'm not really a fan due to this course and hills. It's a point to point … MORE

    I’ve done this race for 4 years now because it is a club race. I’m not really a fan due to this course and hills. It’s a point to point but the bus system at the finish line always runs pretty smoothly. The finish line for the 1/2 is a sharp up hill followed immediately by a sharp left turn. Not the best way to finish a race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    mahesh3566 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Its not the best race but I still would give it a hearty 4 stars, and here is why. 1. I live in Irvine, so this race is literally 5mins … MORE

    Its not the best race but I still would give it a hearty 4 stars, and here is why.

    1. I live in Irvine, so this race is literally 5mins away. if you understand the logistics of driving to a race, awful early in the morning or late nights, you will realize what a convenience that is.

    2. the startline is by Laguna Hills mall. Which means, there is plenty of parking.

    3. The race starts at 7:30am which is pretty good time, the entire run can be in a pleasant nice temperature.

    4. Its a community event, and you feel that every minute when you do this event. Part of the course, runs through Laguna Woods senior village and its beautiful, and to see the old people sitting by the side trying to cheer the runners, makes my heart melt. Lot of them are really old, and I am pretty sure they look forward to this event, like christmas. the first mile runs through this village, and looking at the residents cheering us made me emotional, I even forgot I was trying to race, and I was in the moment. You have to experience that. Its very different feeling running this race compare to all other races I have done.

    5. Plenty Plenty water stations. and the the race includes a 5k/10k and a half marathon, and they have enough signs directing the different race groups so its not as confusing as it sounds when you initially read through their fliers.

    6. for half marathoners, they have tons of electrolyte stations, and they were hading out gels, whcih was pretty amazing. and if you know how expensive they are, i feel like I got my moneys worth by grabbing enough for the trail and for some later. jk.

    7. part of the course runs through the trail so its beautiful. Its up and down hill. you go down for half thew ay and climb back up. its a gradual climb, so nothing too steep. I would say its a pretty easy course.

    8. I ran with some of the nicest people.

    9. you kind of loop back so you get to see the people that are ahead of you , or behind you. it gives you a perspective in some odd strange way!

    10. nice medal!

    now the bad:(not that bad, but makes me not wanna give 5 star)
    1. Its a pretty expensive race(100$for half, and about 40$ for 5k), but the tshirts/hats were pretty cheap looking. I dont think they get good sponsors, being a small event.but i have to remember they donate part of the money to military /camp pendleton, so that might be it.

    2. The event is hosted by renegade race group, but the event itself doesnt have a facebook page or anything like that , so its hard to find the people that run the race and network ahead of time.

    3. i wish they included free beer with it, but you have to pay 10$ for beer, which we didnt bother. but when you run long distance, recarbing is as critical!

    4. their website had the route map, but they didnt have elevation graph or anything so it was hard to plan the pace.

    5. the division placement medals were beer mugs, which was pretty stupid.

    6. last but not least, your bib has a 5$ off coupon for 20$ at Rubys/laguna hills mall, and that is what you are running with for all the distance. kind of ghetto, but its a low key race!

    final note: if you live close by and need a race do it. but if you are driving miles and miles, i woudl recommend either Ventura mountain2sea(May last week) or SD’s Rock nRoll(Jun 1st week) as alternative/better ones.

    btw, this was my first time running a half marathon, so I will always remember this run for rest of my life!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is a club race that I participate in every year. The last 1/2 mile or so of the race is up hill and kills me every time. Great for … MORE

    This is a club race that I participate in every year. The last 1/2 mile or so of the race is up hill and kills me every time. Great for first time runners. The pace teams are always spot on and super helpful.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    nthome FIRST-TIMER '15

    This was my 17th half marathon but my first time running this one ...I must say, I was pleasantly surprised!  This was a bit of a last minute decision  -- … MORE

    This was my 17th half marathon but my first time running this one …I must say, I was pleasantly surprised!  This was a bit of a last minute decision  — I decided on Sunday — went to Roadrunner Sports in Laguna Hills and registered for the race (they offer same day registration too but … I didn’t want to deal with it that morning).   Totally easy, painless registration and packet pick up.  Tech shirt AND a hat as a bonus.  

    Lately, I’ve been avoiding community or holiday “fun run” races — simply because I’m not a fan of dodging kids, strollers, dogs (and I love dogs!) on the course.  Knowing that the 5k, 10k and half marathon all started together, I braced myself for what was going to be a crowded start.   Yes, you have walkers 4-wide starting in the 9 min mile (( sigh )) …. it’s unavoidable at any race it seems.  But, the course was actually wide enough and I didn’t find the dodging and weaving to be all that bad!  

    So yes, it’s definitely a family-friendly community ‘fun run’ 5k … be prepared for that if you’re running the half or 10k and want to be ‘competitive.’   It would be kinda nice if the race organizers staggered the race starts but … this isn’t a review of what we wish/want for … it’s a review for what the race IS so ……. moving on.

    If considering this as your first half marathon, it’s not what I’d call an easy course.  I mean, given that the word HILLS is in the city name … you can expect a few.  That being said, there are also some really nice groovy downhills you can cruise. What goes up must come down, right?  As for the “hill” at mile 13 … yes, a little cruel to have any sort of hill the last mile but honestly, it’s a BLIP right at the end … and you’ve got people lining both sides cheering you on while you’re pretty much running on adrenaline.  It’s a short incline right before the last turn, not a big deal.  

    Overall, love the community spirit and patrioticism of this event!   I didn’t participate in the Beer Garden (cost $10); would be nice if FREE like most but … oh well.    Busses back to parking lot were plentiful and so was parking at Laguna Hills mall.   Very nicely done event!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    OCSCFan FIRST-TIMER '16

    Nice community race to celebrate Memorial Day. But beware the course is on the difficult side. It's a net downhill to the turn at mile 8, with mile 6.5 to … MORE

    Nice community race to celebrate Memorial Day. But beware the course is on the difficult side. It’s a net downhill to the turn at mile 8, with mile 6.5 to 8 on a 2 lane bike path down a canyon. After climbing out of the canyon, its a gradual uphill the rest of the way until a final steeper (but short) hill right before the finish.
    The race organization was great. Even though you can pick up your bib the day before, you can easily pick up everything race morning. The parking is next to the start line which makes it convenient.
    For those racing the 5K and 10K, be aware everyone starts at the same time so you will need to maneuver around the slower half marathoners. I recommend you should move to near the front of the corral.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    pfelix REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Though hilly, this is a nice race on Memorial Day. Love the "personality" of this race! The first 3 miles it's pretty packed, then 5k's turn off leaving still quite … MORE

    Though hilly, this is a nice race on Memorial Day. Love the “personality” of this race! The first 3 miles it’s pretty packed, then 5k’s turn off leaving still quite a bit, then after the 10k turn off the half participants have wide open spaces. The last half of the race is on the bike path/trail so you’re off the main streets. Nice finish expo too.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    dmpg1127 SPECTATOR '16

    I was not able to run this year due to an injury, but enjoyed playing cheer squad for a number of friends who did run the race. I have run … MORE

    I was not able to run this year due to an injury, but enjoyed playing cheer squad for a number of friends who did run the race. I have run it twice in the past and would not hesitate to do it again. the terrain is varied between down hill, flat and uphill. The race is very well organized. The only improvement that needs to be addressed is that packet pick up is not open late enough (closes at 4pm) for us out-of-towners.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    dtm3000 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is my fourth year running this 5K. They also offer a 10K and Half Marathon. There is a great deal of the reminders of what the Holiday is about … MORE

    This is my fourth year running this 5K. They also offer a 10K and Half Marathon. There is a great deal of the reminders of what the Holiday is about and a great deal of respect for our troops is a big part of the production.
    When planning keep in mind the start line and the finish and expo are in different areas separated by about 1.5 miles. The start line is located at the Laguna Hills Mall and there is plenty of parking. Something that always strikes me is the long lines for the porta potties even though the event provides quite a few of them. Something to keep in mind when trying to get business done before the start.
    There is only one start time for the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and that is 7 am. Runners are lined up by there expected mile pace. The run initially starts through neighborhoods with many of the neighbors out cheering you on. After a water station the rest on the run is a major street until you reach the finish (10K and Half keep going at this point). The name of the City is Laguna HILLS and for good reason. The course is rarely flat and the net gain is 94 feet.
    There is a medal at the end and plenty of swag at the expo including activities for the kids. There also food trucks and a beer garden that open at 8am. Each year I pay extra for a ticket for the beer garden as part of my registration but the value of this $10 charge has grown less to me over time. It has turned from 2 beers and pizza to a flight of 4 oz beers with no food. I am going to rethink that next year.
    That leads to the end – you are 1.5 miles away from your car. Every year I look at the long line for the bus shuttle and I elect to walk back. I counted only 4 buses in use and that is clearly not enough.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    NorseSunRun REPEAT RUNNER '15

    A fun low-key run with good water at stations. PROS-Medium sized group of runners, Very easy and convenient parking and bib pick up, Local hotels and eats more than adequate, … MORE

    A fun low-key run with good water at stations.
    PROS-Medium sized group of runners, Very easy and convenient parking and bib pick up, Local hotels and eats more than adequate, Friendly and plentiful spectators especially in Leisure World, Very organized with plenty of volunteers and water.
    CONS- Weather can be on the warm side. T-shirts made from synthetic “help you sweat” material (please go back to cotton).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Dokano REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Pretty tough course, mainly on streets - a mile or so on bike paths - ready to walk when I hit the slight uphill slope before the finish :-( Anyway, … MORE

    Pretty tough course, mainly on streets – a mile or so on bike paths – ready to walk when I hit the slight uphill slope before the finish 🙁
    Anyway, nice staging area – on grass – with good food, live music, very family-friendly! Kid’s race starts really late and awards even later so seldom every stay. Also have to walk, run, or bus back to start.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    ohseachelle FIRST-TIMER '15

    Venturing not far from home, this race fit the bill in terms of proximity. The course ran from Laguna Hills mall, through leisure world (WHAT FUN AND CHEERFUL FANS :)), … MORE

    Venturing not far from home, this race fit the bill in terms of proximity. The course ran from Laguna Hills mall, through leisure world (WHAT FUN AND CHEERFUL FANS :)), through side streets to the Aliso trails, all leading up to the finish line at the community center. Worst part: The trail turn around towards the end. Best part: spectators.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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  1. Races
  2. City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5K and 10K