Overall Rating
Overall Rating (297 Reviews)
4.3
(297 Ratings)(297 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.7
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.7
Come experience one of the most scenic events in California, “Run Long Beach”. Starting in Downtown Long Beach, runners head towards the historic Queen Mary and then through Shoreline Village. After running next to the Pacific Ocean on the flat beach path, half marathoners will continue down Ocean Boulevard while … MORE
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Recent reviews

    MilesOStridin REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This was my second time running the Half at Long Beach, and it was a blast! Really great environment, smooth and beautiful course, and a new personal best for me! … MORE

    This was my second time running the Half at Long Beach, and it was a blast! Really great environment, smooth and beautiful course, and a new personal best for me! Yes! The race organizers also did a great job with vaccine/testing requirements, and held the expo outside this year, which definitely felt safer. The course was the same as previous years, and can be divided roughly into four parts.

    -Miles 1-5: the thickest crowds as you navigate twisty roads, multiple turnarounds, and go over and under bridges. The bridge here is the only significant elevation change on the course, so it was kinda nice to get it out of the way early.
    -Miles 5-7: all the touristy landmarks including the Aquarium, Shoreline Park, and views of the Queen Mary. This was probably my favorite portion of the race since all the sights made the run easier!
    Miles 7-10: in theory, a straight, long stretch along the beach can be soothing, with all that pretty sand and water on your right. But in reality, seeing the same exact sight for multiple miles gets boring real fast. This segment was also the least shaded, provided the least aid support, and had the fewest crowds cheering you on. In my previous race, I suffered the most here, but I think the earlier start time and cooler weather this year made it more bearable.
    -Miles 10-13: rounding onto Ocean Blvd, the crowds and aid stations are back. You’re in the city again, in the shade again, with all the local businesses and residents out to support you! I really got a kick of energy during this stretch, and I felt pumped all the way down to the finish line.

    -Post-race: a nice-looking medal, your usual combo of snacks (banana, chocolate milk, protein bar, water) and a beer festival if you’re up for it. Organizers and volunteers were really pleasant and helpful!

    -Things to improve? I do wish there were more aid stations, especially along the beach stretch. I also was NOT a fan of the shirt this year, going with a cheaper cotton/poly blend (same as Surf City this fall, another Motiv race…). What and WHY? Cotton shirts are an absolute “no” during long runs, and soak up sweat so much easier. These shirts also felt flimsier than your usual tech shirts. Hopefully this changes next year.

    All in all, a really great race that I would recommend.

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    gsmasumoto REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon on a beautiful sunny day and it was great to be back. There were a lot of people so it was quite busy … MORE

    I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon on a beautiful sunny day and it was great to be back. There were a lot of people so it was quite busy from the start but we all kept moving at a good pace. The course goes over a few bridges so these are the hills but you run on a wide beach path mid way and finish up on a slight incline on surface roads so all in all a pretty easy course. We are right by the Convention Center and Aquarium of the Pacific aquarium so lots of great scenery plus you are right next to the busiest port (many ships waiting to dock) and also home to the Queen Mary. The beach path is where can gather your thoughts for trip down the home stretch. This run is especially fun for me as I lived pretty much on the course so I have ran on that beach path so many times. To get to the start I rode my bike and parked it in a secure bike corral provided for the bike tour so transportation was easy for me and it was nice to bike back home. If you like beer, the beer garden is pretty big with plenty of tables and if you are a legacy member you have your own area to sit and relax. Overall a great weekend of running in Long Beach as I also did the Saturday 5K.

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    chrisrandle FIRST-TIMER '21

    From Dallas and was in town for the race. It's an absolutely beautiful race course, one of the prettiest I've ever run. Running into the sunrise along the beach was … MORE

    From Dallas and was in town for the race. It’s an absolutely beautiful race course, one of the prettiest I’ve ever run. Running into the sunrise along the beach was very special and traversing around the CSULB campus was pretty cool, too! Pretty fast course with very few hills, and even those won’t slow you down too much. Could have been a more signage directing runners and cyclists to the proper starting areas and heard quite a few people asking for directions. Very impressed with the support shown by the locals when running through the residential areas. Came here to PB/BQ and was on pace to do so, but left with a personal worst due to a hamstring injury at mile 12. No matter, as this is a race that is worth the money to travel to.

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    marisahope FIRST-TIMER '21

    The course was awesome!! The volunteers were awesome!! My shirt and medal were both awesome!! This was my first time but not my last! Half marathons for me now though! … MORE

    The course was awesome!! The volunteers were awesome!! My shirt and medal were both awesome!! This was my first time but not my last! Half marathons for me now though! I can’t wait for next year!! #RunLongBeach

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    cindyruns REPEAT RUNNER '21

    The race itself hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years. The first 6 miles are from downtown out to the Queen Mary and back and are the more scenic … MORE

    The race itself hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years. The first 6 miles are from downtown out to the Queen Mary and back and are the more scenic part of the course. The next three are on the most boring beachpath you’ll ever find. Even though it is next to the beach, it is always hot, downwind without a breeze and on hard as steel concrete. I don’t know why they don’t use the multipurpose path that has some cushioning. There is no shade on the beachpath and you have to keep looking down because it gets so crowded. The medals are always good and the shirts are always among my favorites. Parking was a mess and there was a lot of confusion about what lots would be open. The expo was small and outside likely due to covid. The port-a-potties on the ocean side of the starting corrals were out of toilet paper by 6:15. We asked some who was putting garbage bags in the trash containers and basically got a ‘not my job’ answer. Good thing i always bring TP with me. At the 6 mile mark when I came through again there was still no TP in them.

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    daverunsarec REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This was the first time back post-COVID and it was clear that the Southern California welcomed the opportunity to run in a large, real-time race. The vibe at Long Beach … MORE

    This was the first time back post-COVID and it was clear that the Southern California welcomed the opportunity to run in a large, real-time race. The vibe at Long Beach is always a party mood with lots of positive energy. This year the size of the race was down from previous years because of all of the races that got pushed into the fall. Still, there were over 6000 people in the half marathon. The starting line features wave starts every 10 minutes and the starting line crew did a great job keeping everyone separated and queued up for a smooth start. Things they can do better—there were too few water stations on course. The one that is traditionally at the 3 mile mark was not there. A water station every two miles on a very warm day is not good. The mile markers, with the exception of the first one and the last three were way off of where they should have been which is surprising for as long as this race has been going on. The tracking app did not work on mobile devices—i have three runners linked to the app and never go a text with their progress for any one of them. When i went online for the finishing times the tracking app had the 5.5 mile split in the wrong place (it was actually near the 5 mile mark but they calculate the splits based on 5.5 miles making everyone look faster for that segment. The race communications were poor. THe starting times were changed and about 50% of the runners for the marathon and half marathons did not know they pushed the starting times up. When we asked where to park at the expo we were told that the convention center parking lot would not be open and to park downtown or at the Pike. On race morning, we found that the convention center lot was open after having walked about a mile from where we parked. And we were told there would not be a runners village for the running clubs and yet there was. All that aside, I have run Long Beach every year except one since 1994 and I have already entered next years race.

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    MimiMayer REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Getting in line pre-dawn on a gorgeous Sunday morning and being surrounded with so many sweet, enthusiastic, helpful fellow riders was a sure sign that it was going to be … MORE

    Getting in line pre-dawn on a gorgeous Sunday morning and being surrounded with so many sweet, enthusiastic, helpful fellow riders was a sure sign that it was going to be a great ride. Watching the sun come up over the water, gliding past gleeful volunteers handing us water, and at the end of the ride, seeing elite runners begin the course. It’s an incredible event (which I’ve done many times now) and I am to do it for as long as I am able. 10 out of 10.

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    daniel FIRST-TIMER '21

    I love LBC. I live here and this is my local race. I made this my A race because it's the hometown race and while I had a great time, … MORE

    I love LBC. I live here and this is my local race. I made this my A race because it’s the hometown race and while I had a great time, I don’t think I’ll be returning.. at least not for the full.

    Look, the scenery for the half is great. You run along the beach and by the Queen Mary, lighthouse, shoreline village, and then down Ocean Blvd. The scenery for the full is okay. It adds a detour inland mostly along golf courses, parks, residential neighborhoods and around CSULB. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t really stand out.

    I was a little disappointed with the production. The race started late, which happens often enough that I can’t ding them too hard, but it was 17 minutes late. I had friends that had come out to cheer me on who thought they had missed me because of the delayed start.

    The pacer around me was also a mess. The guy was supposed to pace 3:45 and he was running closer to ~3:35 pace. Luckily, I had a watch and my own plan to 3:36, but I could see people struggling to keep up. Some lady looked crush halfway through that she couldn’t hold pace. I mentioned to her that we were actually like 5 minutes ahead if she was following the 3:45 guy. I was on pace for 3:36 before I cracked and he was still right in front up until mile 20. I know they don’t get paid, but if you’re not going to pace your group right, maybe don’t take the free entry and potentially ruin other people’s race.

    My other big complaint is that LB Police STOPPED THE RUNNERS at Pacific Coast Hwy to let cars pass. WTF! Isn’t a closed course the whole point of paying for a race? Look, I was already fading, but this happened at mile 22 and my legs were feeling incredibly tight. Stopping, as short as it was, really affected me. Not making excuses for not hitting my target. 3:36 was not going to happen.

    As for swag.. I was not a fan of the medal compared to say, Surf City or OC. I guess that’s personal preference, but it just looks like clip art to me. I will still cherish it, as it represents a lot of miles and hours of training, but it’s not the best looking.

    The main positive is that I love the city of Long Beach. This is where I live and where I run. It was great seeing all my friends that came out to support as well as the local run groups. I also did great. 3:41 is a huge PR for me.

    I think in the future, I would do the half, but I was pretty underwhelmed with the full marathon course. I think definitely I will stick to LAM as my A race for that distance.

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch … MORE

    I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch potato to marathoner in a year. Overall I enjoyed the race and the accomplishment. The day prior to the race is an expo at the Long Beach convention center. Bib pick up was easy and the expo had a nice amount of things to look at but felt a little cramped. Also I didn’t like paying for parking twice. Race day I arrived early and parked at convention center. Great idea for marathoners since it generally isn’t full by the time the marathoners would arrive and is right by finish line. The beginning of the marathon was smooth and there was a nice amount of runners in the full. Enough to always be running with people but not so many that it felt like I was constantly weaving around people. I’m guessing the half feels kind of crowded since there are a lot more runners doing the half. The parts of the marathon course that shared the half were great. Downtown long beach all lit up in the dark was beautiful and I loved that sunrise was occurring while running on the beach. The second part of the full that diverges from the half was much more boring. It was just through residential neighborhoods and cal state long beach. There weren’t a ton of spectators and nothing super special to look at. The course is relatively flat with a few easy hills except a lot of the hills are closer to the end. There is also a really long 7.5 hour time limit making this a great race for first timers or walkers. I got a little injured during training and knew I was going to have to walk some of the second half. I ended up finishing well before 6 hours but knowing there was no way I would miss the time cutoff made the race much more enjoyable. There was a nice long sleeve tech shirt and a nice big finisher medal. I’m moving out of California but if I were staying I’m not sure I would do the full again but I would definitely do the half.

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    bperkins REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Generally still a nice race. Good PR course and beautiful location. Although I did the 1/2 the full is a great run. Unfortunately, since the acquisition by Motiv, I have … MORE

    Generally still a nice race. Good PR course and beautiful location. Although I did the 1/2 the full is a great run. Unfortunately, since the acquisition by Motiv, I have felt that some aspects of this event have suffered. No SWAG bags at the expo????, which was the “same old, same old”; water stops every 2+ miles was vastly insufficient w/ gels only in the last few miles of the half?? This would be a great 1st half or full. But for many returning runners, I think they’ll agree….Sign up early, so you get your money’s worth. This race is no longer justifiable as a $100 – $125 race.

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    scyllac REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The Long Beach Half is a well-established race. I consider it my "home" race. It is the closest major half marathon to home, and I try to run it every … MORE

    The Long Beach Half is a well-established race. I consider it my “home” race. It is the closest major half marathon to home, and I try to run it every year (except 2014 when I did the full marathon). I enjoy most of the course, and the weather this year was almost perfect. The run on the beach path was beautiful and the sun was not oppressive.

    It is a well-supported race with quite a few spectators to cheer you on as the race progresses. It is also fun for me because I know a lot of the Long Beach running community and I get to see my friends and acquaintances.

    There are enough aid stations along the course to keep you hydrated, but this year they used a new electrolyte partner. I found the electrolyte option to taste awful and be impossible to drink. It is a good thing that I always make extra of my own to consume in an emergency.

    My biggest gripe other than the disgusting electrolyte is the new tendency of races to assign numbers at bib pickup. This makes bib personalization impossible. I am vain enough that I want my bib to include my race motto, “Not Broken”. I am a disabled runner, and I like to promote those who are challenged to get out there and race. The new numbering system is something I would like to see become an unpleasant memory.

    But overall, it was another fun Long Beach Half for me. See you next year.

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    Rosecam REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Pluses: The course is varied and gorgeous. Great volunteers, and fun little pockets of cheering observers alternating with quiet stretches. Water stops, nuun, and honey stingers on the course were … MORE

    Pluses: The course is varied and gorgeous. Great volunteers, and fun little pockets of cheering observers alternating with quiet stretches. Water stops, nuun, and honey stingers on the course were all great. And the post-race snacks and beverages (yay terra chips, coconut water, and honey stinger waffles!), and live band (and chairs!) at the beer garden were all great. Gear check was also super quick and easy, both for drop-off and pick-up.

    Main minuses: The beach path part of the course is narrow, so it can get a little crowded for that part. If you’ve positioned yourself well, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re too far back it can be annoying because it’s hard to weave through. I was annoyed that they charged $15 parking at the convention center for bib pick up, but didn’t warn runners about that in pre-race-weekend emails. Apparently the race-day parking permit included expo parking too, but that was also not communicated – I might have gotten that parking permit if I knew. Better communication would have helped me to either save money or at least be better prepared. Finally, I would have appreciated a more obvious first aid tent in the post-finish area (I started cramping and ended up getting anti-cramping spray from a prepared fellow runner because neither of us could see the tent).

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    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The aid stations were excellent. The most unique aspect was the hydration, which was fine. The race could be improved with more variety in nutrition. The race is recommended to … MORE

    The aid stations were excellent. The most unique aspect was the hydration, which was fine. The race could be improved with more variety in nutrition. The race is recommended to friends to have an excellent run.

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    gilbert.allan FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course is wide enough to pass, the scenery is really nice (Queen Mary and downtown LBC). An enjoyable race. The run over the bridge is an easy grade both … MORE

    The course is wide enough to pass, the scenery is really nice (Queen Mary and downtown LBC). An enjoyable race. The run over the bridge is an easy grade both ways. If I wasn’t in a “hurry” I would’ve taken my time on the run through the Aquarium looking at the sea life. I’m definitely adding it to my “I wanna do that again” list.

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    chiquens REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Honestly, my favorite part of this race was the expo, because it's always great. Loved it. The course is quite lovely, and if you're a slower runner, it's mostly flat, … MORE

    Honestly, my favorite part of this race was the expo, because it’s always great. Loved it.

    The course is quite lovely, and if you’re a slower runner, it’s mostly flat, especially at the end when you’re tired..

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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my 6th time running the Half Marathon, 3rd time completing it along with the Bike Tour. In the past, we have used one bib for both events. This … MORE

    This was my 6th time running the Half Marathon, 3rd time completing it along with the Bike Tour.

    In the past, we have used one bib for both events. This year, we were given separate bibs. This was impractical for those participating in both the Bike Tour and Half Marathon. My first instinct was to ziptie the Bike Tour bib to the front of my bike and wear my Half Marathon bib on the front of my shirt. I hesitated because I didn’t know if I would have trouble re-entering the Bike Valet area after the Half Marathon without my Bike bib. In years past, only people with Bike Tour or Combo bibs are allowed into the Bike Valet/Transition area. Since there was no pre-race communication on how they wanted us to juggle multiple bibs, I decided to wear my Bike Tour bib on my back and Half Marathon bib on my front.

    The Bike Tour and Marathon both start at 6:00 am. The Half Marathon started at 7:30 am. Upon arrival, I went over to the Bike Corrals to check-in, only to discover absolutely no Volunteers. In previous years, Volunteers were there to hand us a JetBlue luggage tags to write our bib number on to then attach to our bike and drop bag. When leaving at the end of the races, you would show that your bib matched the luggage tags on your bike and drop bag. This method simple and practical. Why change it?

    I’m guessing the initial Volunteers didn’t show up when they were supposed to, so the race sent a different group of Volunteers. At approximately 5:40 am (20 minutes before the start of the Bike Tour), a group of Volunteers came over to the Bike corrals. They quickly cut up sheets of paper, had us write our bib number(s) on the sheets of paper and taped them to our bikes. This improvisation turned out to be a wasted effort, but I will get to that.

    It should also be noted that there were no portapotties in the Bike Valet/Transition area prior to the start of the ride, but they magically appeared when we returned from the ride. Also, usually there are separate bike racks for people doing just the Bike Tour vs people doing the Combo. This helps with the flow for those who need to transition to the Half Marathon. That was not the case this year.

    The Bike ride itself was fantastic as always. I love riding through the closed streets of Long Beach. The Bike Tour starts behind the Marathon and initially heads in the opposite direction. Much of the course is also part of the Marathon course, although I have never spotted any of the marathon runners. Helmets are required and bike lights are highly encouraged since the ride starts while it is still dark. There are no mile markers for the Bike Tour. The event is actually less than 20 miles. In 2017, my Garmin registered 19.64 miles. 2018 and 2019, my Garmin registered 19.63 miles. In previous years, the Bike Tour was untimed for everyone except those running the Half Marathon as well. This year it was untimed for all participants.

    Upon finishing, before entering the Bike Valet area, cyclists were forced to wait in a line to write down their name and phone number. This was fine for people only participating in the Bike Tour, but extremely inconvenient for people on a tight timeline to get ready for the half marathon. A number was attached to the bike and participants were given a paper claim tag. Again, this was fine for people only participating in the Bike Tour who were now checking their bike so they could go enjoy the Finish Festival. It was ridiculous to expect those running the Half Marathon to carry a paper claim tag. I put my tag into my fuel belt. By the time I returned, it was torn and limp with sweat.

    I had a great time running the half marathon as always and did not experience any issues. I was mildly disappointed that the Beach Bum Beer Garden (for those who have run the race 3+ consecutive years) switched from Shock Top (yum) to Michelob Ultra (yuck). Oh well. I will survive without good beer, right?

    I absolutely love the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon weekend and I really enjoy participating in the Bike Tour and Half Marathon. It is one of the events I look forward to the most each year. It is a shame someone dropped the ball on organizing the Bike Valet for the Bike Tour this year. Perhaps someone new was in charge and made changes to “improve” the system without realizing those changes negatively affected those participating in the Bike and the Run. When I went to the Bike Valet after the Half Marathon, the Volunteer who escorted me to my bike was surprised to see I was wearing a Half Marathon medal. She was completely unaware that some people were participating in multiple events.

    In summary, changes I would like to see for 2020:
    1) One bib for the Bike Tour and Half Marathon
    2) Volunteers should check-in bikes prior to the ride so that people are not delayed in getting ready for the half marathon
    3) No paper claim tickets for people running the half marathon
    4) Portapotties should be dropped off in the Bike Valet/Transition Area prior to the Bike Tour, not during
    5) Separate bike racks for those also running the half marathon

    While my review of 2019 is harsh, it all revolves around the poorly executed Bike Valet for those participating in the Bike and Run. I hope the race recognizes what went wrong this year and improves things (back to the way they were) for 2020. If you look at my previous review of this event, I normally have very good things to say.

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    marcfro FIRST-TIMER '19

    Perfect running conditions are the norm. Race organization is good and well marked, though long, course (13.3). It is a PR course with minimal hills and a slight downhill finish. … MORE

    Perfect running conditions are the norm. Race organization is good and well marked, though long, course (13.3). It is a PR course with minimal hills and a slight downhill finish. Plus Long Beach is a fun place to visit — we toured the Queen Mary afterwards.

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    martha REPEAT RUNNER '19

    running up the bridge but went you turn your coming towards shoreline nice. The scenery is beautiful . the only up hill would be the bridge. makes a nice race. MORE

    running up the bridge but went you turn your coming towards shoreline nice. The scenery is beautiful . the only up hill would be the bridge.
    makes a nice race.

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    imonterrosas REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Definitely a favorite. This is my 3rd year doing the 5K. I keep coming back because it is a great course, moderately challenging, well-organized and near my home town. Whether … MORE

    Definitely a favorite. This is my 3rd year doing the 5K. I keep coming back because it is a great course, moderately challenging, well-organized and near my home town. Whether you are an elite runner or a beginner you will love this course.
    This was also my first year doing the 20 mile bike tour and that was amazing. I don’t have a road bike so those 20 miles on my mountain bike was definitely a workout. 🙂 Finished strong and with a good time.

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    paxelnat FIRST-TIMER '19

    As a first timer, running the course was smooth and not too challenging. The first half of the course was mostly flat and featured beautiful scenery especially during sunrise. The … MORE

    As a first timer, running the course was smooth and not too challenging.
    The first half of the course was mostly flat and featured beautiful scenery especially during sunrise. The event was well managed and parking was easy to find.

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  1. Races
  2. Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon