Overall Rating
Overall Rating (23 Reviews)
4.7
(23 Ratings)(23 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4
Our 13.1-mile run, one of the most scenic in the country, starts in historic downtown Monterey, proceeds down Cannery Row and past the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and through the charming downtown and rocky shoreline of Pacific Grove. More than 11 miles of the course are along the coast with possible … MORE
Local Weather (Nov 09)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 79 66 79 57 68
L (°F) 48 56 55 48 53
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Recent reviews

    britneybeatrice FIRST-TIMER '18

    Unfortunately, the race was cancelled about 12 hours before the race start time due to the California wildfires. While this could not be controlled or avoided, I will say that … MORE

    Unfortunately, the race was cancelled about 12 hours before the race start time due to the California wildfires. While this could not be controlled or avoided, I will say that I was extremely disappointed with the communication runners received. The potential for the race to be cancelled was not mentioned at the race expo the day before and runners received only one email that described the cancellation. It seemed like the course would have made for a beautiful run.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1

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    roxy031 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Unfortunately the Camp Fire caused the air quality in the Bay Area and beyond to be extremely hazardous and the half was canceled in 2018. I have run this race … MORE

    Unfortunately the Camp Fire caused the air quality in the Bay Area and beyond to be extremely hazardous and the half was canceled in 2018. I have run this race twice before though and it’s wonderful and I will definitely be back to run it again! There’s a reason it’s on many bucket lists as a must-do!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    melissasims3 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I love the scenery at this race - along what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the California coast. This year there was some haze from the … MORE

    I love the scenery at this race – along what is arguably one of the most beautiful areas of the California coast. This year there was some haze from the forest fires, but still gorgeous. I didn’t go out planning to run my fastest as I was planning to run the Monterey Bay Half the next day, which was sadly cancelled due to poor air quality from all of the forest fires. Hopefully I can run the half next year. Nice expo – manageable size, great location. One tip – be sure to make a dinner reservation if you plan to stay in town to do the half marathon the next day – everything gets booked!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    si405 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I couldn't have picked a better location for my first half marathon. Monterey is beautiful and the run along the coast helped take my mind off the distance. There's so … MORE

    I couldn’t have picked a better location for my first half marathon. Monterey is beautiful and the run along the coast helped take my mind off the distance.

    There’s so much to see and do in Monterey that it’s the idea location for a family visit and the course is relatively flat and very beginner friendly.

    The aid stations were well located and well stocked and it was hard not to keep stopping to admire the scenery.

    From the check-in process to the finish line it was a very well run event and the ceramic otter medal was awesome.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    dana.0212 FIRST-TIMER '14

    This is one of the most scenic half marathons I've participated in - the views of the ocean were stunning! I was almost distracted by how beautiful the view were … MORE

    This is one of the most scenic half marathons I’ve participated in – the views of the ocean were stunning! I was almost distracted by how beautiful the view were and could have happily just watched the ocean instead of finishing the race. Would enjoy the opportunity to run this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    This is a must do 1/2 Marathon. It is the most beautiful course that I’ve had the opportunity to run. The course was relatively flat, the aid stations were on … MORE

    This is a must do 1/2 Marathon. It is the most beautiful course that I’ve had the opportunity to run. The course was relatively flat, the aid stations were on point, the crowd support was fantastic and the medal was unique. I will definitely run this again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    David_N_Kathy_Gehr REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I ran this event for the first time last year. Wanted to beat my PR and PB and I did by 21m. This event will be my every year must. … MORE

    I ran this event for the first time last year. Wanted to beat my PR and PB and I did by 21m. This event will be my every year must. The volunteers are top notch and the scenery is awesome.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Katie_Ho Nov 28, 2017 at 12:33pm

    Congrats on your PB, and glad you've decided to make this an annual tradition!

    Congrats on your PB, and glad you've decided to make this an annual tradition!

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    lm3js REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is the Running Lushes @runninglushes Half Marathon favorite -- read the full recap at https://www.runninglushes.com! This race has beautiful course with rolling hills the entire way which makes it … MORE

    This is the Running Lushes @runninglushes Half Marathon favorite — read the full recap at https://www.runninglushes.com!
    This race has beautiful course with rolling hills the entire way which makes it a good challenge. The course is very well supported with abundant water stops, hydration drinks, gu, entertainment and cheering volunteers and locals along the way. The long-sleeve tech tee is good quality, however, was disappointed at the hot pink color — wish they would just go with gender neutral colors. The finisher medal is unusual as it is clay and has an artist rendering of a sea lion (as per race tradition). The post-race finisher zone has cookies, chips, beer, soup and a great band overall party vibe. Great race and we’ll be running in 2018!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Katie_Ho Nov 28, 2017 at 12:22pm

    Appreciate your excellent review, and look forward to hearing more from the Running Lushes – your collective racing insights would be of huge value to other runners!

    Appreciate your excellent review, and look forward to hearing more from the Running Lushes – your collective racing insights would be of huge value to other runners!

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    chuck329 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was a gorgeous race course. The weather was perfect and it is a very easy course. It had 7,000 runners in the half but was not crowded if one … MORE

    This was a gorgeous race course. The weather was perfect and it is a very easy course. It had 7,000 runners in the half but was not crowded if one seeded correctly. The swag is ok and the medal is like the medal for the full. We stayed at the Marriot, and it was close to the start and finish of the half. I am signed up for the full in the spring and will probably do this race again in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Socorro REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is the most scenic, most well organized races in the one of the most beautiful cities in California. The website has links to discount hotels. I always pick the … MORE

    This is the most scenic, most well organized races in the one of the most beautiful cities in California. The website has links to discount hotels. I always pick the hotel that is a 10 minute walk from the starting line which is also the finish line. Also plenty of free parking as the more expensive hotels charge for parking. The website has all this information for you including shuttles if you pick a hotel at a distance. The food after the race is perfect! Always bananas, strawberries, bagels, various huge cookies, pineapple juice and various chips. The same for the last 14 years. This is so important to me. I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve attended races that only offer a lactose entree after a half marathon. Not good. With so many people having food allergies it’s nice that Monterey thinks ahead. Everything is fresh and so good. During the race there are multiple stops with water and Gatorade. Towards the turn around point you have Gu, and also petroleum jelly and the aid stations. The music through out the course is the best. Starting with the piano player playing the theme from Chariots of Fire during mile one to hip hop, Zumba and just dance music through out. Of course the seals cheering us on as we run the course along the ocean trail is so cool. The shirts are always techie and last forever. I still have my first one from 2004. And so many photographers with signs reminding you to smile as a photographer is up ahead. And so many at the finish line. I had approximately 30 pictures I was able to download. Then there’s the medal with an otter and the year. My absolute favorite race that I always make into a weekend getaway.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Katie_Ho Nov 28, 2017 at 12:39pm

    Thanks for another excellent review, Socorro – I can see why it's your favorite half! :)

    Thanks for another excellent review, Socorro – I can see why it's your favorite half! :)

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    rahulm REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is an amazing race with great views. On course support is fantastic. Weather is perfect. And its a great area for family and friends to visit while you run. … MORE

    This is an amazing race with great views. On course support is fantastic. Weather is perfect. And its a great area for family and friends to visit while you run. Do this race every year and have not got tired of it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    moyaix REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The best race ever! So well organized, aid station every two miles, the smell of the ocean filling up my lungs as I think one step in front of the … MORE

    The best race ever! So well organized, aid station every two miles, the smell of the ocean filling up my lungs as I think one step in front of the other! Ill be running this half until I can’t no more, until my kids are grown up and they run it with me, I tell all my friends, if you ever think about running a half , this is the one! Monterey bay half baby!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    klcurtis FIRST-TIMER '17

    I have run on some nice courses, but this one takes the cake. I mean takes it by a lot. The view for both the 5K and the Half is … MORE

    I have run on some nice courses, but this one takes the cake. I mean takes it by a lot. The view for both the 5K and the Half is amazing. The bonus is that the course is flat (you can PR ), the course support plentiful and the volunteer energy high. I was so impressed by this race that I have been telling all my friends to come with me next year. Really, do this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    kgaule FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was our fifth half marathon this year and the Monterey Half was by far the best! Everything, and I mean everything, was seamless! Transportation to and from the start, … MORE

    This was our fifth half marathon this year and the Monterey Half was by far the best! Everything, and I mean everything, was seamless! Transportation to and from the start, the course, the aid stations (so many and Gatorade at every one!), and the awesome scenery made for such a great day! But the volunteers and the entertainment along the route really put this over the top. We are already committed to doing it again next year, and since we’re flying in from Boston, that says a lot!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    AnnieParn FIRST-TIMER '17

    Easy and fast out and back course along the ocean – couldn’t have been more scenic. We had a long drive to the race and were happy to see how … MORE

    Easy and fast out and back course along the ocean – couldn’t have been more scenic. We had a long drive to the race and were happy to see how easy the parking was at the start-about ½ block from the check-in. We weren’t able to attend the expo on the prior day, so picked up our bibs the morning of the race – super easy. The energy from participants and race organizers was great. The 5k on Saturday had two corrals-five minutes apart (1st corral was those running under 10 min mle-2nd corral was those over 10 min mile). Beautiful run with view of the ocean the entire way. I know the race organizers didn’t have control of the weather, but it happened to be a perfect day-sunny, cool temp and no wind!
    Nice finisher’s medal and cotton shirt. The race was smaller (about 1500 I think) – for me, the perfect size. Next year I’ll probably run the half marathon distance on Sunday. Highly recommend this one – oh….and did I mention Deena Kastor was there?!?!?

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Socorro REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I have done this race for 13 years, it is on the Monterey coast and is so beautiful and well organized. If you're a serious runner, the race adheres to … MORE

    I have done this race for 13 years, it is on the Monterey coast and is so beautiful and well organized. If you’re a serious runner, the race adheres to corral assignments. If you just want to jog it and enjoy the scenery and the warm vibes from everyone around you, request a place behind the fast runners and enjoy the scenery. The shirts are always long sleeved, pastels for women, dark vibrant colors for men; the expo has many goodies for free and at discounted prices; the local hotels offer you great discounts so make it a weekend event, I always do. Race morning is at 7am, sometimes with sun, sometimes overcast, but the seals are always out cheering you on. The food at the end of the run is fruit, bagels, cookies, pineapple juice, water, sometimes chocolate milk, something everyone. I appreciate it because I have some food allergies, so I don’t appreciate races that offer premade omelettes with cheese and bacon. I’m hungry at the end of the run, so no dairy for me. (Had one race offer the omelette full of cheese, I was not happy) This race has water, gatorade, and GU, and orange slices throughout the course, including the petroleum jelly for shafing. Only needed that twice, but what a relief to find out that’s why some races offered it on the course! Whew! The after race party has beer, soup, and lots of other stuff that I don’t stay for, as my hotel is always nearby, as the finish line is at the wharf with hotels at your feet, or as in my case, a 10 minute walk.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    roxy031 REPEAT RUNNER '12

    I've run this race twice, and plan to run it at least once more. The course is a little challenging but not terrible - just a few gentle uphills, but … MORE

    I’ve run this race twice, and plan to run it at least once more. The course is a little challenging but not terrible – just a few gentle uphills, but the scenery makes up for it. You’re running along the edge of the Pacific on gorgeous cliffs and it really is breathtaking. The race is always well-organized, and even though it sells out, the course never really feels crowded, except for in one or two spots. Monterey is a great place to visit, too.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cdmauger REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay is a "must run" race for anyone who loves running and the running community. The scenery is breath-taking, the course is suitable … MORE

    The Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay is a “must run” race for anyone who loves running and the running community. The scenery is breath-taking, the course is suitable for all ability levels — rolling hills but nothing brutal at all, and impeccable organization. From the expo, to the race itself, to the community, the shirt and medal, and post-race festivities, there’s nothing not to love. As a matter of personal taste, they could do more with the shirt design, but that’s just me being picky. And as a bonus, they often have elite runners participating such as Kara Goucher, Jared Ward, and Caroline Rotich. Seriously, don’t pass this one by.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This race from start to finish had so much energy on the course, there were bands, cheerleaders, incredible water stations, aid stations, bathrooms, gu available, Gatorade available. The weather was … MORE

    This race from start to finish had so much energy on the course, there were bands, cheerleaders, incredible water stations, aid stations, bathrooms, gu available, Gatorade available. The weather was perfect, the scenery was outrageously gorgeous and all of the volunteers were so friendly. We can’t wait to go back and do this race again next year !! Loved, loved, loved this race… And there’s so much to do in Monterey. It’s such an incredible little town!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    amandasava FIRST-TIMER '14

    I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when I realized that this race was in Monterrey instead of Big Sur. I also didn't realize that it's not … MORE

    I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed when I realized that this race was in Monterrey instead of Big Sur. I also didn’t realize that it’s not part of the BSIM weekend. Once I got over all of that I had a great time.

    The course is gorgeous – it goes through all the best parts of the central coast and it mostly flat and easy. There can be a bit of wind on the return, but totally worth it when you’re looking at the great views along highway one.

    The swag is the same as the rest of the BSIM races, nice shirt and great ceramic medallion. Though I’d tend to say that the medallion is one of the best, but I’m pretty partial to otters 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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  2. Monterey Bay Half Marathon