Overall Rating
Overall Rating (72 Reviews)
4.3
(72 Ratings)  (72 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
3.6
THE PERFECT CALIFORNIA RUNNING EXPERIENCE. For everyone. This fall, Huntington Beach is once again home to one of the most beautiful running races in California – start and finish from Huntington Beach’s Pier Plaza. Run along the PCH and take in sandy beaches, palm tree-studded hills, wave surfing dolphins and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    MilesOStridin REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The Surf City 10 (formerly known as the Surf City Sundown) is a bright and sunny fun run. Enjoy pleasant views of Huntington Beach along a fast, flat course. Expo … MORE

    The Surf City 10 (formerly known as the Surf City Sundown) is a bright and sunny fun run. Enjoy pleasant views of Huntington Beach along a fast, flat course.

    Expo / pickup:

    -Packet pickup was staged in an outdoor setup along Pacific Coast Highway. There were individual tents for bib pickup, shirt pickup, and merch sales. Sponsors and exhibitors each had their own booths where you could sample all sorts of supplements, sports drinks, sunglasses, and health goods. Two big green Surf City backdrops were also available for photo ops.

    Parking/Pre-race:

    -The corner of PCH and Main Street serves as the Surf City 10 start line. Your best parking options are garages up Main Street, public lots along PCH, or the garage for the Pacific City shops. The start-line and expo area had plentiful rows of pot-a-potties closer to the beach, in addition to the pier’s own facilities. A gear-check tent was available near the expo area as well, but I didn’t use it. Pacers in the start corral were helpful in dividing up pace groups.

    Course:

    -The Surf City 10 course is a real out-and-back, a straight shot that goes north up the Pacific Coast Highway, then returns along the same route. The first 2.5 miles go past hotels, shops, and houses on your right, and Huntington Beach, including the Pier, on your left. You’ll encounter the most crowd support in this stretch—not as much as the bigger Surf City Marathon/Half in the spring, but it’s still encouraging. At Mile 2.5 you begin a comfortable and flat stretch with Bolsa Chica State Beach on your left, and Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve on your right. You hit the turnaround at Mile 5 right before Warner Ave and begin your return. The beach views around the Bolsa Chica area were quite muted because parking lots full of RV trailers formed a low wall between you and the actual water. You’ll just have to settle for sunny weather, blue skies, and the sea breeze instead to power you through—it’s a real bummer, oh the horror! Miles 7 to 8 deliver the slightest bit of elevation gain, then flatten out as you race to the crowds at the finish line.

    Scenery/Weather/Support:

    -The race is called the Surf City 10, and the course serves you beach views for over half of the course, with plenty of that California ocean breeze and palm trees. The best views are near the start and finish, near the Huntington Beach pier. Volunteers were great, and hydration stations were plentiful at Miles 2, 4, 6, 8, and thankfully at Mile 9 too! Gu was also available at around Mile 6 I think. Race day was clear and sunny, with temperatures starting in the upper-60s and ending in the low-70s. There was little to no cloud or tree cover, so the sunlight felt harsher in the second half. A hat or sunglasses would be helpful.

    Post-race:

    -Goodies at the finish line include a finisher medal, banana, pH Alkaline water, an organic Jam Bar, and a Bob’s Red Mill bar. The post-race festival by the beach is perfect for pictures, especially at the two big green Surf City photo backdrops. It’s also fun to walk along the pier with your medal(s) and hear the clanging in rhythm to the waves crashing below. If you need further hydration, the Michelob Ultra beer garden is a great spot to celebrate.

    Swag:

    – If you thought a Surf City race would feature surf board medals, you would be right! The 10 Miler medal is a vertical surf board in sea foam green and white, with silhouettes of waves and the Huntington Beach pier, looped in a green ribbon. The surf board medal folds in half to (1) make it more display-friendly on a flat surface, and (2) serve as a bottle opener! Very cool. The race shirt was a short-sleeve shirt in sea foam green, with the Surf City 10 logo centered in yellow, and wrap-around side panels in a lighter shade of green that connect into a wave graphic on the back. It’s a very neat design. The shirt material isn’t the typical tech poly of most race shirts, but a poly/rayon blend. It’s softer and comfier at the cost of slightly less moisture-wicking.

    Bottom-line:

    -The Surf City 10 is a fast and fun race along the beach. It’s not as big or rowdy as its Marathon/Half sibling in the spring, but I actually enjoyed this one just as much! While I miss the unique sunset vibes of the Surf City Sundown variation, I can understand the planning/lighting/logistical difficulties of organizing that. Surf City 10 feels like a great little race with a charm of its own.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The aid stations were awesome. The race could be improved with more nutrition on the course. The most unique aspect of the race was the scenery by the beaches. MORE

    The aid stations were awesome. The race could be improved with more nutrition on the course. The most unique aspect of the race was the scenery by the beaches.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I normally train at night because I am not a morning person so I actually love nighttime races. I signed up for this as a training run for the Long … MORE

    I normally train at night because I am not a morning person so I actually love nighttime races. I signed up for this as a training run for the Long Beach marathon and choose the 10 miler. I arrived early afternoon and checked out the expo and hung at the beach. The expo was small but had a few booths and vendors to check out. The race is just 5 miles out and 5 miles back on the PCH so it is very easy and flat. All 3 distances (5K, 10K, and 10 miler) start at the same time. I wish they would have staggered the races so the 10 milers had a head start. It is designed so all the runners run through sunset. As a result the first 3 miles of the sun setting on the beach were absolutely gorgeous. The last seven were very dark. It would be nice to have an earlier start so less of the race was dark. There was plenty of nutrition and water stations. The smoke from the bonfires was a little annoying but it didn’t bother me too much. I took the race pretty easy and enjoyed it. Finisher medal was a nice glow in the dark surfboard but it was a little small and not specific to the race distance. I thought it was a great training race for the Long Beach marathon but it looks like next year the Long Beach marathon is scheduled before this race so that is too bad.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    daniel FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first 10 mile race. Overall, the course was simple and I enjoyed running next to the pacers. I think the race would be better if it was … MORE

    This was my first 10 mile race. Overall, the course was simple and I enjoyed running next to the pacers. I think the race would be better if it was a bit earlier in the day. The first half of the race was awesome, the sunset along PCH is a great view.

    However, about halfway through, the sun had set and the course was pitch black. There was light up glow sticks throughout the course, so it was fine, but it really kills the scenery. As others have mentioned, there was some bonfire smoke, but that part didn’t bother me too much.

    The race swag was decent. I enjoyed the glow in the dark shirt and the bottle opener surfboard medal. The race expo was also pretty okay. This is a good training ride for the LB marathon / half marathon and I will probably run it again next year.

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    redpriestown FIRST-TIMER '19

    There is a lot to like about this run. However the biggest negative I think outweighs the rest. The biggest issue with the change of timing from a morning run … MORE

    There is a lot to like about this run. However the biggest negative I think outweighs the rest. The biggest issue with the change of timing from a morning run to an evening run is that many miles of the course parallel the Bolsa Chica state beach and bonfires. This means that for several miles of a race you are breathing in smoke from whatever wood people decided to bring and burn. I’m sure that’s not good for your lungs. For this reason alone I won’t be doing it next year.

    Aside from the smoke, it was a beautiful sunset and it was nice to not have to wake up at butt-early-o’clock to be at the starting line. The crowds were nice near the start and finish and the fact that they gave you glow sticks (of sorts) made it more entertaining.

    Several things to improve upon aside from the smoke: The starting crowds were terrible and not broken up. It was pretty tough to get through because it seemed like everyone started wherever the heck they wanted. Walkers doing the 5k? Sure, start ahead of those wanting a 7:30pace doing the 10miler! They also asked people to stay to the right especially after the turn around, but the slower 10k and 5k folks really clogged up the roads on the return for the 10 mile runners. Only at the very end was there a sign to remind walkers to stay to the side. This was made worse by the fact that there were lights only about every half mile along the course, so there were stretches with very low lighting. I didn’t realize I would need to provide my own lights for the run. They said that the course would be “lit” (their words). So if you do this next year, make sure you bring lights to help you see the road once the sun is completely down.

    Again, I liked the idea but there are lots of areas for improvement. Unfortunately the biggest issue is out of the race director’s control (the smoke being a health issue). So I’ll probably skip this in the future.

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    cedoyle FIRST-TIMER '19

    Evening run was a nice change of pace. Fast course - up & back on PCH (only one turn). Unfortunately, the wind blew smoke from the beach fire pits and … MORE

    Evening run was a nice change of pace. Fast course – up & back on PCH (only one turn). Unfortunately, the wind blew smoke from the beach fire pits and barbeques onto the course, there was some smoke inhalation on the first half. The 10-mile, 10K, and 5K races started at same time and location, So, I had to weave through the walkers and slower runners from the other races for the last few miles. Other than that, the race was well organized.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
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    5

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    padgtnbear FIRST-TIMER '19

    Although I have run Surf City Perfect 10 in the past, I put myself as a first timer as the race has been rebranded and I have never run at … MORE

    Although I have run Surf City Perfect 10 in the past, I put myself as a first timer as the race has been rebranded and I have never run at night. This race had SO many negatives from previous years.
    The movie from Beach Blvd to Main street made parking for packet pick up more difficult. There is so much street parking near beach Blvd. The protesters at the pier were not a welcome sight (although I can’t blame the race organizers for that).
    I did not like the one for all start. Too crowded. and the 10 mile leaders had to fight traffic when they hit the 10K turn around and again at the 5K turn around.
    Black shirts for a night run. Who’s bright idea was that? I would guesstimate 50% of the participants wear the race shirt. Black at night is just dumb.
    Running next to the camping was disconcerting. Every time a car used the surface road at the campground, the headlights would blind you.
    The “festival” did not stay open until 9. I finished the race around 8:30 and a vast majority of the vendors had already disappeared or were dismantling.
    And the biggest disappointment was the medal. The signature medal-where did it go? The design is nice. But the size is about 1/3 of what it has been in past years. I’ve raced at smaller events and received bigger medals.
    If this were my first Surf City race, I probably would not run another one. As it is, I may not either way. Go back to the old format and bigger medals.

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    AprilRoseS21 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Great race for beginner runner, flat, easy, awesome Medal. I recommend this race to everyone interested in running! Can't wait till next year. MORE

    Great race for beginner runner, flat, easy, awesome Medal. I recommend this race to everyone interested in running! Can’t wait till next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    3
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    3
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    4

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    Sempersniper FIRST-TIMER '18

    Awesome race, fun and vibrant atmosphere. It was a great day at the beach and my brother and I will be doing the one in February. So cool to run … MORE

    Awesome race, fun and vibrant atmosphere. It was a great day at the beach and my brother and I will be doing the one in February. So cool to run down PCH listening to the waves crash.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    iamdevra REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Very flat run, easy out and back so you know when you are halfway done. Parking is $15 but great if you plan to stay and play on the beach … MORE

    Very flat run, easy out and back so you know when you are halfway done.
    Parking is $15 but great if you plan to stay and play on the beach after
    No food offered so plan to go somewhere after or bring your own
    10 miler was actually only 9.8 on my Garmin, and other distances loop in and join the 10 milers which gets crowded and tends to bunch up near the end.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The aid stations were excellent. The medal was fine. The race could be improved with more course nutrition. The recommendation would be to have more aid stations. MORE

    The aid stations were excellent. The medal was fine. The race could be improved with more course nutrition. The recommendation would be to have more aid stations.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    daverunsarec REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The Surf City 10s are a long established series of races that take place every year on PCH in Huntington Beach. There is the choice of the 10 Mile (most … MORE

    The Surf City 10s are a long established series of races that take place every year on PCH in Huntington Beach. There is the choice of the 10 Mile (most popular) or the 10k or 5k options. All are out and back courses. Great views of the Pacific Ocean. the race production is outstanding–every race got off on time and no problems with overcrowding on the way in when all three races are finishing together. plenty of food and goodies at the finish. good expo for a non-marathon event. Only concern is having to pay for parking to pick up the bib on Saturday and on race day. recommend parking on the streets or at the Pacific City mall across the street if you don’t want to pay the $15 for parking in the city or state lots.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    michediana FIRST-TIMER '17

    I was supposed to run the 10 miler before I knew I was pregnant and changed to the 5k. As a first timer this was a great race with beautiful … MORE

    I was supposed to run the 10 miler before I knew I was pregnant and changed to the 5k. As a first timer this was a great race with beautiful scenery and amazing weather. I plan to run again next year with babies in the stroller.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    1
    SCENERY
    5
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    4
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    dtm3000 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is my second review of a run I seem to do yearly now. It's beautiful, flat run up and down PCH which a great medal and party with swag … MORE

    This is my second review of a run I seem to do yearly now. It’s beautiful, flat run up and down PCH which a great medal and party with swag to follow.
    The run is now in the middle of October but costumes are encouraged. Registration for 2018 was already available on site.
    I took advantage of the bag check (the website said you needed to supply you own bag but they were available on site).
    As I noted in my last review the 10 mile, 10 k and 5k are started at staggered times with the 5k starting at 8:15am. A plus is the runners for each of the distances are keep separate. I will definitely be doing this next year.

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    I enjoyed the location. Walked right out of the hotel to the start line. The weather was good and the race finished before it got too warm. The course was … MORE

    I enjoyed the location. Walked right out of the hotel to the start line. The weather was good and the race finished before it got too warm. The course was an up – back on a flat surface. I purchased the VIP and enjoyed all the extra goodies. The massage and stretching that was offered was a definite perk. I’ll run this race again.

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    padgtnbear REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The out and back course is nice. Disappointed that there weren't more bands. One water station the volunteers crowded the street making it difficult for runners to pass. The smaller … MORE

    The out and back course is nice. Disappointed that there weren’t more bands. One water station the volunteers crowded the street making it difficult for runners to pass. The smaller number of runners made for a less crowded course. Only water and banana for after race nourishment. Expo had too many vendors that weren’t running/nutrition related-like Truffoire. Don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay $300 for face cream.

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    daverunsarec REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great ocean views along the out and back course. Race was much smaller than in previous years which made the course much less crowded than it has been in the … MORE

    Great ocean views along the out and back course. Race was much smaller than in previous years which made the course much less crowded than it has been in the past and that’s a good thing for runners

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    dana.0212 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is the "ideal" race from beginning to end. The website is easy to navigate making the registration process a piece of cake. Pre-race announcements/communication via email was great as … MORE

    This is the “ideal” race from beginning to end. The website is easy to navigate making the registration process a piece of cake. Pre-race announcements/communication via email was great as well. I was informed exactly where to go & what to do in order to pick up my race bib. The day of the event the volunteers were wonderful! They were all friendly, accommodating and available to answer any questions. The announcers at the start line were entertaining. The race started on time (thank you!) and the weather in October is always ideal for running in Huntington Beach (not too hot & not too cold). Running down PCH and back is a great fast & flat course – I was able to take 15 minutes of my time (10 mile race) compared to two years ago! Post race activities were enjoyable – music and vendors were favorable. I love the iconic surf board medal. I’m looking forward to running this race again in the future!

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    M_Sohaskey Nov 27, 2017 at 6:16pm

    Isn't Huntington Beach an amazing place to race? Totally chill environment and ideal weather, like you said. Agree about the surfboard medals too, that was what compelled me to run… MORE

    Isn't Huntington Beach an amazing place to race? Totally chill environment and ideal weather, like you said. Agree about the surfboard medals too, that was what compelled me to run my first Surf City Half back in 2011 and then to run the full this year. I'll definitely be back again soon. Congrats on the 15-minute PR Dana, and thanks for another awesome review! LESS

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    natalieu23 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Nice flat course with a great expo and amazing bling! The gender-specific tech shirt runs a little small, but is good quality and the medal is large & heavy! I … MORE

    Nice flat course with a great expo and amazing bling! The gender-specific tech shirt runs a little small, but is good quality and the medal is large & heavy! I also received a heavy duty reusable tote bag! Some of the best race swag ever! This race is part of the Surf & Santa Challenge, so I look forward to receiving my challenge coin in December when I run the Run for a Claus!

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    cmaryannrun REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Great expo, great location (next to beach), so cool they shut down PCH for us to run on. Plenty of water stations. Course is very simple. Basically an out and … MORE

    Great expo, great location (next to beach), so cool they shut down PCH for us to run on. Plenty of water stations. Course is very simple. Basically an out and back which makes the last stretch feel like FOREVER! But it’s a great course if you want to PR. And there’s a ton of runners which make for some great competition. The weather is usually perfect since it’s in October. But than again Southern CA weather is almost perfect year round. It’s pretty easy for you friends and family to find you because it’s on PCH so it’s pretty simple for them to know where to go. Lots of streets to park on but come early because they fill up. Lots of fun booths to check out at the finish. I actually ran this race when it use to be on the boardwalk but it’s gotten so huge they had to move it to PCH several years ago. I would definitely recommend it. I live super close so that helps too.

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