Overall Rating
Overall Rating (442 Reviews)
4.4
(442 Ratings)  (442 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4
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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H (°F) 64 61 56 71 60
L (°F) 49 44 48 50 44
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Recent reviews

    This race is usually in Feb. I was glad to add this race to my list in Sept 2021. It was HOT! Expo was simple and nothing too exciting; few … MORE

    This race is usually in Feb. I was glad to add this race to my list in Sept 2021. It was HOT!
    Expo was simple and nothing too exciting; few vendors. Shirt was navy cotton and true to size.
    The race was mostly along the coast except the about seven or so miles. The path from mile 16 til the end was shared with other runners and cyclists. Some were rude and path could be crowded at times.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    calvintdang REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Plenty of volunteers to help at water station. Nun electrolytes is hit or miss. Sometimes it's not really there (too diluted) and sometimes you can feel it (this helps a … MORE

    Plenty of volunteers to help at water station. Nun electrolytes is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s not really there (too diluted) and sometimes you can feel it (this helps a lot during the race).
    The 2nd half did not have much cheering. You are on your own. This is the 3rd time I am doing full. I am doing mostly half at this race bc of this boring 2nd half.
    Shirt design for 25th Anniversary should be spectacular but…
    Logo is great but all cotton material for running. That is a NO NO. Please go with your previous shirt, long sleeve dri-fit material.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    jadorelafr REPEAT RUNNER '21

    The ocean breeze felt great & it was nice that the race was on a Saturday! Pretty good crowd support. Awesome volunteers. Wear a cap and/or sunglasses. Usually takes place … MORE

    The ocean breeze felt great & it was nice that the race was on a Saturday!
    Pretty good crowd support.
    Awesome volunteers.
    Wear a cap and/or sunglasses.
    Usually takes place on Super Bowl Sunday.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    pinktrouble REPEAT RUNNER '21

    No matter how fast or slow you are, just getting out there and giving it your all, is amazing. Be proud of yourself for getting out there and putting one … MORE

    No matter how fast or slow you are, just getting out there and giving it your all, is amazing. Be proud of yourself for getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other. This was my first half or run after having breast cancer (2019) and have been doing it every year. Screw cancer I can still run, hike, walk, ruck and live. One step one day at a time, stay strong keep moving

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    bob.binnie REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Great course up / down PCH with the only thing between you and the Pacific being sand. Great and energetic volunteers servicing regular water stations along the course. Pros - … MORE

    Great course up / down PCH with the only thing between you and the Pacific being sand. Great and energetic volunteers servicing regular water stations along the course.

    Pros
    – Easy bib pick up
    – Great scenery
    – Fast course

    Cons
    – Crappy cotton shirt

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    CaptnJim REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I was only worried about 4 things this race day. 1) getting blown up because it was 911 after all. 2) not being able to finish because I haven't run … MORE

    I was only worried about 4 things this race day.
    1) getting blown up because it was 911 after all.
    2) not being able to finish because I haven’t run in awhile due to Covid!
    3) dying of heat exhaustion.
    4) Mich Ultra running out of beer before I limped to the finish line.

    NONE OF THOSE HAPPENED! So I say it was a very successful race! Of course, it always has been, but I did have a lot of extra concerns this year!

    Thank you #Runsurfcity!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    chikibigi FIRST-TIMER '21

    My first half marathon race and I’m so happy that I did it. I wish they could start the race a little bit earlier though. The last 3 miles were … MORE

    My first half marathon race and I’m so happy that I did it. I wish they could start the race a little bit earlier though. The last 3 miles were brutal when I was trying to finish the run and fighting the heat on PCH.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Samie Stewart
    samie_stewart REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is the best course. Love the ocean view while running. Volunteers are so helpful and always cheering us on. Couldn’t do it without them. My only complaint this year … MORE

    This is the best course. Love the ocean view while running. Volunteers are so helpful and always cheering us on. Couldn’t do it without them.
    My only complaint this year was the cotton shirt. Usually they have the best tech shirts but this year it was cotton. Who runs in cotton especially in September when it was so hot. Also they ran so small that after washing I won’t be able to wear. So disappointed.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

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    Good course. Amazing scenery! Elevation change under 200. Wave start worked well. A lot of direct sun so prepare for that. You will more then likely have to walk about … MORE

    Good course. Amazing scenery! Elevation change under 200. Wave start worked well. A lot of direct sun so prepare for that. You will more then likely have to walk about a mile to the start from parking locations.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Rebecca Gutierrez
    rgutierrezlmt REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is a course I love to do every year (if possible). It’s breezy, mostly flat, ocean view 90% of the time and always has GREAT volunteers. MORE

    This is a course I love to do every year (if possible). It’s breezy, mostly flat, ocean view 90% of the time and always has GREAT volunteers.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    bbkins52185 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    You really can’t beat this race. Year after year it is so well run, just the right size, and is fun no matter your pace. The course is beautiful and … MORE

    You really can’t beat this race. Year after year it is so well run, just the right size, and is fun no matter your pace. The course is beautiful and big enough to never get crowded. The expo (pre and post race) has tons of freebies and you can enjoy your post race beer with a view of the ocean. I don’t think it gets much better than that!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    daniel REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This was my 2nd time running this race. The cons: The race expo seemed scaled down, probably because of covid. PCH can get boring after a while. It was a … MORE

    This was my 2nd time running this race.

    The cons: The race expo seemed scaled down, probably because of covid. PCH can get boring after a while. It was a pretty hot day compared to usual (75F and sunny vs usually 55F and cloudy) and the half marathon started later than usual because of covid social distancing.

    The pros: Plenty of water stops and gels available. Good amount of pace groups available. Course is nearly entirely flat and you can just go hard. The crowds were pretty good in spite of the pandemic. The medals are always awesome (wooden surfboard) and the I really liked the race finisher shirt. Also, if you don’t live near the beach, I am sure running along the beach and the wetlands scenery is interesting. I am just a bit bored of it because I run here ALL the time.

    This is a great course to PR. For the 2nd year in a row, this is looking to be my best race. I am becoming a huge fan of Surf City and I will definitely be back next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    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

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    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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    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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