Overall Rating
Overall Rating (429 Reviews)
4.4
(429 Ratings)(429 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4.1
Surf, sun, run! Mild winter weather accompanied by miles of wide, sandy California beaches, as far as the eyes can see. 10 miles, to be exact – the longest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront anywhere on the West Coast – and home of the ideal winter marathon. HB’s long stretch of … MORE
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Recent reviews

    cedoyle REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Flat course with few turns (<10) - so good race for a PR. Scenic course mostly on PCH. Live bands and beer at expo and post-race party. Nice LS tech … MORE

    Flat course with few turns (<10) – so good race for a PR. Scenic course mostly on PCH. Live bands and beer at expo and post-race party. Nice LS tech shirt and medal. Plenty of refreshments after race. Well organized race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    YanisNanashi FIRST-TIMER '20

    The race was really good - perfect for the start into the new season! The course is flat, easy and beautiful all along the coast. The production is very good … MORE

    The race was really good – perfect for the start into the new season! The course is flat, easy and beautiful all along the coast. The production is very good and the atmosphere in the finish area is awesome having live music, a beer garden and good coffee. The beach is perfect for some lovely medal-pictures. The expo is awesome offering a lot of really nice merchandising stuff. Unfortunately the expo closes very early at 5pm in the afternoon, but that seems to be a US thing 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Stacystruggles REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Surf City is a nice race in the winter. The weather was perfect the day before the race, enjoyed the warmth of the sun as we sat on the the … MORE

    Surf City is a nice race in the winter. The weather was perfect the day before the race, enjoyed the warmth of the sun as we sat on the the beach. Race morning was nice…cooler with cloud cover. The course is a tad monotonous on the Pacific Coast Highway section. The bus shuttle was great!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Feb 20, 2020 at 7:40pm

    Brilliant job and congrats on #100, Stacy! 👏 What a fantastic way to kick off (apologies for the Super Bowl pun) the new year. I have marathon #50 (and about… MORE

    Brilliant job and congrats on #100, Stacy! 👏 What a fantastic way to kick off (apologies for the Super Bowl pun) the new year. I have marathon #50 (and about 20 more states) in my sights, so I've got huge respect for what you've accomplished and hope you'll continue to share your racing adventures here on RaceRaves. Look forward to seeing what you do for an encore! LESS

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    buzz012 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This was my first marathon and I thought it was nearly perfect! The setting was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the course was mostly flat, the medal was fun (surf's … MORE

    This was my first marathon and I thought it was nearly perfect! The setting was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the course was mostly flat, the medal was fun (surf’s up!), the expo had lots of free samples, the ocean was right beside the finish line for a quick post-race cool down.

    I don’t feel like there was a lot offered in the swag bag, mostly just my long-sleeve T-shirt. Overall, not being able to compare to any other marathons, it was perfect!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    dana.0212 REPEAT RUNNER '20

    The right amount of communication leading up to the race. Great options for parking off site with free shuttles/buses to the start line. Plenty of bathrooms at the start line. … MORE

    The right amount of communication leading up to the race. Great options for parking off site with free shuttles/buses to the start line. Plenty of bathrooms at the start line. The right amount of bathrooms and aid stations along the course. Fantastic volunteers. What’s not to love about running along the coast. The weather is usually ideal this time of year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    pc1717 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Really great race. Water and aid stations were always there when I needed them. The course is very scenic and pretty flat, with a couple gradual inclines along the way. … MORE

    Really great race. Water and aid stations were always there when I needed them. The course is very scenic and pretty flat, with a couple gradual inclines along the way. It was a little colder than I expected, but I thrive in the cold and managed to get a PR. Will definitely be doing this race again!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jordan Wood
    jordaniwood1 FIRST-TIMER '20

    The course can be kind of tedious at the end because it’s down and back twice (for people who get bored when they run like me), but literally every other … MORE

    The course can be kind of tedious at the end because it’s down and back twice (for people who get bored when they run like me), but literally every other aspect of the race was amazing. Energy, water breaks, views, expo, and logistics of the race were all amazing. Will definitely be going back!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    nutmeg1418 FIRST-TIMER '20

    I couldn’t have asked for a better day marathon day here if I tried! The spirit of Huntington Beach + a marathon is pure magic. 😍 I love running, but … MORE

    I couldn’t have asked for a better day marathon day here if I tried! The spirit of Huntington Beach + a marathon is pure magic. 😍

    I love running, but it is something I always do alone. I have anxiety about a lot of things. I’m anti-social, I put pressure on myself, and I compare myself to other people- so imagine what running a timed race with 17,000 other people triggers in me. I haven’t ran many organized running events because of this, but I had a terrible marathon time 10 years and 2 babies ago, and I have always wanted a decent one.

    I didn’t tell anyone I was doing this, so I went to the expo alone. I didn’t feel alone once I got there because It was very well organized and so well decorated! There were fun, vibrant VW buses decorated to the tee and tons of cute photo ops if you’re an instagrammer you can’t miss the expo! Volunteers were eager to take photos for people who were solo like me and the beach vibes were contagious! There were tons of vendors and everyone was so encouraging , it really set the mood for race weekend! The goodie bags, and metals were ADORABLE! I have received so many compliments on my medal, it really couldn’t be better. The tee for the event was a very comfortable long sleeve in a gorgeous blue color! I’m not ashamed to say I have worn it so many times since! I felt prepared and got through it quickly. After the expo, I sat on the beach because hello- Surf City!

    The morning of, I was instructed to park at Edison High School for free shuttle to the start! I was nervous about this but the bus driver greeted us EARLY, was very welcoming and took us over before the first shuttle was even scheduled to leave. He provided the right amount of warmth to wake us up and calm our nerves! While waiting for the start, they had coffee and portapotties available. There were so many there was never a line. I met a stranger who was running her first one as we waited for our start and I was even able to help HER relax. She thanked me and I ended up seeing (and yelling for her) in the twenty mile range- Go Camille! Helping her helped me. So many people here helped me.
    I said thank you to everyone that shuttled me, handed me electrolytes, was cheering/clapping/ringing a bell/holding a sign/high-fiving me on the sideline. I tapped every single Mario 👨🏻‍🦱 sign that said, “Tap here for a power up 🍄.” There was no shortage of crowd and volunteer motivation I was so thankful! Surf city really knows how to pump a marathoner up- I’m telling you! The mile markers were extra special, and had a community feel. Two miles were dedicate to residents of Orange County who lost their lives in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant. At the starting line we put our hands over our hearts and sang the national anthem. Then we had 24.2 seconds of silence for the victims. It was beautiful. And so was the starting line- with a classic VW bus kicking us off!

    I took my headphones off as I passed any group playing live music or dancing on the sidelines. There were a lot of aid stations and portapottys available. Every volunteer holding water and electrolytes was motivating Runner’s as well!

    I smiled at all the photographers and reminded runners, both faster and slower than me, that THEY were doing a great job. I also received a lot more photos of me than I anticipated!

    I literally didn’t see a face I knew until mile 26, (4 hours of running in) so my heart was genuinely thankful for anyone taking time out of their life to look right at ME and tell me I was doing well, and there were so many. The route itself is a great course with beach, park and residential views. It’s very flat so I anticipate you setting a PR like I did if you try this out! Which you have to! The finish line was amazing- organized and snacks galore!

    They also provide live tracking so I was able to sign up a friend (without telling her, surprise you’re volunominated to cheer me on!) for my live tracking text alerts around 14 miles in, because I knew she’d text me something that would help! It allowed my parents to meet up with me at the end
    Of the race as well because they could anticipate my finish time.

    And then I ran just like I trained. My way, for me, until I finished…in the exact time I wanted to! I wasn’t stressed or anxious I just ran, had fun and was nice to people for 26.2 miles! It was beautiful!
    I Also didn’t find a pace group but there were plenty in sight!
    It’s a real thing, running a marathon. The Surf City Marathon was truly a weekend to celebrate running. With this race you get all the enthusiastic support of strangers cheering you on as if you were family, the fun of running, beautiful views and an excellent chance at a PR. It is set up for success ! Plus you get awesome goodies and the coolest medals around! This would be an excellent tradition to start! Thank you so much Surf city for a weekend I’ll never forget!

    It was amazing to see the thousands of people who volunteered their time to help other people come together for one thing. The spirit of a marathon is pure magic, and this is one you don’t want to pass up! 😍🙌🏻

    I have ran for fun since highschool, and I’ve done a lot of double digit runs in my life, but I really feel like I’m just starting to figure out how to put it all together… mastering the anxiety and fueling, were huge steps for me. They are just as important as having endurance in my opinion.

    It literally took just as much effort for me to EAT and block out the pressure I put on myself, as it did to keep my body moving those last couple miles. And if I would’ve let any of that anxiety get to me the whole thing would’ve been different. I hit no wall, had no cramps, everything literally went perfectly. It got hard, but it was perfect.

    Marathoning and running in general is about so much more than the miles.

    I’m so grateful that I can do it, and that there are people in the world who come together everyday to help others do things like this.

    🥰

    The boys and I spent the rest of the day at the beach and they shuttled back with me and other runners on the bus, where we had some really sweet conversations. Harper wore my medal all the way home, he was proud. My thighs are sore but my heart is full! 💥 🤛🏻 🏅

    I know most people don’t care or “get” it but if anyone ever wants to talk running, I enjoy it! 🙌🏻

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Feb 20, 2020 at 7:36pm

    I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats! Seriously, this is such a great review Meagan, and it couldn't have ended any more perfectly than with a PR. Congrats!… MORE

    I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats! Seriously, this is such a great review Meagan, and it couldn't have ended any more perfectly than with a PR. Congrats! It's SO rare that everything falls into place during a marathon, and even some marathoners will never catch lightning in a bottle the way you did. Having the discipline to master the anxiety + fueling tells me you trained both hard and smart, and gave yourself the best chance to succeed on one of my favorite race weekends (and favorite courses) of the year. Hope you'll keep running strong and never lose your awesome attitude — and do know you always have a place to talk running here at RaceRaves! We love it, we appreciate it, and it helps that we're total geeks when it comes to this stuff 😊. Enjoy that well-deserved PR! 💪 LESS

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    Profile photo of Glen Masumoto
    gsmasumoto FIRST-TIMER '20

    This was my first time running the Surf City Half Marathon and I went all in and did the Cowabunga 1 Mile and completed the Cowabunga Challenge. This was also … MORE

    This was my first time running the Surf City Half Marathon and I went all in and did the Cowabunga 1 Mile and completed the Cowabunga Challenge. This was also my third race for the Beach City Challenge so I was especially pleased to get my turtle medal.
    I did not know what to think of this race since it’s mostly on the 101 but the course was great since you headed toward some neighborhoods and then back on the 101 so there were a few turns that kept the course fun.
    Even with all the runners on the course, it did not feel that crowded except maybe in a few spots.
    The volunteers were all great and the tech tee and medals were first class. Who wouldn’t want a surf board medal?
    I’ll be back next year and signed up already for the Cowabunga Challenge again.
    I would definitely recommend this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    vanessahc FIRST-TIMER '20

    There were plenty of water stations, the course was almost completely flat. Just 2 slight uphills. Maybe .4 & .2 of a mile. No biggie. There were plenty of recovery … MORE

    There were plenty of water stations, the course was almost completely flat. Just 2 slight uphills. Maybe .4 & .2 of a mile. No biggie. There were plenty of recovery snacks. My favorite was the dole fruit cup with coconut water. The beer garden was a bit small and crowded. I would’ve loved somewhere to sit. Other than that I loved everything about it. The medal is awesome.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Amanda Bohannon
    myhomeworkspot FIRST-TIMER '20

    •Fun, organized, scenic beach course •Friendly, runners, pacers and volunteers, who were entertaining and supportive , throughout the course. •Very cool surfer VW theme at the expo. I love the … MORE

    •Fun, organized, scenic beach course •Friendly, runners, pacers and volunteers, who were entertaining and supportive
    , throughout the course. •Very cool surfer VW theme at the expo. I love the finisher shirt and medal, they are so freaking cute!! •I enjoyed the bands and beer garden on the beach, along with some good food to eat. •Several nearby hotels to stay at, so that you can walk right out to the starting line. •A fun area to watch the Super Bowl, after.
    I had such a great time, and I plan to do this one again! 🤗🤗🤗

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Samie Stewart
    samie_stewart REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This is one the the most well organized races. The expo has just about everything you would need before a race. The medal is also one of my favorites. Plenty … MORE

    This is one the the most well organized races. The expo has just about everything you would need before a race. The medal is also one of my favorites. Plenty of water stations, porta potties and the most amazing and uplifting volunteers along the course. Absolutely love the shirt but wished they offered a short sleeve as the race starts a little later and for us slower runners it starts to get a little hot. Love the course however after you do the turn around it is a slight uphill. I would 100% recommend this race and say it’s a must do. I’ve already signed up for 2021…

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jeneaswaydan REPEAT RUNNER '20

    love this race! perfect location near hotels & downtown. PLENTY of hydration/fuel/potty stops. Beautiful scenery, awesome volunteers. Mostly flat. MORE

    love this race! perfect location near hotels & downtown. PLENTY of hydration/fuel/potty stops. Beautiful scenery, awesome volunteers. Mostly flat.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    bubblegumfrog REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This course is a nice laid back course and race production. No seeded corrals, no worries of getting stuck in the wrong pace group or worrying about your corral closing. … MORE

    This course is a nice laid back course and race production. No seeded corrals, no worries of getting stuck in the wrong pace group or worrying about your corral closing. On the beach, so it’s pretty and lots to do on race weekend. Only downfall is parking. Either you pay $15+ for parking near the start and expo or you park further away (which is cheaper or free) but not close and convenient especially just to pick up your race bib. Lots of port-a-potties at the start line and finish festivities.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Sarah Pearson
    completeceltic FIRST-TIMER '20

    This race is so beautiful with ocean always next to you! There was lots of snacks at the finish and many people cheering you on as you run! It was … MORE

    This race is so beautiful with ocean always next to you! There was lots of snacks at the finish and many people cheering you on as you run! It was a very large race which created a great atmosphere! Loves it and next will do the Half!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    phochen FIRST-TIMER '20

    LOCATION- I love Surf City USA so it’s no wonder I opted in for this race. The location did not disappoint. The events (bib pick up and race) was right … MORE

    LOCATION- I love Surf City USA so it’s no wonder I opted in for this race. The location did not disappoint. The events (bib pick up and race) was right on PCH and easy walking distance from the hotels. The start and finish line were the same, which was easy and central. The time of year and day was also perfect, as it was breezy and foggy yet not too cold. The weather cleared up by the end of the race for a nice beach day!
    UNIQUE- Loved that they paid tribute to Kobe and the other victims of the helicopter crash at miles 8 and 24. It was a timely and appropriate tribute. Also cool was the can of Kona beer at the end of the finish line in the beer garden.
    IMPROVEMENTS- Even more entertainment on course other than the 2 that stand out to me (band and Polynesian dance on PCH).
    RECOMMEND?- Yes! I love the location and the ambiance. Spectators and aura really make it a motivating and exciting race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    AshRacesHalfs FIRST-TIMER '20

    For it being “Surf City”, there was not a whole lot to see. It might have been the super foggy morning, or the fact that there was not much course … MORE

    For it being “Surf City”, there was not a whole lot to see. It might have been the super foggy morning, or the fact that there was not much course entertainment either. The main reason I’m only giving it 4 stars though is the health expo. All of these races force us to go to the expo when over half of us just want to grab our bibs and go. I work and I have small kids so the expo times/location are almost always a burden for me. Maybe when my kids aren’t toddlers it won’t be such a big deal. Lol If there was a non-expo option (like a week earlier), I would be all over that. Overall, the race was really fast-paced since it was almost all flat. Loved the race shirt, and loved the medal. Will definitely run it again – hopefully on a slightly sunnier day so I can enjoy the view a little more.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Diana Ngo
    jadorelafr REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Get ready to run up and down the beach path... Love the swag (tote bag, shirt, & MEDAL, of course)! Spectators will have fun signs to entertain you! Volunteers are MORE

    Get ready to run up and down the beach path… Love the swag (tote bag, shirt, & MEDAL, of course)! Spectators will have fun signs to entertain you! Volunteers are awesome!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Jorge Martinez
    jmartinez456 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Very well organized and fun race. Beautiful scenery and support from the local residents! My only complain is the race shirt is long sleeve, would prefer short sleeve, but that … MORE

    Very well organized and fun race. Beautiful scenery and support from the local residents! My only complain is the race shirt is long sleeve, would prefer short sleeve, but that might just be me. 😀

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    meghanjaneiro FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was one of my favorite half marathons and I really want to run it again! The scenery & the people make this race unbeatable. Great vibes & overall one … MORE

    This was one of my favorite half marathons and I really want to run it again! The scenery & the people make this race unbeatable. Great vibes & overall one of the best days ever!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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  1. Races
  2. Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon