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@redpriestown

Lakewood, CA Raving since 2016 active 1 year, 10 months ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    AREC

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

    Why not?

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

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Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Ojai, CA May 24, 2015 3:46:35
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 1, 2020 1:40:23

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (15)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 1, 2020 1:40:23
Half Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 12, 2019 1:43:49
10 Miler Huntington Beach, CA Sep 21, 2019
Half Marathon Ojai, CA May 26, 2019 1:47:21
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 6, 2018 1:51:00
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 4, 2018 1:51:53
Half Marathon Pomona, CA Dec 10, 2017 1:49:33
Half Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 8, 2017 1:51:10
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 6, 2017
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 5, 2017 1:45:58
Half Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 9, 2016 1:46:31
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 7, 2016 1:53:00
Marathon Ojai, CA May 24, 2015 3:46:35
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 4, 2014 1:50:06
Half Marathon Newport Beach, CA 2012 1:45:21

My Raves

I've run this course I believe 6 of the last 7 years and mostly enjoy it each time. This year the weather was perfect though a little humid at the … MORE

I’ve run this course I believe 6 of the last 7 years and mostly enjoy it each time. This year the weather was perfect though a little humid at the start. There is plenty of course support along the way with a bit of music. I think some of the best entertainment along the course comes from some of the running clubs or other runners who are dressed up or otherwise having fun out there.

They started things off with a tribute to Kobe, his daughter, and the other 7 who died in the helicopter crash last weekend. It was very sweet. In fact, they had mile marker 8 (and I heard 24– but I only did the half marathon) changed to look like Kobe’s jersey.

Overall a good race but there are still two things that could be improved. First, the corrals are still a big pain in the butt. If you want to run with your pace group, you’d better be in your corral early. If you’re not there 10 or more minutes before the start, you won’t be able to get in and you may start 1 or more waves behind your pace group.

Second, heading up Seapoint, they have about 75% of the road marked off for people heading up, and 25% for those heading down. I understand why they did this, but it still creates a bottleneck both heading up and heading down. It was ok when I was heading up near the 1:50 pace groups, but I saw the faster half marathoners having to weave around the slower marathoners who were clogging the lane. When I was heading down the 2:05/2:10 etc. groups were heading up and it was super packed. So packed that people were cutting over to our narrow downhill side to try to get through. That is probably the area that needs the most attention to try to relieve some of the congestion.

The swag was ok. I always like the shopping bags they give. Usually the shirts feel high quality, but this year they were a scratchier material than in year’s past.

Overall good race. I’m already signed up again for next year. Some improvements to be made as always.

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1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I've run this race 8 years now (2 of which being the full marathon). This year the course was the same as last year - which included one sharp U-Turn. … MORE

I’ve run this race 8 years now (2 of which being the full marathon). This year the course was the same as last year – which included one sharp U-Turn. I really don’t like those because it is a momentum killer, and if you are in a pack, it can get a bit tougher to run in. Other than that, the scenery is good and the support is good. There are some bands along the course, but I think there had been more in the past. Overall a great race and I’m already signed up for 2020.

There is one issue that I ran into this year regarding the pacers. I’ve hard a hard time cracking 1:45 in all of my times racing, so I decided to try to stick with the pacers this year. Last year I saw the 1:45 pacers and thought I had a chance except it turned out that they were about 1-2 minutes slower than their target by the end. This year seemed to be the exact opposite. Their pace seemed to hover around 7:40-45 (vs. 8minute flat). I understand wanting to build in a buffer, but that’s a big difference to keep up over 13 miles. I eventually dropped back from them in an effort to avoid overdoing it. At the end I couldn’t see the pacers even though I finished under 1:44. I think they must have been around 3 minutes fast which is a bit too much if you aren’t ready to push that hard.

Overall a great course and worth waking up early-ish.

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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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I grew up in the area and now live about 100 miles away, so it's nice to return back 'home' to run through Ojai/Ventura. I did the full in 2015, … MORE

I grew up in the area and now live about 100 miles away, so it’s nice to return back ‘home’ to run through Ojai/Ventura. I did the full in 2015, but the course has changed since then. The course is net downhill, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some areas of climb. My watch had about 250-ish feet of climb across the whole race. However *most* of the race from miles 0 – 9.5/10 was a gradual downhill. There was an unfortunate incline around mile 11, but that was maybe a net uphill of 30-40 feet. It just felt worse because I was out of gas at that point and was used to downhill/flat.

I think this is a good course to PR on. I’m fairly certain I would have PR’d had I not had a stomach bug just a few days prior to the race. I was on fumes from mile 3 to mile 13.1. Overall I liked the race and would do it again next year (hopefully healthy…).

Two biggest ‘issues’ —
1) The shirt was a cotton/poly blend, but not a tech shirt. It was also an odd green that I’m not a fan of. I’m used to tech shirts for half marathons or longer. It’s a comfortable cotton but I’m not sure I’d want to run in it.
2) The bag pickup was atrocious. I waited about 20-30 minutes for my bag *and I was at the front*. It was terribly organized and terribly executed. They need to revamp this for next year and organize the bags *before* they leave the start line. Not just throw all bags in the back of a UHaul and hope you can find them at the finish line.

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This was my 6th time running the race and as always it was a beautiful course. They have changed it very slightly over the years so that you enter the … MORE

This was my 6th time running the race and as always it was a beautiful course. They have changed it very slightly over the years so that you enter the fair grounds in more of a straight shot, but that adds a little extra wrinkle at fashion island to make up the distance. There are a couple climbs, but mostly flat-ish with some slight rolls. All in all, a really beautiful and not that difficult course.
Probably my biggest complaint is common with most larger races: the lack of organization regarding the corrals that results in things being too crowded at the start. Additionally, this year I was placed into corral 5 for some reason (despite saying my time would be around 1:50 and registering months in advance). After seeing that corral 5 was the very last corral (way away from the pacers running my speed) I had to work my way up to the correct corral. That was quite a bit of work and meant I was at the end of the gigantic corral 1. The first mile was spent trying to get through large crowds who should have started in later corrals.

As with many races, they should either properly enforce corrals, and / or have more corrals of smaller sizes so that things aren’t so crowded at the start.

Ok – now that I’m done complaining, the views were great running atop of Back Bay and through Corona Del Mar. Definitely my favorite course of the Beach Cities Challenge courses.

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So many of what is out there is accurate -- the course is well-run and right along the beach. I would *not* recommend this for a full marathon for the … MORE

So many of what is out there is accurate — the course is well-run and right along the beach. I would *not* recommend this for a full marathon for the fact that they essentially do two out and backs along the coast, briefly seeing the finish line before turning back out for their last 10 miles. However, it’s a good half marathon course with just a few hills in the middle.

There were some changes this year compared to last year. For starters, the expo (which is still much better than years past now that the aisles are wider) moved the shirt pickup for the race shirt and the legacy shirt. The race shirt was as you were *exiting* the expo, which made me feel like I had missed something until someone else told me. The legacy area was *outside* the expo tent and was also hard to find.

The course had some minor tweaks this year as you headed up Seapoint. In the past, runners heading east were on the opposite side of the street from runners heading west. Now (likely in an effort to improve traffic flow for residents) they had everyone on the west-bound side of the road, separated by cones.
This seems like a good idea except people didn’t always obey the cones, so I had to dodge a few people who were heading up the hill. Worse yet was a sort-of optical illusion this created. With so many people running the opposite direction right next to you, their shadows produced several dark lines flying by you and made it hard to really get a feel for what speed I was going and made me feel a little disoriented (like having the car next to you at a light start to roll forward, and you think you’re rolling backward…). At first I thought it was just me who noticed that, but I had another friend mention the exact same thing. It’s just a weird optical illusion, but did throw me off a little bit with that course change.

Other than these relatively small notes, I enjoyed the course. There was lots of support and lots of direction. As long as they don’t keep raising the price too much, I plan on doing it again in the future.

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I was originally signed up for the Santa to the Sea up in Oxnard, but that was (rightfully) canceled due to the fires in the area. An opportunity came up … MORE

I was originally signed up for the Santa to the Sea up in Oxnard, but that was (rightfully) canceled due to the fires in the area. An opportunity came up where I was able to sign up for the Holiday Half at the last minute, so I hopped on board.
Race had a surprising amount of climb (~650 total feet) that I wasn’t expecting. Yes, they do mention this on the website, but given my last-minute sign up, I didn’t realize that. Despite this, I had a good time. The crowd was pleasant and not too large. You run around a lake and Raging Waters, so you have plenty of nice views. Worth doing again next year depending on whether or not I actually get to do the Santa to the Sea.

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As usual, definitely enjoy this race as you get to see much of shoreline, the Queen Mary (though it would be much better if we actually *passed* by the Queen … MORE

As usual, definitely enjoy this race as you get to see much of shoreline, the Queen Mary (though it would be much better if we actually *passed* by the Queen Mary) and the beach front. Crowd support was lighter this year than in the past except for the last mile along Ocean Blvd. Overall a good production and good support staff.

I only had an OK day that day because I showed up late then overdid it fighting through the crowds having started in Wave 3. Would have been slightly better if they took the lead from Surf City and had more but smaller waves so that things weren’t quite as crowded to work through. Either way, my mediocre performance was my own fault for getting there late.

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First off - this race is mostly flat and is fun to run. I think they did a much better job than last year. Last year I was pretty frustrated … MORE

First off – this race is mostly flat and is fun to run. I think they did a much better job than last year. Last year I was pretty frustrated with the race as a whole. The expo had very narrow aisles which made it difficult to maneuver around. Add to that the strict security making you flow one direction and it became a whole ordeal if you accidentally missed an area to pick up your legacy shirt or something. During last year’s race, they don’t police the starting corrals, and I spent the first several miles stuck behind runners who should have started at the back of the pack and were clogging up the course.

This year was totally different. The aisles at the expo were much wider which made getting around that much easier. Whereas they didn’t police the corrals to make sure people started where they should, they did do smaller (and thus more) waves to thin things out. I wound up being in the 3rd wave (when based on their online description I should’ve been in the first wave based on where I lined up by bib number), but with the smaller waves, there was much less crowding the first few miles. In fact, I had probably found a good placement within the first mile.

For those of you who haven’t run it before — the views are definitely nice, but you don’t see the ocean the whole time. Actually for much of the long stretch, you’re slightly below the beach parking lot.

Also, for those considering the marathon – I can’t imagine doing that. It’s essentially an out and back twice. There are other full marathons that I think provide more scenery. At least this one is relatively flat. Plus lets you feel better gorging at the Superbowl parties.

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This year was much better than last year -- primarily due to the weather. Last year was so miserable that they let the half marathoners start with the full marathoners. … MORE

This year was much better than last year — primarily due to the weather. Last year was so miserable that they let the half marathoners start with the full marathoners. I know that’s about last year’s race, but at least it gives you insight to how the race organizers care about the well-being and enjoyment of the participants.

The race is mostly flat with two bridges and some slight up-hill toward the end, before finishing with a downhill to the finish. The half starts about an hour and a half after the full (weather permitting), so that eases congestion a bit. The only place where it was packed was right at the start (like almost all races). After that, you run out, cross a bridge, run near the Queen Mary (though the course doesn’t take you past it, which would be better…) and then back through Shoreline, to the beach, and finally back along Ocean Blvd to the finish.

Given the relative flat nature of the course and the widened beach pedestrian path, it allows for some good times. I hadn’t been able to do my normal training to get up to speed, but I still finished within about a minute and a half from my P.R.

Overall good race and good scenery. I’ll probably continue doing it as long as I live in the area and am healthy enough to run 🙂

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Run along the beach, but can be boring after a bit. Finisher medal was really nice/big if that's what you're into. I've run it several years, but this was probably … MORE

Run along the beach, but can be boring after a bit. Finisher medal was really nice/big if that’s what you’re into. I’ve run it several years, but this was probably the most disappointing year due to how it was run.

There were several aspects of this year’s race that were wholeheartedly disappointing. As someone who has been a legacy club member for a few years, I was hoping/expecting more from this race.

First, the expo was overcrowded and overpoliced. I wanted to pick up my bib and my legacy shirt, but didn’t know where the legacy booth was. I walked around for a bit and fought very thick crowds until I made it to an info booth in the center of the expo that told me I missed the booth and needed to go back near the entrance. The person told me I could either leave and come back in the front, or go back the way I came. I decided to go back the way I came because it seemed like it would take about as long. After fighting my way through the crowd, I was about 15 feet from where I needed to go before security stopped me and said that it was a one-way only area and I would have to exit the expo and re-enter before I could get my legacy shirt. Would have been nice to have known that before I wasted 10 minutes fighting through the crowds. So I had to fight back the other way through the crowds to go the ENTIRE way through the expo, as I was not allowed to exit any of the side exits of the expo. Then after I finally got out and around to the entrance, I got my shirt (20 minutes into this…). After getting my shirt I wanted to leave the quickest way possible, but again was stopped by security who told me that I had to go all the way through the expo *again*. They would not let me leave through any of the side exits, nor turn around and leave the way I came in just about 100 feet away. That meant another 10 minutes of fighting through a crowd. The aisles were way too narrow for the amount of crowds that were there to allow any movement through the crowd. At the least, knowing that the expo was overcrowded, the security guards should have let people exit the expo at various locations.

Second, the race start and corral (mis)management. The morning of the race, I find my corral based on my bib number. I anticipated that my pace would be about 1:50 for the half marathon, so I was looking for the pacers for my group. However, I saw that the pacers were about 2 corrals up from where I was assigned to start. Stupidly, I followed the rules and was in my assigned corral. If corrals were based on anticipated finish time, why were the pace groups for 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:05, and 2:10 all in a corral ahead of someone anticipating to finish at 1:50? Worse yet, there were hundreds and hundreds of slow runners starting in the wrong corrals ahead of me. That meant that for the majority of the race I was having to dodge slower runners and walkers who should have started several corrals back. I appreciate that so many people want to get out and do the race, but I do not appreciate having to work my way through such a crowd when they’re going so slowly and should have started further back.

Third, the water stations causing bottlenecks on the course. The water tables were set up with too little space between them, and the volunteers handing out the water (eager to help the most they could of course) were edging into the course to hand out water. This meant that those who were taking water or vitalyte were blocking the course for those who didn’t need water at that stop. The number of water stations was more than adequate (which I greatly appreciate on a day that was warmer than anticipated), however it would be best to make sure there is a path for runners to go through who don’t need/want water at that stop.

Finally, a much smaller point, I feel like there has been less and less crowd support and band support as the years have gone on. This last point is more of an observation. however my first three points made this probably one of the least enjoyable half marathons that I have done.

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