Overall Rating
Overall Rating (6 Reviews)
2.3
(6 Ratings)(6 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
2.2
SWAG
2.5
Welcome to the annual running of this all flat Ventura beachfront course, the Shoreline Half Marathon, 5K & 10K. The course starts at Emma Wood State Beach Group Campground and heads north onto the bike path. Bike path leads you onto HWY-1 beachfront bike path. Runners will stay on the … MORE
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H (°F) 78 82 77 79 79
L (°F) 66 65 62 61 61
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Recent reviews

    Darkwaters FIRST-TIMER '19

    Overall Production: While still a small production, this was on the larger side of that grouping with 639 runners across four distances (5K, 10K, Half, Full). The Half Marathon was … MORE

    Overall Production:
    While still a small production, this was on the larger side of that grouping with 639 runners across four distances (5K, 10K, Half, Full). The Half Marathon was by far the most popular distance with over 275 runners. It occurred on the shoreline in Ventura County using both public roads and state parkland. The weather on the day I ran was incredibly foggy, but very cool (mid 60’s) but a really intense feeling of humid mugginess in the air.

    Packet Pick-up:
    Pick-up was offered the day before at a local running company. They also offered a race-day pick-up at the start line. As I was coming from out of town I opted for the latter. There was certainly was a long line, as they only had one station per distance (5K, 10K, Half, Full) instead of sub-dividing by last name as some places do. However, I arrived early enough that it wasn’t a problem at all. The packet itself consisted of a shirt, water bottle, reusable bag (all discussed below in swag) and a sample energy bar.

    Swag:
    This race certainly had a lot of various swag items. While none of them were especially high quality, some of them will likely be useful. They gave out a basic water bottle that had the race company’s logo on it. They also gave out a small reusable bag (not a drawstring bag, but the same as the reusable grocery bags that you find these days). And of course, they gave out a tech t-shirt. The shirt has the race logo on it and is a bright green color. It’s not the nicest quality of tech shirt (it’s the kind that will commonly get runs in it), but I liked the design and the unique color choice. I have so many navy blue run shirts, it’s nice to get a splash of a totally different color.

    Pre-Race Administration:
    This was a mixed bag for me. In some cases they did an admirable job. Races all started on time and they made an overt effort to allow people to start in phases, encouraging walkers and slower runners to let the faster people head out first. This often gets lip service at other races, but I think Elite Sports CA did a great job here. Unfortunately, there were other elements that weren’t as tight. The website was not very well managed, and I struggled with figuring out exactly where I was supposed to go in the morning. A lot of people had no problem with that (so maybe it was just me), but there were others that looked confused in the early hours with me. Also, they had limited parking on-site at the venue and offered a free shuttle service or recommended you could walk the roughly mile distance from the majority of the parking to the start line. The line for the one shuttle got very very long as the race start grew closer, and there was absolutely no signage telling people how to walk that mile from the parking to the start. Considering how good they did with signage on the course itself, I’m surprised they put no effort into doing so for the walk to their venue.

    The Course:
    This route was a simple out and back along the beach. The first part was on a bike trail, but much of the race was along a beachfront frontage road. Surprisingly, there wasn’t too much traffic and cars driving past us. Furthermore, there was an excessively wide shoulder (intended mostly for campers to park on) that we ran along. The entire course was on the shoreline (hence the name) and you were right next to the crashing waves the whole way. The race company did a poor job on their website, and never posted any elevation information for the run. So my assumption was a mostly flat race, but I was just guessing. There ended up being about 160 feet of climb, with most of it coming on a single large hill at about the 1 mile/5 mile mark. All told, not an especially difficult course.

    The Scenery:
    So I scored the scenery quite low for a race that features nothing but ocean views. This might be slightly unfair, but I graded based on my personal experience this morning at the race. We had intense fog that obscured virtually all visibility. It’s not an uncommon occurrence on the ocean for the fog to roll in, so just be aware that experiences will vary.

    Water and Aid Stations:
    They did a great job with these. They had aid stations at each mile (yes, each mile) and offered Gatorade and water. They also had toilets at every other aid station. This might be the most aid stations I’ve seen for a race this size ever. And despite the low temperatures, the really high humidity made the frequent hydration a god-send.

    Crowd Support:
    Not tons, but there were definitely pockets of people along the course. As always the volunteers were great as well.

    Finisher’s Medal:
    So the finisher’s medal is clearly not the highest quality, but I definitely liked it, because it checked the boxes that I most appreciate. The design of the medal was not overly complex or busy. It just displayed the race logo with the 2019 year and the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon distances listed together. The ribbon was also better than the generic ones you often see, and actually had the year and race logo on it as well. Furthermore, the Marathon distance runners received a slightly different medal with a different color ribbon and a slightly different medal (that actually said “Marathon”). It’s not the biggest. It’s not the flashiest. It’s certainly not a super high-quality medal. But I do like it.

    Post-Race Administration:
    Unfortunately, I felt that a lot of the post-race functions were mismanaged. When I crossed the finish line nobody approached me with my medal. I walked past the medals table and had to turn around and look for it. Races need to do better than this. Racers are often incredibly fatigued after finishing a long run and they’re not always aware of their surroundings as they’re stumbling around. Those first few steps after the finish line need to be locked in tight so nobody gets overlooked. I had a runner approach me, saying she hadn’t received her medal and asking where I got mine. That should never happen. There was also no obvious place to go in order to get water and Gatorade right after the run. There was a lonely table off to the side with a few bottled waters thrown on top of it, and no indication that I should go over there to get hydration. Again, you have to help out runners at the finish line with volunteers directing them or big brightly colored signs, since we’re usually pretty tired and not all with it. The snacks at the finish line were also limited, but they did offer each runner a beer and a plate full of tacos. Unfortunately, the lines for both of these products were intensely long, as they just didn’t have enough serving stations set up to manage the volume of people. I opted to not wait 30 minutes for a taco and decided to try and beat the rush to the shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttle was not running for no apparent reason (despite the fact that virtually all of the 5K runners and most of the 10K runners were already back). I had asked in advance when the shuttle would start running again post-run and was told it would never stop. Definitely not true. So I instead just opted to walk the mile back to my car. I understand that things happen, but the entire finish line area just felt like it was lacking adult supervision. It’s the worst finish line I’ve ever experienced.

    Results:
    This was an easy to use feature. At the finish line, they had a single laptop that you could type your bib number into and get your time and all your placement information immediately. It was also posted online by the time I got to my hotel an hour later. If I could give one critique, they had a second laptop that was not turned on, requiring everybody to use the one system. Turn on the other computer!

    History of the Event:
    This is the 7th running of the event. Although the course has changed slightly over time, it’s still in the same general area that it’s always been.

    So would I do it again?
    Hard pass. The first concern is that this was a fairly expensive race (not an uncommon occurrence in SoCal). And while they offered a lot of fun swag, none of it was of the kind of quality that would make me think the price was justified. My biggest frustration though is just the clumsiness of the management. At times they felt like a well-oiled machine. At other times they felt absolutely amateurish. I’d rather try something different than do this again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    victortsi2 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Easy free parking. Out and back course next to ocean. 13.12 distance 170' gain 7am start time. 65 degrees at start/70 degrees at finish Exposed to sun 2nd half of … MORE

    Easy free parking. Out and back course next to ocean.
    13.12 distance
    170′ gain
    7am start time.
    65 degrees at start/70 degrees at finish
    Exposed to sun 2nd half of race.
    4 aid stations with water and electrolytes so you can get hydrated every couple of miles. Top 3 overall medals. Top 3 medals for various age groups as well. Smaller race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    LArunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    Two months back, I was searching for a July half-marathon and was delighted to see one along the coast in beautiful Ventura. I've run that stretch several times and it … MORE

    Two months back, I was searching for a July half-marathon and was delighted to see one along the coast in beautiful Ventura. I’ve run that stretch several times and it is some of the most gorgeous landscape coastal CA has to offer. My runs always fly by and I feel complete joy watching the waves crash, families play and dogs chase frisbees. What a perfect location for a half! Without question, this would be the race for me and I trained accordingly. I made travel plans and arranged to be in Ventura the weekend of the race.

    And then…at the last minute…the race organizer emailed everyone and announced that due to the “skyrocketing costs” of permits, the race would be changed to the Ojai bike path. UGH! Are you kidding me? I’ve already run a half there and it really wasn’t my favorite. The path is narrow, meaning that passing people can be tough and you have cyclists to contend with. The path runs along some sketchy parts of the area (I always smell pot there).

    The race was brought 8 miles inland, off the coast, which meant (in a blistering SoCAL July) that the race was hot and humid. Really unpleasant!

    When I sign up for a race, I expect only minimal changes to the course. This organizer materially changed the course of the run after collecting everyone’s entrance fees. Unbelievable. Don’t sign up for this race unless you are flexible with running a mystery course.

    I should mentioned that the organizer never apologized for the change in course.

    I added one “shoe” to my score because the volunteers were sweet and there was water, gatorade, and potties every 1-1.5 miles as promised. Also, the other runners were really cool…good etiquette and very friendly types. Everyone honored the “waved start” recommendations.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This was an ok race. It was out and back and uses the same course year after year. Smaller race not a lot of runners so no worry about course … MORE

    This was an ok race. It was out and back and uses the same course year after year. Smaller race not a lot of runners so no worry about course congestion. Ok food at the end. Might be good for first timers since it’s flat and easy.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    halftwisted REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is one of the best events that Elite Sports Ca puts on. It is very well organized, great volunteers, Oceanview course, lots of swag and Tacos& Beer at the … MORE

    This is one of the best events that Elite Sports Ca puts on. It is very well organized, great volunteers, Oceanview course, lots of swag and Tacos& Beer at the finish line. I highly recommend this event and look forward to next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    runforbeer FIRST-TIMER '15

    All "Elite Sports California" races are a joke. Packet pickups are unorganized, they still use those crappy reusable timing chips, age group "prizes" are usually cheap. Races get cancelled for … MORE

    All “Elite Sports California” races are a joke. Packet pickups are unorganized, they still use those crappy reusable timing chips, age group “prizes” are usually cheap. Races get cancelled for no reason and it’s impossible to get a refund or transfer. Race director doesn’t pay his charities. He is a crook that is just out to put money in his pocket by putting on cheap, poorly run events. Serious road racers need to avoid these at all costs.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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  1. Races
  2. Shoreline Half Marathon, 5K & 10K (CA)