Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
4.8
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
4.6
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
3.6
The Surftown Half Marathon, presented by Westerly Hospital, is a spectacular beach race featuring stunning views! The half marathon course runs along the ocean front streets of Misquamicut Beach and Watch Hill, RI. It’s fast and flat – a great destination race with live entertainment, pace teams and a well-marked … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race takes place in a coastal town in RI right by the Connecticut border. It is produced by the Hartford Marathon Foundation who did an excellent job. This wins … MORE

    This race takes place in a coastal town in RI right by the Connecticut border. It is produced by the Hartford Marathon Foundation who did an excellent job. This wins as my favorite half marathon of the year so far and I’ve done close to 20 so far this year. This race is quite similar to the similarly named Surf City half marathon in CA which just happened to be on the same weekend this year but I actually thought this course was more scenic! For the race I stayed in Mystic CT which is about 20 minutes away at the Holiday Inn Express. My mom met me in Mystic Saturday evening and she walked the 5K while I ran the half. I got there a little earlier and did Saturday packet pick-up at the beach. However I was only able to pick up my packet and not my mom’s as you need a signed and printed waiver to pick up other people’s waiver. That was my bad as I didn’t read the rules and I wouldn’t hold it against the race but mentioned it just so others are aware. Packet included bib and a nice, pretty colored blue tech shirt. Race morning went pretty smooth. There is free beach parking but it does get a bit congested. My mom got her packet in the morning. There were plenty of porta potties at the start. The race is set up very smart where half marathoners start at 7:30 and 5Kers start the opposite direction at 7:40 so there is very little if any mixing of the races. The start had signs to line up by pace. I was aiming for an under 2:45 finish knowing this was an easier race than yesterday but that my legs were still a little tired so I stuck with the 2:45 pacers. It was nice to have pacers for a race. Everyone seemed to line up well and this is a nice sized race with about 1000ish participants so lots of runners but not too congested. The first about 2 miles were on the main beach street. This part is very similar to Surf City and you can’t really see the beach but you can smell the ocean air, see some wetlands and kind of the cheesy touristy beach stuff. This part is pancake flat and the start was fast as we were going with the wind. Then there is about a mile through a nice neighborhood. There are a few rollers but nothing hard at all and the slight elevation change is nice to work out different muscles. Then it’s another about 3 miles on the main beach road. While this is pancake flat, it was tough this direction due a strong headwind. Then it is about 5 miles through some really, really nice neighborhoods. I mean like ginormous, beautiful mansions including Taylor Swift’s. This part is again not flat but mostly just little rollers. There is one hill called “Watch Hill.” Everyone acted like it was this big monster. It was an absolute joke compared to yesterday. To be fair while it wasn’t very long it was on the steeper side and it occurs at mile 9.5 which I think is the absolute mentally toughest part of a half. I did walk it since my legs were tired but I’m not sure I would have if I didn’t run a half yesterday and I wouldn’t have walked it in a shorter race. The views were amazing at the top. The rest is mostly downhill and then the last mile and half is flat, fast and with the wind down the main street. The course was very well marked and also the areas that were open to traffic had areas coned off for the runners and course marshals on bikes helping to make sure everyone was safe. There were also frequent water stops with cups of water and Nuun and one in the middle with Gu. It was nice to have nutrition on course. Today there were like a million porta potties on the course when I didn’t have to go. Weather was pretty nice. It was a bit hot but not too bad and the biggest issue was the headwind. I actually felt great for this being my second half marathon this weekend and knew I had enough energy to run the last few miles faster than the pace of the 12:45 pacers so I went ahead and killed the last couple miles and actually finished under 2:40 and had negative splits. I would have been happy with my finishing time if I didn’t run a half marathon yesterday and was especially impressed with it given I did. You get the medal at the end which is very nice, big and surf themed. My mom’s 5K medal is a cute little surfboard. For food they had bananas, granola bars, granola and clam chowder. Unfortunately they were out of granola bars and granola when I finished which is my only complaint about the race. Luckily my mom grabbed some for me since I don’t eat clams and bananas don’t sit well with me for some reason. My mom enjoyed the 5K a lot but was disappointed it was broth clam chowder not traditional, cream based New England clam chowder. It is a little congested driving out of the race. Not big deal since there is free beach parking so can’t really complain but plan accordingly. After the race we went back to Mystic and had lunch at Pizzetta which has the absolute best vegan pizza and there are non-vegan options there too and then went to the Mystic Aquarium before heading home. Overall this was an awesome race! I would highly recommend it for Rhode Island and honestly just in general if you are looking for a great race. It is also a fun place for a weekend trip and this is one I would love to do again and was worth the trek!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 13, 2021 at 7:17pm

    More scenic than Surf City, eh? And best half of the year so far? Duly noted, that's high praise! I'd love to run the in-person race sometime to complement my… MORE

    More scenic than Surf City, eh? And best half of the year so far? Duly noted, that's high praise! I'd love to run the in-person race sometime to complement my virtual challenge medal from last year 🤙. Nice job fighting through the headwind and well done on the back to back, you've definitely mastered the art of recovering on the fly! LESS

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    HF13940 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Well organized, great course, well supported. Pre run massages as well as post run. I didn’t stay to check out the food due to the long lines. More than enough … MORE

    Well organized, great course, well supported. Pre run massages as well as post run. I didn’t stay to check out the food due to the long lines. More than enough ports potties. Medal was awesome. Cotton T-shirt 🤔 will look ok on blanket.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    AA41 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Well run, scenic course, great experience. I ran with a pacer group that was amazing. Plenty of ocean views and mostly flat. One big hill near the Ocean House in … MORE

    Well run, scenic course, great experience. I ran with a pacer group that was amazing. Plenty of ocean views and mostly flat. One big hill near the Ocean House in Watch Hill (I think around mile 9), but totally worth the beauty. Great after party with DJ, homemade chowder, and snacks. T shirt is real hip and retro. Do this race !

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Pmontele FIRST-TIMER '18

    Basically flat course on streets around Misquamicut beach, Weekapaug and Watch Hill with great views of ocean and bogs. Well run, easy parking and run by the beach. Temps around … MORE

    Basically flat course on streets around Misquamicut beach, Weekapaug and Watch Hill with great views of ocean and bogs. Well run, easy parking and run by the beach. Temps around 60 but windy. Still hard to complain.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    The course is mostly flat until you head to the Watch hill area, and then you head for some rolling hills (and one steep uphill around mile 9.5-10). The parking … MORE

    The course is mostly flat until you head to the Watch hill area, and then you head for some rolling hills (and one steep uphill around mile 9.5-10). The parking can back up (there are really only two major roads in and out of the area) so definitely get there early. The course is scenic and beautiful, showing off the beaches of Westerly and part of the Watch Hill area. The race typically has a beautiful surfboard medal. You start on a flat section for the first part of the course, and then head on the right of the finish line out to the second part of the course. The first four miles can be pretty crowded and then it spreads out more. Beware of lots of potholes and cracks in the roads. The race is organized by the Hartford Marathon Foundation and they are an excellent group. Watch for a sellout as this race is very popular.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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