Overall Rating
Overall Rating (68 Reviews)
4.5
(68 Ratings)(68 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.3
Ventura expands into a two-day beach party festival with live music, great food, and a runner health and wellness expo, all leading up to the Ventura Marathon, which is a Boston Marathon Qualifier. The new downhill, point-to-point course from Ojai to Ventura Pier is sure to help you on your … MORE
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Recent reviews

    RunDMV FIRST-TIMER '19

    Organization: Smooth sailing, for the most part. Easy packet pick-up with no lines in the afternoon. There were more than enough start line shuttles, and I only had to wait … MORE

    Organization: Smooth sailing, for the most part. Easy packet pick-up with no lines in the afternoon. There were more than enough start line shuttles, and I only had to wait a couple minutes in line. Gear check drop off was a little bit of a mess because they handed out bags at the drop point instead of giving you one with your bib. Could be improved by making it clear ahead of time that you can bring and use your own bag for gear check.

    Course: I chose this course specifically because it’s almost all downhill for a shot at a PR (which I accomplished). It is an easy course with few sharp turns and despite being run primarily on running/biking path, the race is small enough that it’s never crowded except for the usual 1/4 mile crowding. But the scenery isn’t great. The hills near the start are nice, but your back is to them. The second half of the course runs by a lot of industrial and commercial distribution sites, and sometimes you’re sandwiched between that and a highway. And, yes, Ventura is in the race name, but don’t expect to see the ocean.

    Course support: Minimal spectators since you’re running through a sparsely-populated area. Decent turnout at the finish line. Good encouragement from course volunteers, though (no “Almost there!” statements).

    Medal: Nice design, but I would appreciate having a half marathon-specific medal.

    Shirt: A low-end, unbranded technical shirt. Again, it is not race-specific. This is a relatively expensive race with a corporate sponsor…I’d feel a lot better about the value and being appreciated if there were at least half marathon-specific medals and shirts.

    Final note: This race is attractive for a PR chance and as part of a weekend trip to Ventura. But at no point during or after did I think, “Great race, I’ve got to come back.”

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is a good scenic course with up and down hills - not a downhill course in my opinion plenty of rolling hills along the way. I have done this … MORE

    This is a good scenic course with up and down hills – not a downhill course in my opinion plenty of rolling hills along the way. I have done this 3 years now and will do it again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Ali6184 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The aid stations were excellent. The hydration with water and Nuun was fine. The most unique aspect of the race was that it was mostly flat. The race is recommended … MORE

    The aid stations were excellent. The hydration with water and Nuun was fine. The most unique aspect of the race was that it was mostly flat. The race is recommended to others because it was an excellent experience. The course was fine.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I would recommend this race - rolling hills to start - good descent in the middle leading to rolling hills and a flat finish. I will do it again next … MORE

    I would recommend this race – rolling hills to start – good descent in the middle leading to rolling hills and a flat finish. I will do it again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Lexus LaceUp Ventura is the second stop in a four part race series. Packet pickup was at Mission Park from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm on Friday and 7:00 am … MORE

    Lexus LaceUp Ventura is the second stop in a four part race series. Packet pickup was at Mission Park from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Friday and 7:00 am – 6:00 pm on Saturday. For Full and Half Marathon participants unable to attend packet pickup on Friday or Saturday, VIP packet pickup was available on Sunday morning for $20. In addition to the Half and Full Marathon on Sunday, there was a 5K and 1 Mile downhill race on Saturday. There was no additional fee for race morning packet pickup for the Saturday races.

    Parking on Sunday morning was at the Ventura County Fairgrounds for $5. Although there was plenty of parking available, the line to pay to get in got very backed up. Per the website, the buses for the Full Marathon departed from 4:45 – 5:00 am (with the race starting at 6:40 am) and buses for the Half Marathon departed from 6:00 – 6:15 am (with the race starting at 7:10 am). As I was waiting for a friend, I got on a Half Marathon bus at 6:10 am. We then got to the race start at 6:40 am. As the lines for the porta potties were very long, we immediately got in line to use one. I did not have time to stretch before the start of the race, which flared up my planter fasciitis during the run. I think the race would greatly benefit from having the Half Marathon buses start running earlier.

    Of the races I have run in Ventura, this has been my favorite course thus far. While many Ventura races follow the same beach bike path up and down the coast, LaceUp Ventura starts inland in Ojai and finishes in Ventura. The majority of the course was along a bike path that was bordered by oak and eucalyptus trees. Around mile 9.5 the course became less scenic as we passed by oil drilling machinery. The path then paralleled Highway 33 until the final stretch to Mission Park. The course is mostly downhill and very PR friendly.

    The aid stations and volunteers were great. They provided runners with water and Nuun. Two of the aid stations had Honeystingers, my favorite fuel. One station gave out full packages of Honeystinger gummies while the other gave out gels.

    I felt bad for the faster Full Marathon runners once they caught up to the middle of the pack and slower Half Marathon runners. The first and second place runners had a bike marshall riding ahead of them instructing Half Marathoners to move to the right. All other faster Full Marathon runners were on their own and had to continually ask Half Marathon participants to stay to the right. Other than participants better observing race etiquette, I think some of this could be alleviated if the Full Marathon were to start at the same time as the Half Marathon. At present, the Full Marathon starts half an hour earlier. The middle of the pack and slower Half Marathoners would be even further along in the course and hopefully more spread out before the faster Full Marathoners catch up.

    Upon crossing the finish line, I was surprised to see that cups were being handed out rather than full bottles of water. A volunteer gladly filled my handheld water bottle when I asked.

    Upon exiting the finisher chute, runners could use tear off vouchers on their bibs to get a Belgium waffle (with optional whipped cream, syrup, fruit, pretzels and cookies) and Sierra Nevada beer. Nuun had a booth with coolers filled with a variety of Nuun flavors for people sample and fill their waterbottles. There were a variety of other vendors selling running related items and services. Free massages were available, but I did not partake in this. Altra hosted a planking competition for a free pair of Altra running shoes. Anyone who uploaded a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #lexuslaceup was able to pickup a print of the photo from the Print Shop booth. LaceUp also provides free race photos, which will be online in the next few days.

    There was a lot to do at the finish festival and plenty of reasons to hang out after the race. The walk from the finish festival back to Ventura County Fairgrounds was approximately half a mile.

    Any runner who participates in all four of the 2018 LaceUp events (any distance) will receive the LaceUp Challenge Medal upon completion of the series (it spins!). Runners who participated in the Foothill 5k Challenge in April can earn the Best Foot Forward Challenge Medal by running any LaceUp race. The series has also been added to the California Half & Full Marathon Series, which allows additional opportunities for half marathon runners to earn a challenge medal.

    Anyone wishing to run 2018 Lexus LaceUp Palos Verdes (November 17th) or Riverside (December 2nd), use code LACEUPSARAH for 10% off.

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    RickSawThat FIRST-TIMER '17

    This course is similar but different than the Mountains to the Beach Marathon. This one started with a double loop around Ojia that took up the 1st 7+-miles. A lot … MORE

    This course is similar but different than the Mountains to the Beach Marathon. This one started with a double loop around Ojia that took up the 1st 7+-miles. A lot of up and down before you head for a long steady downhill (with some rolling hills. Before heading into town for the finish. Really cold at the staging area for the start come prepared!!! Fun race will do again and again! Train for hills this race is not easy but worth every mile!

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    4
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    runforbeer REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This year Lexus Laceup and Ventura Marathon combined to form one event. It had the usual LaceUp expo with plenty of vendors and the beer garden/beach party was a two-day … MORE

    This year Lexus Laceup and Ventura Marathon combined to form one event. It had the usual LaceUp expo with plenty of vendors and the beer garden/beach party was a two-day event. The shirts for Laceup this year aren’t the best, not a true tech shirt and the sizing on them is weird so they’re all going to end up going to goodwill. The 5K started extremely late, like 40 minutes. Not sure what the issue was, just kept getting told it would start soon. The warm-up I did before the race was essentially useless by the time we started. The course was just ok. It started with a short climb up Sanjon and went to downtown Ventura. I really wish they had utilized more of the coast and promenade for the race, but I know it’s tough when you have 3 different distances starting in 3 different places finishing in the same spot. The medal is really cool and the post-race party was fun. Loved the free Sierra Nevada beer! Hopefully next year they have more room and tables, once the 1/2 field starting finishing it got really crowded. Would also like to see the food truck option like the other Laceup races, the one brick hard waffle wasn’t cutting it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
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    renee93420 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my first marathon. I chose it because it advertised all downhill. Technically, it was downhill but the decline was so gradual it felt flat. The last shuttle to … MORE

    This was my first marathon. I chose it because it advertised all downhill. Technically, it was downhill but the decline was so gradual it felt flat.

    The last shuttle to the race start was for 4:45 a.m. Like a lot of other people, we were there a little early and took an earlier bus. But then had to wait 1.5 hours to race start! It is cold and dark at 5:00 a.m. The start line area had no lighting except for headlights pointing toward the event people setting up the area.

    The race route was well marked. I ended up walking more than half the marathon, so at cut off time I was handed a piece of paper to follow to get to the finish line. I don’t read the listed type of directions well and almost got lost. A map would have been much better.

    I was fortunate that the timing mat was still up when I hit the finish line. It was picked up after me and there were still several participants on the course. I know they have to pick it up at some point but I felt back for the remaining runners who worked so hard to finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
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    3

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    natalieu23 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I expected a flatter course based on previous participants' reviews, but I heard that they changed the 5K course this year, which had a couple of hills at the beginning. … MORE

    I expected a flatter course based on previous participants’ reviews, but I heard that they changed the 5K course this year, which had a couple of hills at the beginning. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to run along the beach the whole time, but the start/finish line were beautiful and I got to enjoy the sunrise at the start. The race communications were second to none from start to finish and the swag was awesome! Gender-specific tech shirt, large reusable tote bag, water bottle, free photos (both digital & printed ones at the expo) and a beautiful finisher’s medal. We also got a free beer, waffles, fruit, and other snacks post-race while enjoying a live band. The expo was great and parking was pretty easy, too ($10 in the structure adjacent to the Ventura Pier). The only negative thing I have to add is that the 5K started about 30 minutes late without any sort of explanation and it was freezing after I checked my jacket in at the gear check! Will definitely do this race again in the future!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was a new course for 2017. It was point to point so be sure to plan transportation accordingly. I would also recommend gloves or toss away clothes for the … MORE

    This was a new course for 2017. It was point to point so be sure to plan transportation accordingly. I would also recommend gloves or toss away clothes for the start. It’s early and can be chilly further up. Lots of goodies at the finish are included with the race entry. Lines for food tended to be a bit long but totally worth the wait. This is also part of a series. If you do all 4 of their locations in one year you’ll ear a challenge medal! Totally going to do this one again in 2018.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    Profile photo of Rafael Ojeda
    rafael.d.ojeda FIRST-TIMER '17

    I ran this race as the "6 hour sweeper" to try and help those that were trying to finish under that time. The race was mostly well run. Not all … MORE

    I ran this race as the “6 hour sweeper” to try and help those that were trying to finish under that time. The race was mostly well run. Not all downhill but I knew that being familiar with the area, so people needed to be aware. The elevation was shown on the website as well as at the expo. There were many aid stations which were manned by great volunteers, the police helped greatly with traffic control. The last few aid stations provided ice with the water and Nuun which really helped especially once the temperature started climbing. Nice size for the race, small enough to allow the runners to run on the bike path. Didn’t encounter too many others on the path that weren’t running the race – this is probably due to good notice provided in the weeks prior to the race. The street outside the start area for the marathon was not lit up to help those that were parking there or using the porta-potties. A diagram of the start area could have been provided on the website or explained at the expo, as well as showing which streets would be closed in case people were getting dropped off or driving to the start. Small complains compared to the rest of the race which went off smoothly in my opinion.

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    ktown68 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my second full marathon so I knew a bit more what to expect. The first half of the course was great - shady and up and down. The … MORE

    This was my second full marathon so I knew a bit more what to expect. The first half of the course was great – shady and up and down. The second half leveled out and was just HOT by the time I reached it. There were plenty of aid stations and I loved that multiple ones had gel/fuel as well as water and electrolytes. The last few water stops even had ICE. So much appreciated. Since it was a PR for me I was bummed they didnt have a PR Bell to ring. The fruit enhanced ice water and live music at the finish line festival was greatly appreciated as well.

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    3
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    Profile photo of Nicole Thome
    nthome REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Ventura Marathon and Lexus LaceUp series combined for this newly improved course! It takes elements of the old LaceUp course and the finish party area of the Ventura event. Overall, … MORE

    Ventura Marathon and Lexus LaceUp series combined for this newly improved course! It takes elements of the old LaceUp course and the finish party area of the Ventura event. Overall, very nicely done! I really enjoyed this course. It is significantly downhill and I guess everyone’s opinions of what qualifies as “downhill” is different but even for the half marathon, the beginning portion of this race is mostly downhill. It is gentle but it’s there. If you want a screaming downhill course, choose one of the Revel races.

    Unfortunately, the race started almost 30 min late (said due to road closures not being set which IMO, is the race’s fault). 🙁 AND, it was VERY COLD! Uncomfortably cold. With a 4:30 shuttle (up there before 5 am), that is almost TWO HOURS of waiting. I hope this race adds additional shuttle options (not just 4:30 and 5:30) AND provides space blankets and/or hot cocoa or coffee (if that works for your race plan) but … something to help runners stay warm. I’m not a wuss but it was super uncomfortable and despite how much I liked the course, it would borderline make me not want to do this one again if they don’t improve the start area.

    The finish area makes up for it, mostly. Great spread of food plus Sierra Nevada beer and nice beer garden with a good band right by the pier. Nice!

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    Ashlee REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Josh puts on a great race. We had a late start this year, but I'm sure it was out of the RD's hands. Short of that, I think it would … MORE

    Josh puts on a great race. We had a late start this year, but I’m sure it was out of the RD’s hands. Short of that, I think it would be difficult to find anything wrong with this event.

    After running many versions of this fast downhill course, my advice is this:
    1. Just sign-up.
    2. Train downhill miles (but don’t forget there are some uphills). Training the down will help you stay strong late in the race. Additionally, you will recover MUCH faster.
    3. The start lines are cool, much cooler than the finish. Dress accordingly, either to drop bag or to donate.
    4. Have fun on race day!!!

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    5

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    reginaroberts FIRST-TIMER '17

    Very well organized, water station well stocked. Waffle breakfast, lots of food, and delicious water flavor. Also a cool band added the festive celebration @ the finish MORE

    Very well organized, water station well stocked. Waffle breakfast, lots of food, and delicious water flavor. Also a cool band added the festive celebration @ the finish

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
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    victoria.paddock REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The good points: 1) Course it self was really nice - mostly bike/walk paths and then road closer to the finish line. It was very well marked and controlled. There … MORE

    The good points:
    1) Course it self was really nice – mostly bike/walk paths and then road closer to the finish line. It was very well marked and controlled. There were a few other runners and cyclists, but not enough to slow you down.
    2) The post race party was great! There was plenty of food (waffles, fresh fruit, juice, pretzels, snack mix) and Sierra Nevada Beer!! Live band. Lots of products to check out.
    3) Cute medal.
    4) Shuttle service was good–I recommend the 530am (even though that one sells out faster than the 430am).
    5) Aid stations were a plenty and well stocked.
    6) The crowds along the run were AWESOME!! Such good energy.
    Now for the bad:
    1) Even though its billed a “downhill race” in my mind I think I was imagining more of a downhill and mentally found it harder than I think I anticipated. A few hundred feet over 13 miles isn’t really that significant.
    2) We didn’t start until closer to 7, even though start time was 630. It was kind of a weird setup where everyone was just in a pile and then had to take this hairpin to get to the starting line
    3) It was freezing cold at the starting line. Like uncomfortably cold–even with extra layers. I only looked at Ventura weather when I was planning and forgot that starting 13 miles inland was completely different. Definitely dress warm and bring stuff you can ditch shortly into the race.

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    Ashlee Oct 23, 2017 at 11:12pm

    I wouldn't really call it trail, maybe "bike path"? Trail gives the idea of running on dirt. Just a thought.

    I wouldn't really call it trail, maybe "bike path"? Trail gives the idea of running on dirt. Just a thought.

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    victoria.paddock Oct 24, 2017 at 7:45am

    Oops--you're totally right! I missed the key word BIKE trail. Updated :)

    Oops--you're totally right! I missed the key word BIKE trail. Updated :)

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    Ashlee Oct 24, 2017 at 2:00pm

    Glad you had a great race! :)

    Glad you had a great race! :)

     
    Profile photo of Alfonza Willis
    alfonzaw REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great new location. Only concern lack of directions and lighting arriving at the start site. Post race celebration was awesome. This is Southern California so a coffee bar is needed … MORE

    Great new location. Only concern lack of directions and lighting arriving at the start site. Post race celebration was awesome. This is Southern California so a coffee bar is needed at the end at least. Nice running socks for team participant should be offered as part of the swag or race gear for purchase and a Trucker Hat

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    jdub FIRST-TIMER '17

    Race course is beautiful with an awesome downhill to the finish (one little bump at the last 1.5 mile ). Finish line party was super fun and the band they … MORE

    Race course is beautiful with an awesome downhill to the finish (one little bump at the last 1.5 mile ). Finish line party was super fun and the band they had performing was fantastic. Great aide stations and plenty of them.

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    2
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    5
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    veggirl REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Beautiful downhill course, wished it would have started on time and that there were heaters in the early morning waiting hours. Other then that, great food and beer, nice vendor … MORE

    Beautiful downhill course, wished it would have started on time and that there were heaters in the early morning waiting hours. Other then that, great food and beer, nice vendor supply but a little more space would have been helpful. Music was so much fun – kept that great vibe going!!

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    christyannemadden REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Very well organized and staffed event, fast downhill course (gentle uphill between about 10-12.5). Post-event celebration nice including free beer and waffles! MORE

    Very well organized and staffed event, fast downhill course (gentle uphill between about 10-12.5). Post-event celebration nice including free beer and waffles!

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  1. Races
  2. Lexus LaceUp Running Series Ventura Marathon