Overall Rating
Overall Rating (372 Reviews)
4.4
(372 Ratings)(372 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
Local Weather (Feb 02)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 61 81 67 60 75
L (°F) 54 52 49 38 51
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Recent reviews

    dana.0212 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Who doesn't love running on Pacific Coast Highway? Race was well organized. I love having the option to park off site and free shuttles to take racers to the start … MORE

    Who doesn’t love running on Pacific Coast Highway? Race was well organized. I love having the option to park off site and free shuttles to take racers to the start line. I was really hoping for a sub-two hour finish, however after the turn-around at mile 8, there was a head wind for the remaining 5 miles. The weather was perfect! The expected rain stayed away.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    KelliKO REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I run Surf City almost every year. The course if very easy and the vibe of the race is very laid back and fun. I love the surfboard medals and … MORE

    I run Surf City almost every year. The course if very easy and the vibe of the race is very laid back and fun. I love the surfboard medals and the race production is well done. I stay down there the night before to avoid parking issues and never have trouble getting dropped off or picked up. I really enjoy this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Due to personal scheduling conflicts, 2019 marked my first time participating in Surf City in a few years. The expo was at the race start in a parking lot along … MORE

    Due to personal scheduling conflicts, 2019 marked my first time participating in Surf City in a few years.

    The expo was at the race start in a parking lot along the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. It ran from 1 pm – 7 pm Friday and 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday. Someone can pick up your packet for you as long as they have a copy of your ID and your online waiver is signed. Parking at the expo was rather expensive, so I parked about 3/4 mile away and walked to the expo. There was a good variety of vendors at the expo. I walked away with a few good purchases and a few good freebies. For those unable to make it to the expo, there is the option to pre-purchase race morning packet pick-up for a fee of $25.

    On race morning, there were multiple free parking lots to select from with free shuttles going to the start. I arrived early, thus had no issues with traffic and had plenty of time to use a porta-potty before the race.

    The marathon started at 6:30 am, the 5K started at 7:00 am and the half marathon started at 7:45 am. Many people ran the 5K as well as the half marathon.

    The half marathon course is flat, but rather boring. It is mostly an out-and-back, with the exception of a small out-and-back loop that started near mile 3. This segment was rather narrow and at times I was forced to run slower and/or walk due to congestion in front of me. I was annoyed when I observed a couple holding hands while taking a walk break together — completely obvious to the fact that people were having difficulty moving around them to pass.

    Nothing remarkable stands out in memory about the rest of the race other than the scattered rain showers.

    Upon finishing the race, I took a few photos then left. Surf City used to have one of the best post-race beer gardens. Looking through my Instagram photos, in 2016 they served a variety of beers from Sam Adams. In 2014 & 2015 they served a variety of beers from Kona Brewing Company. Now? Michelob Ultra. Bleh. Pass.

    Mylar blankets were not automatically handed out eventhough it was raining. If you wanted a mylar blanket, you had to go to the medical tent for them to record your bib number. I found this odd.

    The medal was a cute wooden surfboard with a metal Volkswagen bus affixed to it (see my attached photo). I’m glad they returned to this type of design.

    I did not have to wait long to board a bus to go back to the parking lot where my car was parked.

    It was nice getting to run Surf City again, but I found that the race did not hold up to my nostalgic memories of it. If I return next year it will be because I have that weekend free and I like the medal.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4
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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This course is under new ownership and several changes have been made. It is still one of 3 races in the Beach Cities Challenge. Surf City is probably the flattest … MORE

    This course is under new ownership and several changes have been made. It is still one of 3 races in the Beach Cities Challenge. Surf City is probably the flattest course you will ever run. Nice big expo and a few small legacy perks. 2019 they added a 1 mile run Saturday to make an additional challenge. Plan to park away and take a race provided bus to and from the race start.
    Since the course has changed a bit it’s more congested and crowded the first 3-5 miles. Active traffic in the residential area. Not sure I’ll be back for 2020 unless the course is made wider.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    3candice3 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Great race - a bit crowded and difficult to get by people running three across. Gel packets were already open when handed to me - so a bit messy and … MORE

    Great race – a bit crowded and difficult to get by people running three across. Gel packets were already open when handed to me – so a bit messy and very sticky. Otherwise – beautiful – great scenery and the weather was good.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    cedoyle REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Good race as usual. There was a little bit of rain but the organizers made some adjustments for it. The half-marathon course is primarily up and back on PCH, so … MORE

    Good race as usual. There was a little bit of rain but the organizers made some adjustments for it. The half-marathon course is primarily up and back on PCH, so it is easy to stay focused on your pace.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    bperkins REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was a good start to the season for me. 3rd year participating in this race. Course was easy. Crowded with spectators in some places and two-way runner traffic a … MORE

    This was a good start to the season for me. 3rd year participating in this race. Course was easy. Crowded with spectators in some places and two-way runner traffic a others, which was a bit much at times. Nice post race festivities, once you got out of the finish corrals. Volunteers weren’t particularly kind or helpful, but did their best.

    DIFFICULTY
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    mattyjohn23 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I’ve been going through a lot with my mental health. Didn’t train as much as I wanted to so I decided to run an easier marathon, to work up my … MORE

    I’ve been going through a lot with my mental health. Didn’t train as much as I wanted to so I decided to run an easier marathon, to work up my stamina. The volunteers were great. Plenty of water stops. Even though it rained it was great!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    4

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    HalfSpeedQueen REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is the third year I've run this race. The course has not changed, but the race production has definitely improved each year. The route is flat and easy, but … MORE

    This is the third year I’ve run this race. The course has not changed, but the race production has definitely improved each year. The route is flat and easy, but the weather (drizzle and breezy) did its best to make the conditions more difficult. I still recommend this race as a good way to begin your California running year.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The aid stations were excellent. There were a lot of refreshments. The most unique part of the race was the course. A way to improve the race would be to … MORE

    The aid stations were excellent. There were a lot of refreshments. The most unique part of the race was the course. A way to improve the race would be to have more porto potties. The race is recommended to friends and family.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    icbb REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Downgraded swag. Shirt was the best in the past- fits well and well designed, but this year the women (for 5k) receive men's shirt sizes and was informed the shirts … MORE

    Downgraded swag. Shirt was the best in the past- fits well and well designed, but this year the women (for 5k) receive men’s shirt sizes and was informed the shirts were unisex- they did not fit (too big). Was told that women size shirts were only for half and marathon women runners.

    No totes for 5k runners this year either- only reserved for half and marathon runners.

    For 5k: Shirt does not fit and no swagbag, but no price drop from previous year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    dlu975 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The weather was a runner’s dream mid 50’s and overcast with a few rain drops toward the end. There weee plenty of water stations. The shirt and medal were great. … MORE

    The weather was a runner’s dream mid 50’s and overcast with a few rain drops toward the end. There weee plenty of water stations. The shirt and medal were great. My only advice to improve the race is that from mike 3-4 there was a tight bottleneck along the course and it was quite frustrating to weave and dodge other runners. Often I had to go into the opposite oncoming runner’s lane as the path in my direction was overcrowded.
    Overall a fantastic race. Will absolutely repeat. See you next year. Also,,, FULL RACE POV recording posting tomorrow. See link with this review.

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    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 13, 2019 at 7:20pm

    See you next year indeed, thanks Daniel! And appreciate your posting your GoPro footage, loved watching parts of that and reliving the race, great stuff!

    See you next year indeed, thanks Daniel! And appreciate your posting your GoPro footage, loved watching parts of that and reliving the race, great stuff!

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    Profile photo of Laura Zoerner
    lzoerner REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Great flat course and could be great scenery (cloudy today) but, overall the run was not well organized, supported and everything was chaos. The water stops hard lines backed up … MORE

    Great flat course and could be great scenery (cloudy today) but, overall the run was not well organized, supported and everything was chaos. The water stops hard lines backed up because not enough cups were filled, not enough potty stops (or potty’s in general) on course, and the finish was nuts! Spectators were blocking the run path to the finish, and after crossing the finish it was blocking and tackling people just to get out of the area. Beware and be sure to expect to need 20+ minutes to get from the finish line to An open area.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Bettejh1 FIRST-TIMER '00

    I don't remember much about this race; I think it was my 2nd or 3rd marathon, but it was called the Pacific Shoreline and I'm pretty sure this was the … MORE

    I don’t remember much about this race; I think it was my 2nd or 3rd marathon, but it was called the Pacific Shoreline and I’m pretty sure this was the inaugural year and they still used the tags from your bib. It did not coincide with Super Bowl then. The course was different than now; at least one of the streets you run now was still just a 2-lane road with no shoulder. My finish time is a guesstimate, I was using a bib from a neighbor….but I don’t think I broke 4.5 hours till the mid-2000s. I lived in Huntington Harbor, so this was a local race for me. I like that is still going and has gotten so large!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    joanahwestbrook REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Out of the 3 beach city challenge . surf city is my favorite its fast , flat the scenery is the BEST. running right by the beach KILLER @!!!!! and … MORE

    Out of the 3 beach city challenge . surf city is my favorite its fast , flat the scenery is the BEST. running right by the beach KILLER @!!!!! and the after party with the live is awesome 🙂 on 2019 will be our third time running and I’m so excited to run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    Profile photo of Michael McEachern
    avocadosallday REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Great volunteer support, awesome running on the water. This is the second time I've ran this race and I enjoyed it very much. Only frustrating bit is where the half … MORE

    Great volunteer support, awesome running on the water. This is the second time I’ve ran this race and I enjoyed it very much. Only frustrating bit is where the half marathon and full come together at the end of the race, there isn’t much separation and you get lumped together with a bunch of people that are walking but hey

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    jimmynam FIRST-TIMER '18

    The course is flat with the exception of a little spur out to the park. The temperature starts to warm up as the day goes on, but who doesn't need … MORE

    The course is flat with the exception of a little spur out to the park. The temperature starts to warm up as the day goes on, but who doesn’t need an excuse to slow down during those finishing miles. The water stations were great – offering water and Nuun in different cups, so you wouldn’t grab the wrong beverage. And Clif product was on the course at a couple of spots. We stayed at the host hotel and just walked to the start in the morning – it was a little more expensive, but it was nice not having to get up earlier and drive and park. It is also nice to grab a shower after the race and enjoy the local restaurants and bars for a proper recovery. Originally, we were going to stay at a hotel closer to a shuttle stop, but we changed our minds at the last minute. I’m glad we did. As far as the running goes, it seemed like a lot of people participating in this Race-cation were more interested in having a good time with friends and family than setting PRs. Nothing wrong with that, but it follows the mellow and laid back vibe that goes with the beach. I would totally race here again.

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    4
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    5
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    5

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    M_Sohaskey Feb 28, 2018 at 12:15am

    And a sweet Comrades qualifier to boot! Nice review and great run Jimmy, very consistent splits and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the lazy spectator while you and Cath did all… MORE

    And a sweet Comrades qualifier to boot! Nice review and great run Jimmy, very consistent splits and I thoroughly enjoyed playing the lazy spectator while you and Cath did all the work. Tough to find a better way to spend Super Bowl Sunday than on a warm, sunny beach. Same time next year...? LESS

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    ReginaMcw FIRST-TIMER '18

    Pretty flat course with slight rolling hills. Cliff gels at mile 8 - 9 with as many as you want and so many flavors to choose from it was easy … MORE

    Pretty flat course with slight rolling hills. Cliff gels at mile 8 – 9 with as many as you want and so many flavors to choose from it was easy to find my favorite. Have you tried their lime? It tastes like key lime pie filling, what a treat!! Perfect timing too! It was a very long straight run to the finish, sorta boring, but with views of the ocean which can NEVER be a bad view. It was my first half (I’ve run many fulls) and it was F. U. N. fun!!!! Super nice surfboard medal.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
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    5

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    phdmamab FIRST-TIMER '18

    Most of race is on PCH. Probably about 4 miles is not. It is kinda of a there and back run. Mile 9 has the cliff shots. Neighborhood nice about … MORE

    Most of race is on PCH. Probably about 4 miles is not. It is kinda of a there and back run. Mile 9 has the cliff shots. Neighborhood nice about cheering. Easy to get to start area when staying at nearby hotel. We like the Hyatt a lot. Bummer was the long run for the beer afterwards. Line was slow which was killer after you just finished. Warmer than I thought. Enjoyed the run. Efficient start with delayed group starts. Neighborhood area was crowded for one road where there was back and forth for one section all runners on one side of the street. Other than that felt like spread out enough. Loved the beach. Tent area set up well. Race pick up super easy. Don’t get bob mailed to you. They don’t mail your shirt or safety pins and over charge you to just mail your bib.

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    5
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    MeganP FIRST-TIMER '17

    This is a stunning course along the water in Huntington Beach. There is a small offshoot, but for the majority of the race you can see the ocean right next … MORE

    This is a stunning course along the water in Huntington Beach. There is a small offshoot, but for the majority of the race you can see the ocean right next to you! Rolling hills the whole course with great aid stations! Water, nu’un, plenty of volunteers, and an awesome wooden surfboard medal at the end to complete the day!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon