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jxie2006 FIRST-TIMER '18

It was a great marathon course, but not as easy as everyone says. You should study the course and stick with your own pace. I ran too fast in first … MORE

It was a great marathon course, but not as easy as everyone says. You should study the course and stick with your own pace. I ran too fast in first 18 miles because I felt so good. Big mistake! I will try again next year.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

5 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

janerunswild FIRST-TIMER '15

Big Cottonwood is known as a fast race, amenable to PRs. REVEL runs an organized race- the top/start had plenty of porta potties, and our bags at bib pickup included … MORE

Big Cottonwood is known as a fast race, amenable to PRs. REVEL runs an organized race- the top/start had plenty of porta potties, and our bags at bib pickup included mylar blankets and gloves, which were perfect for early mornings on the top of a mountain. Coming from sea-level, I could feel the effects of being almost 10k feet high, but the downhill nature of the course outweighed some of the effects.

True to the course description, the first 19 miles of the race were basically a steady downhill (with an exception of a steep hill at mile 4, which was at an elevation of roughly 8500 feet high- this was tough on the lungs to say the least). I maintained a 3:25-3:30 pace for this portion, and was determined to stay well ahead of the 3:35 pacer. A 3 hour 35 minute (or less) marathon finish was the time I needed to qualify for Boston.

After the half-way point, I desperately wished that I had trained on downhill courses more frequently to prepare for this terrain. But despite the deep fatigue my legs were feeling from all of the pounding, I felt great and ran consistent 7:30-7:45 minute miles. At mile 19, my pace slowed up as the course became hilly. Hills at 5500 feet elevation were no joke. At one point I had to stop and stretch, and also just catch my breath. It was a very interesting feeling, being out of breath at this point even in the flat sections. I knew that I was far from home.

At mile 23, I noticed the 3:35 pacer slowly creeping up to me and at that moment felt very emotional and overwhelmed. The pacer caught up to me at 24, and asked me how I was doing. I was honest and told her that I was very disappointed to see her. She said that she was running a minute or so ahead of a 3:35, that the rest of the race was downhill, and that she knew I had it in me to push myself. I know she had no idea, but her motivational lines helped me push through. At that point, I was determined to reach my goal and pushed as.hard.as.I.possibly.could. I crossed the line @3:33.06.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

5 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

cbearrun FIRST-TIMER '18

I thought it was very well organized race. I was kind of doubtful at first, since race was scheduled to start at 6:00 am for marathon but at 5:30 am … MORE

I thought it was very well organized race. I was kind of doubtful at first, since race was scheduled to start at 6:00 am for marathon but at 5:30 am the start line was still practically empty. Once we started and the sun started to rise I can now feel it was going to be a good course. There were several loops and had to pass by starting line again on first loop. There, half marathoners are waiting to start and at the same time cheering on marathon runners. As mentioned on their website, there were water station in about every mile so I was never worried of being dehydrated. They provided 4 different flavors of gel at the course and they have enough cones and volunteers all throughout the course so you wouldn’t get lost or make the wrong turn. They also have awesome pacers at the race (a Snails Pace) Lastly, there’s an abundance of food and drinks at the finish line for the runners so that was pretty great too! Will definitely run again next year!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

kristen.gerlach FIRST-TIMER '18

I am trying to run a marathon in all 50 states and ran this as my California race. (My 17th state and 32nd marathon overall). I would recommend booking your … MORE

I am trying to run a marathon in all 50 states and ran this as my California race. (My 17th state and 32nd marathon overall). I would recommend booking your hotel early, as I was able to stay at the Crowne Plaza and this was an easy walk to the Expo, shuttles, and the finish line.
I was on a 4 am shuttle which meant a longer wait up at the start in Ojai, but I didn’t mind at all. Many runners hung out in the Post Office for a little extra warmth and I loved talking to people and meeting other runners. Everyone was so nice and friendly.
The first half of the race was absolutely amazing–the first loop out and back through Ojai and the orange groves as the sun is just coming over the mountains is spectacular. The early miles have a gradual downhill and some stunning views. On the advice of other runners, I was careful to hold back on pace as I think it would be easy to get going too fast.
There seemed to be a few more uphills in the second half or maybe I was just getting tired! As I had just run another marathon 4 weeks ago (Eugene, OR), I think the residual fatigue may have caught up to me around mile 20. The second half scenery isn’t nearly as beautiful–more industrial as has been noted. The gradual uphill through town (miles 23-25) was tough for me, but those miles are usually tough anyway, especially for my second marathon in a month.
The finish on the boardwalk next to the ocean was also amazing. I did end up with a BQ by almost 20 minutes, but that’s because I’m old! I would say that this course is decently fast if you run it with fresh legs and watch your pace early on. The post-race highlight for me was taking off my race shoes and wading into the ocean. Wow did that cold water feel good!
Overall a terrific race! If I had to nit-pick, my only criticism would be to swap out the Fluid Electrolyte drink for Gatorade and add one or two additional water stops. It does get warmer in the second half when the sun comes out and I think most runners would appreciate an extra stop. Otherwise a definite “5 Shoe” rating!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Ted Chen
surfer26th REPEAT RUNNER '18

Study the topo profile. Note the rising hill in Ojai at the first three miles and a 100 foot hill in Ventura at 23.5 miles. Develop a race strategy that … MORE

Study the topo profile. Note the rising hill in Ojai at the first three miles and a 100 foot hill in Ventura at 23.5 miles. Develop a race strategy that include paces for the uphills and downhills. Try to maintain even effort going up and down so that the average pace equals your goal pace. Note that you will lose approximately 3 – 6 seconds per mile (off your running pace) due to water stations. That hill at 23.5 miles is around 1 mile long and will slow you down by 30-60 sec or more. Also, you can expect a temperature rise of 10-15 degrees by the end of the race, since the race begins at 6 AM and since there is a net elevation drop to sea level. This is a beautiful course with enough but not too many runners. The race attracts many strong runners and the percentage if Boston Qualifiers is much higher than most marathons. The race organizers have it down pat.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Detsie FIRST-TIMER '18

The course is beautiful and the race had only 2,000 marathon runners so it has a nice mellow feel. Lots of dedicated student volunteers work the expo and the course … MORE

The course is beautiful and the race had only 2,000 marathon runners so it has a nice mellow feel. Lots of dedicated student volunteers work the expo and the course since the race benefits Ventura public schools. It was an easy drive from the Bay Area down 101 — the only traffic was in Santa Barbara.

My number one takeaway is that the the net downhill does not feel like much of a downhill, and there are uphills too.

Apparently the race usually sells out months before, but I was able to register in late April. I had myself on the waitlist but then found someone willing to directly transfer his registration to me on the Facebook event page. The transfer was so easy: I sent him my email address and M2B sent me a link to register. When I did, they issued my transferor a refund.

Since I registered so late, finding a hotel was a little problematic. We ended up staying at a motel about 3 miles away from the expo/start that normally might cost less than $100 but for our one night it was $323 (including tax and fees). Ugh!

In terms of logistics, I was on a 5am shuttle and arrived at the start about 5:40 because we didn’t leave downtown Ventura until about 5:08. There were tons of portapotties at the start but with very long lines to use them so a lot of people were feeling a little rushed. This didn’t bug me because I’m used to being late.

I ran with a pacer for the first half and planned to push the second half, but I was so hungry, tired, and thirsty by mile 14, I actually fell back. My first half was 10 minutes faster than my second, which seems to be the way a lot of people ended up running this race, too. The aid stations were well stocked and volunteers were nice about letting me have more water, etc.

The crowd for the marathon was hardcore. Lots of BQ’s! I’m not even close but I did get a huge PR.

The best part of the race is the beach finish. I wish I had put flip-flops in a gear bag because I dunked my legs in the ocean right after and had to put my running shoes back on to get to the car.

I paid for my medal to be engraved online with my registration, but forgot to get that done at the finish so I’m going to email the race directors to see if they can help me with that. I also bought the pasta dinner with registration and that worked out well — we picked up our bibs, ate, and turned in for the night.

Overall, this was an extremely gratifying and pleasant race!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

dlu975 FIRST-TIMER '18

This race is very beautiful. The people running are great, the production is smooth. I like the swag with nice usable t shirt and medal made from wood and metal. … MORE

This race is very beautiful. The people running are great, the production is smooth. I like the swag with nice usable t shirt and medal made from wood and metal. There were plenty of bathroom pods at the start and mid race. Also strategically placed hydration stations. Minor side race bands and support groups but honestly you don’t need it as the scenery is amazing. Overall fantastic. See you next year. Also, please see full race at YouTube link attached to this review.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

carterc1218 FIRST-TIMER '17

This was my first marathon almost 1 year ago and I can't wait to run again this year! I would recommend finding a hotel early as Ventura is not a … MORE

This was my first marathon almost 1 year ago and I can’t wait to run again this year! I would recommend finding a hotel early as Ventura is not a huge town and his limited options. The 6 am start time seems crazy but you’re running as the sun is rising, really cool. The course is a net downhill with a beach finish and awesome food. For most of the course you’re running through lots of landscape so there isn’t much spectator support until you get to the last 2 miles. Water stations are well spaced with really nice volunteers. Overall an awesome experience!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

MARY FIRST-TIMER '18

What I will remember the most from this race is the painful recovery that took 4 days of limping around. My quads and calves were wrecked and I can't see … MORE

What I will remember the most from this race is the painful recovery that took 4 days of limping around. My quads and calves were wrecked and I can’t see myself ever running another Revel marathon again.

Though let me make it clear that Revel puts on an amazing marathon – Utah’s Big Cottonwood had excellent organization, communication, swag, and volunteers. It’s a point-to-point marathon and they took very good care of all the runners. I chose to stay at one of their recommended hotels and they provided a shuttle to the start of the canyon and a breakfast bag consisting of a bagel, fruit, granola bar and water. Once at the starting line, it’s cold so make sure you bring throwaway layers. The porta potties are plentiful but like at most marathons, there were still lines but not too long of a wait. Afterward, I checked my bag, threw away my layers and got into my pacing group. The race starts promptly at 645.

The first 19 miles of the race is in the canyon. It is gorgeous and I was overwhelmed by how beautiful the scenery was. However, as amazing as the view was, this is not a marathon for runners who have never trained for a downhill. I had run 3 marathons prior to Revel and I bounced back from each one pretty quickly but not this one. The downhill takes a toll on your legs. I’m not experienced so I was trying to slow myself down on several miles. For the first 20 miles, I was actually on a BQ pace but once we got to the Utah streets, the temperature rise hit me hard. It was cool in the canyon and for several miles, it was actually raining lightly. But once we got to the out-and-back on Wasatch Boulevard, it was hot and sunny. Miles 21, 22, and 23 were a disaster for me. I watched so many people stop and start to walk. There’s nobody really there to cheer you on either so you really start to struggle. After I realized that this was not going to be my BQ race, I kind of broke mentally during these few miles and walked most of it. But once I finished the out and back, I started running to finish the race. Believe it or not, I had to stop and walk most of mile 24, which was a slight downhill. I would have loved to have it at the end of a marathon but by this time, my legs were so wrecked that I couldn’t run down without so much pain that I had to limp through that mile. Thank God, most of miles 25 and 26 were flat so I was able to finish the race with the last quarter of a mile sprint to the finish line.

Post-race, I collected my medal, collapsed on the grass and waited to get a massage. My legs were in so much pain and they stayed that way for four straight days. The day after was even worse, that I actually eyed a wheelchair at the airport. I realized as great as this marathon was, I don’t think I have the leg strength to run another Revel marathon.

Sidenote: Utah was beautiful. I did some sightseeing in Park City about 35 minutes away. The expo was small but I loved the swag, which included pancake mix and leg cramp pills, a godsend for me! This was a top-notch event and for runners who love downhills, this would be a great one for a BQ.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

lancershaft FIRST-TIMER '18

I ran the full. It followed the same exact course as the half for the first 10.5 miles and then the last 2.6 miles. The 13.1 in between was a … MORE

I ran the full. It followed the same exact course as the half for the first 10.5 miles and then the last 2.6 miles. The 13.1 in between was a vast difference. The half marathon course is almost completely all waterfront, scenic, very nice. To complete the full requires random neighborhoods, a few hills, and the CSULB campus. Overall I was pleased, but I think in the future I would just do the half. The biggest negatives: on course electrolytes provided by Nuun and C2O taste awful and I avoided them as best my body would allow, finishers T-shirt was uninspiring and a small size running uncomfortable fit. Overall though, I enjoyed the entire experience. The flat course for the half is gorgeous and PR-inducing if you put in the effort, the organization is well run, and the weather was PERFECT.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Peggy Kennedy
peg.s.kennedy REPEAT RUNNER '18

If you are looking for net downhill race that won't blow out your quads, this is it. This is my second year running M2B, and my second BQ. I find … MORE

If you are looking for net downhill race that won’t blow out your quads, this is it. This is my second year running M2B, and my second BQ. I find the race size manageable, which means you won’t find yourself spending the first 5 miles dodging slower runners. I’ve read a few complaints that this race has limited course support, but it seemed like there was a water stop at least every mile to me. With reasonable temps, you don’t need to stop every mile anyway. I like the early start (6 am) so that you can finish before the sun gets too high. Yes, when you get to mile 23 you do have a slight uphill, but it’s only bad if you let it get to your head. I do, however, wish that the race finished closer to the Ventura Pier, as that last mile along the beach does seem like forever. One small complaint about the race swag- the shirts seem to get larger every year, and they don’t carry women’s XS. I’ll never wear the race shirt because even the small is like a dress on me, which is disappointing.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Josh Emery
josh_emery REPEAT RUNNER '16

Starts in the park and runs along the lake. It loops twice, so you go out to Higgins point and turn around twice. That sends you over a large hill … MORE

Starts in the park and runs along the lake. It loops twice, so you go out to Higgins point and turn around twice. That sends you over a large hill twice. Not a flat course, make sure you have your hill work in for this.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

aidanw7 FIRST-TIMER '18

Wake up early and get there on time! You have to go to the expo to pick up your runner's bib. The expo was relatively small but well organized and … MORE

Wake up early and get there on time! You have to go to the expo to pick up your runner’s bib. The expo was relatively small but well organized and had several interesting booth. Got to try different gel, coconut water and sports drinks before race day. The route is pretty scenic especially when going through the bridge over pass seeing the sunrise.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '19

Since it's still fresh in my mind, this will be the best time to leave a review. The bad: A lot of waiting- I was in wave 1 and loaded … MORE

Since it’s still fresh in my mind, this will be the best time to leave a review.

The bad:
A lot of waiting- I was in wave 1 and loaded the bus to Hopkinton by 6:45. My wave didn’t start until 10:02. There is a tent for waiting and plenty of port-a-johns. Just be prepared and bring throw away clothes and something to sit on.
So many people- it was at least 5 or 6 miles before it thinned out a bit. I’ve never had that many people around me for so long and it made me a little anxious.
Not really a good place to warm up- everything was muddy and crowded in the athletes area. Be sure to use the march toward the corrals as your warm-up.
The Good:
It’s Boston
I’ve never seen crowd support like that before. There was hardly a stretch where there wasn’t a crowd cheering on all of the runners.
It was so loud most of the time, that I couldn’t hear my ipod.
The fly-over was so cool. It was a little foggy, but I was still able to see the jets pretty well. Gave me goosebumps.
Wellesley was amazing- other than the finish, it was my favorite spot. I see why it’s called the scream tunnel. I gave high-fives all along that area as well as Boston College. I loved it.
The atmosphere was second to none. I’d highly suggest running it as least once in your life.
It definitely shredded my legs and was a tough course, but there was water, bananas, orange slices, gatorade, medical assistance, vasoline and so many other forms of comfort all along the course.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

victortsi2 REPEAT RUNNER '18

For this race I ran an 8 minute PR. 2:47:42. 26.22 distance. 484 ft of elevation gain and a nice 1224 ft of elevation loss😀. There are some rollers along … MORE

For this race I ran an 8 minute PR. 2:47:42. 26.22 distance. 484 ft of elevation gain and a nice 1224 ft of elevation loss😀. There are some rollers along the course, but nothing crazy at all. That downhill is gradual which is nice so we don’t beat up our quads. The finish next to the Ocean is amazing. Temperature was mid 50’s at the start and low 60’s at the finish. The shirt and medal we got were amazing as well. If you haven’t ran this race it’s a must.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Angela FIRST-TIMER '18

***LOCATION*** Hopkinton, MA to Boston, MA ***DATE*** Patriot's Day (Monday, mid-April) ***PRICE*** I think it was $180 my year? But I think it has gone up. ***THE DEAL*** I mean. … MORE

***LOCATION***
Hopkinton, MA to Boston, MA

***DATE***
Patriot’s Day (Monday, mid-April)

***PRICE***
I think it was $180 my year? But I think it has gone up.

***THE DEAL***
I mean.

***DEADLINES/SELLOUT FACTOR***
Yeah.

***FIELD SIZE***
Roughly 30,000, including qualifiers, invited runners, & charity runners

***WHERE TO STAY***
There are a lot of opinions about this on the internet, as I discovered, but this one is mine, and there are a few caveats to it.

As with non-direct flights, you could not pay me enough to run this race and not stay close to the finish. I considered it, briefly, but then decided, “Eh, you’ve never done it before, you don’t know how you’ll feel, play it safe this first time.” So we ended up staying at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown on Tremont Street, right by Boston Commons where the buses load. Sure enough, I was very happy to be able to walk less than a mile to a shower after the race & that I didn’t have to now sit in a car or on commuter rail for an hour. To me, it’s just not worth it.

It was not cheap. In fact probably the first thing you’ll learn when you start planning your Boston Marathon trip is that if you want to be anywhere even remotely near the finish, the cost of a hotel for the few nights you’re there might well be the same or more than your monthly rent. In my initial searches (which began the week after the 2017 Boston Marathon, when most hotels started opening reservations for 2018), I never found anything for less than $350/night, and that was for shitty hotels before taxes.

The other thing to think carefully about is how you’ll get to the bus loading or start if you’re staying relatively far from Boston. Public transit to Boston Commons (where the buses load) is an option if you plan ahead. Getting someone to drive you into Boston is not impossible, but again, you’ll need to plan ahead for all the various road closures & the fact that a bunch of other people will probably be trying to do this too.

I do know some people who got dropped off at the start in Hopkinton; just, if you do this, know that you can only get so close so you’ll still have to walk a good ways to the Athlete’s Village, & remember that there’s no gear drop there, so have a plan for what you’re doing when you finish. (Because you never know, the weather could be HORRID!)

I knew I wanted to stay near the finish & I was willing to pay a little more for it (but not stupid rates like the $500-600 a night places). At this point I considered three different options.

a) AirBnB or VRBO. They’ll still be relatively expensive, but since rentals tend to be cheaper than hotels in general, you could probably save some money if you went this route. I heard from a lot of people who did & were quite happy. Hell, some people even just went the “rent a room” or “rent a couch” option and saved a TON of money, so if that works for you, look into it!
b) Points. Traveling so much for work can suck sometimes but one upside is that I have a lot of hotel rewards points & I came very very close to using them on this trip. And that would have been a perfectly fine idea! Free hotel? Yes please. So consider it, especially if you have time to plan ahead and take advantage of some sweet credit card bonus rewards. (I banked a free 100,000 Marriott points just by getting their credit card & spending I think $4,000 in the first three months, which, again, with all my work travel, was not difficult.)

c) Marathon Tours & Travels. If you want to stay in a hotel and you can’t or don’t want to use points, this is my top recommendation. Get on their email list and social medias & be ready when they open their reservations in May. You can book a hotel at a significantly cheaper rate, and (at least when I did it), it’s free to cancel other than a $20 admin fee until the end of the calendar year.

I couldn’t believe the rate we got for the Courtyard Marriott Downtown through them ($299/night) considering it was a nice hotel within walking distance of public transit, tons of restaurants, the bus loading zone, & the finish line. In the end, the MTT rate was good enough that I decided to save my points for something else and use this opportunity to bank a whole shit-ton more points. With my Marriott status & also paying for the hotel with my Marriott credit card, it was a pretty sweet haul.

***LOCAL TRANSIT***
Do not repeat DO NOT rent a car in Boston. I kept seeing people talking about doing this in my Facebook group and so many of us who have been to Boston before for any reason were constantly trying to talk people out of it.

The traffic is horrid. It will be worse on marathon weekend. Roads will be closed all over the place & there is nowhere to park that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. There is ABUNDANT public transit via the T & commuter rail, and if the T doesn’t go where you want to go, just take a Lyft or a cab. I guarantee you will save yourself so much money & sanity.

Some people were recommending the 7-day Charlie pass for the T if you’re going to be there more than a couple of days and plan to use the T a lot. It’s probably not a bad deal given that a one-way ride is around $3 and a 7-day Charlie is like $21-22. We ended up not using it enough for it to be worth it but I can easily see how someone could.

***EATING***
If I have one hard & fast rule about traveling to cities for major events, it’s making dinner reservations in advance. I will always do this. Don’t tell me to relax. Don’t tell me it won’t be that busy & there are plenty of restaurants. No.

Part of this is because I am a food snob. Sorry but I don’t want to eat at the Applebee’s or whatever other garbage food is technically available. I want real food and a real wine list with things that don’t come from a grocery store.

Part of it is because I have a very specific routine about when I like to eat and god help the human that gets in my way at the pre-decided Hour of Eating. Hangry is a thing. The struggle is real. I am not waiting.

Part of it is because I’m a planner and really, really, really dislike flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to food. I need to know where I am eating so I can creepily stalk the menu online the day before. Asking me to confront some stranger-menu and make a decision on the fly about my dinner is a big ask.

Part of this is because my absolute least favorite activity in the universe is starving to death & walking from restaurant to restaurant trying to find a good-sounding place with less than an hour wait. So you do you, but I am making reservations for EVERYTHING, especially on a weekend when there will be 30,000+ extra people in town. I want to know what I’m eating and when and I don’t want to have to fight a billion other people for it.

We had four dinners in Boston & spent them at Davio’s, Row 34, Da Vinci, & State Street Provisions. We also had tasty brunch/lunches at Cafe 26, The Thinking Cup, & (again) State Street Provisions. Would go back to any of them!

I started stalking Boston restaurants in January & decided which ones were my top choices. After doing some research to find out when each started taking reservations, I set reminders on my calendar so that I could get them as soon as availability opened up. This was super easy for everywhere except Row 34, where even just minutes after reservations for 4/14 opened, the best dinner time available was 6pm. Luckily, I was able to call & talk to a person, & they changed our reservation to 7pm which I appreciated.

***PRE-RACE ACTIVITIES***

The Expo: I remember some people going absolutely ape shit in past blog posts about the glories of the expo, but this was not my experience. It was pretty much just a race expo like any other. Big, but not massive. (For anyone who has run CIM, I found it to be very similar in size & tone.) You don’t need to plan to be there for hours and hours. I found it really funny that there were signs outside pointing half the bib numbers one direction & half the other direction but they all just wrapped back around to the same staircase down to the expo.

In 2018 it was at the Seaport World Trade Center, which I guess is a change from recent years. People told me to try to go as early as possible because it gets crowded the longer you wait. Because of this I wanted to go Saturday morning but we didn’t end up making it until maybe around 5:30. (It closed at 7.) By then there were plenty of people but I wouldn’t have said it was “crowded,” especially.

I’d say we were there about an hour. I got my bib first (it has to be you, with an ID and your signed bib pickup card; no one else can get it for you) without having to wait at all, & similarly walked right up to the table for my shirt. I visited a few other booths for swag they’d emailed me about (a cool luggage tag at the Boston 2 Big Sur table; a BQ Qualifier tech hat from the CIM booth; a free poncho from the MTT table since I made my hotel reservation through them) & then took a swing through the merch store to see if there was anything I wanted.

But that was really all I felt like I needed to see, since I didn’t need socks or sunglasses or shoes or to sign up for anymore marathons. Also, handily, Row 34 was walking distance from the expo, so woohoo! Saved some transit money!

The Finish Line: If it’s your first time to the Boston Marathon, then obviously you have to go to the finish line & take a bunch of cheesy pictures, duh. We initially tried to do this on Saturday but that turned out to be a no-go because there were still BAA 5K & kids’ race events going on, & they had the whole finish line area barricaded off.

Luckily, we heard from Katie & Layla that it was open for visitors on Sunday morning, so we went down right after brunch to take some goofy shots. I was afraid it would be stupid crowded but that turned out not to be the case at all. Sure, there were a lot of people there, but most folks were very considerate and polite about getting their picture or two and then moving out of the way to let someone else go. It was really extremely civilized. 🙂

***ADIDAS RUNBASE/ANY OTHER RUNNING STORE NEAR THE FINISH***
OMG stay away. STAY. AWAY! It’s an effing madhouse & anything they have there that you want, you can buy on the internet, probably for cheaper a few weeks after the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Heather Fleek
cdaesthetics REPEAT RUNNER '18

The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, I’m a local though so might be partial 😉 lots of aid stations and bathrooms along the route. Inclines are brutal but last just long … MORE

The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, I’m a local though so might be partial 😉 lots of aid stations and bathrooms along the route. Inclines are brutal but last just long enough to be over right when you think you can’t do it anymore. I’m not a great runner though. You’ll feel very accomplished when you finish 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '19

I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch … MORE

I ran the Long Beach marathon as my first ever marathon. I chose Long Beach because I had started running again the Fall prior and wanted to go from couch potato to marathoner in a year. Overall I enjoyed the race and the accomplishment. The day prior to the race is an expo at the Long Beach convention center. Bib pick up was easy and the expo had a nice amount of things to look at but felt a little cramped. Also I didn’t like paying for parking twice. Race day I arrived early and parked at convention center. Great idea for marathoners since it generally isn’t full by the time the marathoners would arrive and is right by finish line. The beginning of the marathon was smooth and there was a nice amount of runners in the full. Enough to always be running with people but not so many that it felt like I was constantly weaving around people. I’m guessing the half feels kind of crowded since there are a lot more runners doing the half. The parts of the marathon course that shared the half were great. Downtown long beach all lit up in the dark was beautiful and I loved that sunrise was occurring while running on the beach. The second part of the full that diverges from the half was much more boring. It was just through residential neighborhoods and cal state long beach. There weren’t a ton of spectators and nothing super special to look at. The course is relatively flat with a few easy hills except a lot of the hills are closer to the end. There is also a really long 7.5 hour time limit making this a great race for first timers or walkers. I got a little injured during training and knew I was going to have to walk some of the second half. I ended up finishing well before 6 hours but knowing there was no way I would miss the time cutoff made the race much more enjoyable. There was a nice long sleeve tech shirt and a nice big finisher medal. I’m moving out of California but if I were staying I’m not sure I would do the full again but I would definitely do the half.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

edwardsaiz88 FIRST-TIMER '19

LA Marathon does it right - The course highlights are incredible, from starting at Dodger Stadium, through downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica finish - it is an … MORE

LA Marathon does it right – The course highlights are incredible, from starting at Dodger Stadium, through downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica finish – it is an awesome course!
I took the shuttle from Santa Monica which smooth, they could add more portapotties, but what race couldn’t have more? Start was a bit hectic, but probably as organized as could be with 24,000 runners participating.
One of the highlights had to be the crowd support and aid stations. All throughout the race, it felt as if the entire LA community came out to support, and was instrumental in me finishing the last 10k. There is more than enough aide throughout the course; I only had to carry a few extra gels but hydration was taken care of.
The first early hills are not bad as they come early in the race (miles 3-6), but what really hurt me was after mile 20, the long gradual uphill parallel to the 405 freeway slowed my pace down drastically. However, with some better training and hill work, you should be able to have enough strength to take advantage of the long 2 mile downhill towards Santa Monica and the finish.
Medal was HUGE! I’ll definitely run this one again! It was a great experience exceptionally ran by the volunteers and directors.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

jeannecorey64 REPEAT RUNNER '18

I love this marathon. This was the 5th consecutive year I've run it. This was my fastest year even though the course had changed and had to run on the … MORE

I love this marathon. This was the 5th consecutive year I’ve run it. This was my fastest year even though the course had changed and had to run on the sidewalk of the bridge. Logistic for this race are fantastic. Expo is one of the best that I’ve been to. I volunteered the past 2 years (from CT to CA) Post race party was great with Barefoot Wine as an additional choice. Course is hilly and challenging. The end of the race had a downhill that was tough! Breathtaking views on this course!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

mikeyseymour FIRST-TIMER '19

This was an exceptional race in so many ways. The organization was first rate. I received a good amount of emails ahead of time (not too many, not too few). … MORE

This was an exceptional race in so many ways. The organization was first rate. I received a good amount of emails ahead of time (not too many, not too few). I felt prepared for all the logistics I needed. Race pickup was a piece of cake. No line, got my bib in less than 1 minute. The expo was good sized with lots to look at. The race itself was first rate. Dodger Stadium is a great place to start. Runners have access to the stadium so you can use the bathroom, stretch, etc. It wasn’t windy or rainy that day, but it would have been a nice reprieve from the elements if needed. Having Randy Newman’s “I Love LA!” blaring on the speakers was a great way to get me amped up to run. The start is a little congested at first, even with the wave start, but not too bad. I was running my pace within about 1/3 of a mile. There is a steep downhill to get out of the stadium parking lot, and a steep uphill around mile 4, but for the most part, the course is not hilly. Definitely more downs than ups. Perhaps one of the best parts of the race is the course itself. You see so many LA highlights. The race runs through Chinatown, Thai Town, Little Armenia, and you see tons of various Latino influences, and some Korean and Japanese influences as well. I loved that diverse aspect of the race. You run by some of the iconic images as well, City Hall, Disney Concert Hall, Echo Park, the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Pantages Theater, Beverly Hills (including Rodeo Drive), with the icing on the cake being the finish at the beach. Once you finish, you continue along Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica and get your medal (I have 14 marathon medals so far and this one is by far the coolest!), space blanket, and lots of fuel. I had a couple bananas, some chocolate milk and passed on a lot of other food as well. Tons of good options to replenish. Most of the fans are waiting a few blocks after the finish. That is probably the only thing I would change about the race. There weren’t very many fans the last mile of the race since they were almost all gathered after the finish line. My family that met me there said that is where police were asking them to stay. The police also shut down cell service so make sure you have a location planned out ahead of time to meet your supporters. This is my second big race (I’ve done NYC) and 12 other mid to small races. This one ranks at the top for being first rate all the way around. If you want an authentic Los Angeles experience, the LA Marathon is an excellent pick.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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dungoggallery FIRST-TIMER '18

this was a tough one. flew in from australia and was really excited to be visiting utah and running this spectacular course. stayed at one of the recommended hotels (crystal … MORE

this was a tough one. flew in from australia and was really excited to be visiting utah and running this spectacular course. stayed at one of the recommended hotels (crystal springs) and enjoyed the hotel facilities. was a little surprised by the warm salt lake city weather. for some reason i thought it would be cooler. it wasn’t.
the expo was one day only and easy to get to and get back out of. bib pickup etc was smooth and i enjoyed the race preview and course description. i also liked my choice of a race singlet.
3:30am the alarm sounded and we needed to get to the hotel race shuttle downstairs by 4:15am. everything at the hotel was smooth and well organised. a small breakfast pack was given to all competitors.
(i will also add the prerace pasta dinner had been good. simple and plentiful)
the bus ride to the summit was in the predawn darkness and the excitement level was obviously high. you could feel the temperature change as we slowly climbed to the top. i added more clothes as the temperature dropped.
we jumped out at the summit and there were runners everywhere. normal prerace procedure for my 13th marathon. get straight into a line for a toilet. in our race handouts we had been given throw away gloves and a space blanket. i had both of these on and another two or three layers to keep warm. then we just sat and waited till about half an hour before gun time and then started final preparations.
threw my gear in the bag check truck and started my warm up. the gradient was very steep and sunrise didn’t seem far away. it was a little chaotic with runners trying to do their routines but wasn’t too bad. (i have been in many other races where there is absolutely no room to do anything)
the race started and wow what a descent. 1000 feet in the first three miles. when we hit the main road we turned for a short sharp half mile climb and at over 9000 feet the oxygen is thin. my lungs were working overtime and i could already feel pain in my upper quads. we loop around a small mountain village and then it is all downhill from miles 4 to 18 and i mean downhill. i just had no idea how steep it was going to be and it is difficult to describe the loading this puts on everything. my feet, my knees, my hips. everything was hurting. i found this a very very tough race.
i am an experienced marathoner and this was marathon #4 for 2018. i had raced extremely well in houston, rome and london and really thought i was going to spank this course and hopefully pb. i didnt. this course ended up spanking me and i have had my slowest post race recovery ever.
from mile 19 – 22 there is an out and back section that returning runners had explained as rolling hills and a little boring. as long as it wasn’t downhill i didn’t give a shit. by that point in the race i was in agony. i had been on sub 3 pace till about mile 20, but from there it was just a matter of survival. i have never had a dnf, but this race took me right to the limit.
miles 23 to the finish line weren’t great. slow moving traffic on both sides of the runners and lots of half marathoners finishing made it a little congested and i just wanted to cross the tape.
a lot is made of the scenery, but for me it wasn’t the highlight i thought it was going to be. yes there were certainly spectacular views but i found many sections of the course so steep all i was concentrating on was landing my feet properly and not tripping over. i had a genuine fear of ending up face down on the road.
post race everything was pretty normal. lots of nice volunteers handing out medals, drinks and some food. i didn’t think the food was great. a donut, a slice or two of pizza and a banana. after 26.2 i absolutely needed more nutrition.
so how do i rate this race ? no easy answer i am afraid. i have written this review several weeks after arriving back home but my initial thoughts still remain.
it was ok. i liked it, but i didn’t love it. no crowd support (which i knew). super steep downhill (which i knew). great views that we couldn’t really appreciate and a post race atmosphere that was a bit average despite the best efforts of the volunteers.
this event delivered what it said it would, but i would not run another revel race. downhill racing might be for some people but not for me.

(i consumed six SIS gels during the race and had no real issues on course other than plenty of pain. post race i lost one big toe nail completely and had several chunky blisters to contend with. i was seriously sore for a week to ten days)

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

TeriRunner REPEAT RUNNER '18

I know a lot of people run very good times on this course, but I am not one of them. The downhill is just too aggressive -- and the out … MORE

I know a lot of people run very good times on this course, but I am not one of them. The downhill is just too aggressive — and the out and back, misery. I’ve done this race twice, and once the course flattens out, it really heats up. (Also no the out and back, the course description talks about running along a golf course, but does not mention the gravel pit.) There are so many net-downhill, beautiful canyon marathons in Utah — I think Utah Valley and Ogden are superior courses.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Joerobe FIRST-TIMER '18

Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: Super easy. The course started with an uphill out and back, then downhill or flat the rest of the way. Course Scenery: Beautiful California … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: Super easy. The course started with an uphill out and back, then downhill or flat the rest of the way.

Course Scenery: Beautiful California mountain, agriculture and beach scenery. The smell of all the citrus blossoms and flowering plants was equal to or better than the scenery though.

Race Production: Great. The RD opened packet pickup a little early for me, the race started on time, excellent aid stations and volunteers, and perfect course markings. The only thing that I didn’t love (I get it, just didn’t love it), was that if you weren’t able to make packet pickup on time, there wasn’t a race day option, and your bib would be sold at the end of expo. Pretty tough for out-of-staters driving in, and a little extra stress before the race.

Race Swag: Loved the tech shirts and designs, and the medals were pretty fancy.

My Performance: Still recovering during this race, so I took it slow and easy. Managed to finish in less than 5 hours, and I was totally good with that.

My family and I walked from the finish to the beach (100 yds), where we relaxed for a little while after the race. Got to meet my Race Raves family on the way out, and then headed north for a week of camping along the coast. This is a very well produced and run event along a really pretty course; I can certainly recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

RGarrett FIRST-TIMER '18

While this course does sell itself as a "downhill" be prepared to climb! The last 4 miles to the finish line is all uphill. I also didn't find the views … MORE

While this course does sell itself as a “downhill” be prepared to climb! The last 4 miles to the finish line is all uphill. I also didn’t find the views to be that great during the race. There are a few areas of beautiful views of the mountains but the majority of the race is run thru industrial areas and a running trail. The view at the finish line of the water is beautiful, and the beer garden is a fun zone!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

brema89 FIRST-TIMER '18

This became of my favorite races, because the scenery of the course was just beautiful ! It is a great course , if this will be you first half marathon. … MORE

This became of my favorite races, because the scenery of the course was just beautiful ! It is a great course , if this will be you first half marathon. It is down hill, however it was not rough on you knees. The race started early , which is good because you are able to see the sun rise from the mountains and you beat the heat. Definitely would love to do this race again next year. If you plan to do this race and are coming out of town , book your hotel asap , because the do sell out quickly and prices go up.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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oceangate316 REPEAT RUNNER '19

Almost everything went off without a hitch. transportation from Santa Monica to Dodgers stadium was fast, Snacks were set up by the time I arrrived to start line (420ish AM) … MORE

Almost everything went off without a hitch. transportation from Santa Monica to Dodgers stadium was fast, Snacks were set up by the time I arrrived to start line (420ish AM) 2 things before start couldve been better. More port a potties (lines were ridiculous once more) and Open corral was a nightmare. there was a fence separating corral from general open area, which somehow became part of the open corral as well, so everyone who line up to the left of the fence, ended up at the very back of OC. Course itself was once again fantastic. Aid stations and volunteers were plentiful, crowds were once again energetic. At mile 23, they did kind of spill onto the course so It was kind of tough to zig zag around everyone. Appreciate the love, but it did get alittle hectic there. Hills in the first 5 or 6 miles are not too bad. The ones that seem to get everyone are down on Santa Monica Blvd. Mile 22-26 is the best part of the course as its all downhill so you can make up some time, you feel the ocean breeze (even though you cannot see it yet) and you know you are literally just around the corner from the finish line. Medals were beautiful as was this whole experience. Will def be back next year to try and PB once more.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '19

This was my 73rd Marathon and 2nd in California. My friend and I paid the extra fee for day of packet pickup since we flew in that afternoon. The expo/PP … MORE

This was my 73rd Marathon and 2nd in California.
My friend and I paid the extra fee for day of packet pickup since we flew in that afternoon. The expo/PP closed at 4pm which is a bit ridiculous for such a large race. They should either extend PP or offer free PP on race day, but forcing you to pay isn’t cool. The medal and shirt were nice.
COURSE: The course includes the boardwalk along Long Beach which was the highlight of the race. You run passed the Queen Mary, marinas and a cool lighthouse. The rest was city streets. It was also mostly concrete which kinda sucks if you typically run on asphalt or trails. There were a lot of out and backs as well.
Overall, I enjoyed the race. I have no negatives (other than those mentioned above).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

kellybly6 FIRST-TIMER '19

Rock and Roll really did a great job in the starting corrals, I've done some races where too many runners start at once and waste a ton of energy just … MORE

Rock and Roll really did a great job in the starting corrals, I’ve done some races where too many runners start at once and waste a ton of energy just weaving through. Both the half and full marathoners start the first 8 miles together and are corralled together but they had a funnel line within the corral which made it even smoother (definitely advise to sign up for a preferred corral if you get antsy not starting a race for 30 minutes or so like my friends did). Beginning of the course was great, very smooth some rolling hills that kept it interesting and made time fly. The middle section of the full took you out to the coast, along mission beach which was not only very flat, but scenic and I was surprised there was still good course/fan support out that far. The end was pretty tough though and while the elevation map showed one giant hill around 21 it started at 21 and continued to miles 22&23. But there is a good downhill finish and I PR’d! Great way to visit San Diego and have an amazing time.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

262run REPEAT RUNNER '19

This was my first time running a race put on by the RocknRoll series and I loved it! The course has rolling hills, nothing steep though. The aid stations were … MORE

This was my first time running a race put on by the RocknRoll series and I loved it! The course has rolling hills, nothing steep though. The aid stations were great. The expo was cool (I met Meb!). The volunteers were amazing! I started having IT band pain at mile 10 so I ended up running my slowest time yet :/ Yet even with that disappointment, I still had a great time at this race! Read my full review here! https://262.run/2019/06/05/rocknroll-san-diego-marathon-june-2019/

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

regadunn FIRST-TIMER '18

I found this to be a very difficult course -- especially miles 22-25 which are a gradual uphill. I thought this course was tougher than The San Francisco Marathon. The … MORE

I found this to be a very difficult course — especially miles 22-25 which are a gradual uphill. I thought this course was tougher than The San Francisco Marathon. The volunteers were great and the race was very well organized.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

bperkins REPEAT RUNNER '19

Generally still a nice race. Good PR course and beautiful location. Although I did the 1/2 the full is a great run. Unfortunately, since the acquisition by Motiv, I have … MORE

Generally still a nice race. Good PR course and beautiful location. Although I did the 1/2 the full is a great run. Unfortunately, since the acquisition by Motiv, I have felt that some aspects of this event have suffered. No SWAG bags at the expo????, which was the “same old, same old”; water stops every 2+ miles was vastly insufficient w/ gels only in the last few miles of the half?? This would be a great 1st half or full. But for many returning runners, I think they’ll agree….Sign up early, so you get your money’s worth. This race is no longer justifiable as a $100 – $125 race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

mony117 FIRST-TIMER '16

Decided to do this with my husband 2 weeks after our wedding. Race was fun and tons of people. Lot of pacers for all levels. Scenery was ok- i expected … MORE

Decided to do this with my husband 2 weeks after our wedding.
Race was fun and tons of people. Lot of pacers for all levels.
Scenery was ok- i expected more different kinds of views but maybe I was so tired by mile 18- I did not realize my surroundings lol. Anyways, great race and production. Lots of swag and vendors.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

emorrisseylv REPEAT RUNNER '17

This is a nice race. The area is a nice, pretty area of California. The race is well done with water, security, road closures etc. This time of year has … MORE

This is a nice race. The area is a nice, pretty area of California. The race is well done with water, security, road closures etc. This time of year has been great weather and run conditions. It is not too large, so not too packed. BQ qualified 2x’s so far 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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erob_stbc REPEAT RUNNER '19

My 3rd Boston Marathon. I can’t say enough good about the marathon and it’s supporters, volunteers, and crowds. Simply the BEST marathon ever. Hotels are extremely pricey, but I recommend … MORE

My 3rd Boston Marathon. I can’t say enough good about the marathon and it’s supporters, volunteers, and crowds. Simply the BEST marathon ever. Hotels are extremely pricey, but I recommend staying at one near the finish line because it’s great to not have to take a train before or after the run! Love, Love, Love this race! ❤️

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

dmcnosan REPEAT RUNNER '19

An amazing experience primarily due to volunteers and crowds. Very tough course. Be sure to train with hills. Very expensive race primarily due to hotel prices in area. We stay … MORE

An amazing experience primarily due to volunteers and crowds. Very tough course. Be sure to train with hills. Very expensive race primarily due to hotel prices in area. We stay in Natick every year which is much less expensive but you miss out on the excitement of being in Boston.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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kelly.lam FIRST-TIMER '18

The race was 1/2 a mile longer than 26.2. It was very disheartening to get to the 26.2 mile point and still have to run an extra half mile to … MORE

The race was 1/2 a mile longer than 26.2. It was very disheartening to get to the 26.2 mile point and still have to run an extra half mile to get to the finish. Also, there was no food or snacks leftover for some of the marathoners crossing the finish line. Just a water station. The beer was put away by the time I crossed the finish line. Not cool. Marathoners worked twice as hard as the half marathoners and it would be nice to at least have some post race food SET ASIDE for full marathoners—regardless of their finishing time.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

kylijo11 FIRST-TIMER '18

It was not super crowded for the runners nor the spectators. You get to run next to the beach, the harbor, and Long Beach State. The race started like 5 … MORE

It was not super crowded for the runners nor the spectators. You get to run next to the beach, the harbor, and Long Beach State. The race started like 5 or 10 minutes late which was a bit annoying. Also, my Apple Watch tracks distance, and we ran longer than a marathon by almost a half mile. There were mile markers but nothing telling you what time you were at or anything like that. The electrolyte company they used, nuun, was disgusting. Overall, still had a great time.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

As a first time marathon runner in our current pandemic I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little nervous! Let me tell you this race blew my mind. … MORE

As a first time marathon runner in our current pandemic I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little nervous! Let me tell you this race blew my mind. First of all the scenery was beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I was in person or running on my nordiatrac. This was something out of the discovery channel. Second of all the course was amazing, nice smooth and mostly flat. There was stands about every 6 miles with water, snacks, etc. this blew me away I expected to take my own snacks and water. Everyone was so friendly and encourage each other! The finish line was great with pictures and snacks as well. I would recommend this to everyone. So much that I’m running the Windermere one with a friend. I’m so excited and stocked! Enjoy your runs!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

cheryldoubledee FIRST-TIMER '18

Everything ran so smoothly from the minute I purchased my parking pass online prior to the race to when I viewed my pictures online afterward! Well organized expo and start … MORE

Everything ran so smoothly from the minute I purchased my parking pass online prior to the race to when I viewed my pictures online afterward! Well organized expo and start line. Plenty of porta potties at the start (so no huge lines). Excellent announcer and smooth corral movement. The course was beautiful and mostly flat – perfect for a first time 1/2 marathon runner. On course support was plentiful and the spectators were amazing (loved the donut hold people at about mile 10)! Finishers area was organized and easy to navigate and post race goodies (though not so plentiful) came in an easy to carry disposable bag. Overall, I would definitely recommend this race!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

coleen_small FIRST-TIMER '18

Mountains 2 Beach is a lovely course and a well organized event. The expo was small but well run and efficient. On the race morning, although I had to arrive … MORE

Mountains 2 Beach is a lovely course and a well organized event. The expo was small but well run and efficient. On the race morning, although I had to arrive SUPER EARLY, the buses were warm, clean and timely. At the start, there were ample bathrooms and the lines weren’t too bad. The course is BEAUTIFUL, but don’t let the net downhill fool you, this is a challenging course. I went out too fast and ran out of steam at mile 19. Although I was able to finish, and PR, with a little more self control in the beginning I think I could have earned a BQ. I’ll be running this event again in 2019 to redeem myself!! If you are interested in running this race, sign up sooner rather than later as it will sell out.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

It’s a nice scenic course and pretty well organized, but not a lot of vendors or swag. Ditto for the race expo. The race hydration station was not spread out … MORE

It’s a nice scenic course and pretty well organized, but not a lot of vendors or swag. Ditto for the race expo. The race hydration station was not spread out very, and everyone ended up bunching up and tripping over each other. Expected things to be better spaced for such a large race. T-shirt was blah. Parking kinda situation sucked considering there were so many event centers in the area but directions weren’t very clear on which to go to or affect of road closures.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

This is one of three races in the Beach Cities Challenge. Mostly flat course. Be sure to check the weather as there is very little coverage on most of the … MORE

This is one of three races in the Beach Cities Challenge. Mostly flat course. Be sure to check the weather as there is very little coverage on most of the course. There is always a great spectator turn out and tons of support from local run clubs along the half and full marathon courses. Great course for beginning runners.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Sophie Deligny
sdeligny FIRST-TIMER '18

Excellent race to PR, beautiful diverse scenery with mountains, ocean views and slight downhill. Very good organization Excellent chances to PR and BQ Unfortunately for me my injury came back … MORE

Excellent race to PR, beautiful diverse scenery with mountains, ocean views and slight downhill.
Very good organization
Excellent chances to PR and BQ
Unfortunately for me my injury came back to haunt me after 5k so it was a painful long run.
I want to go back and have another chance at it!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

lmcdonou FIRST-TIMER '20

During quarantine, I decided to use the extra downtime to train for a full marathon. The CDA marathon could not have been better! The organizers made it feel extremely safe … MORE

During quarantine, I decided to use the extra downtime to train for a full marathon. The CDA marathon could not have been better! The organizers made it feel extremely safe and I am in awe of their perseverance and creativity to allow this event to happen. The course itself was stunning! There were some killer hills, particularly along the marathon only portion, and the RaceJoy app stopped working part way through, but the weather and experience were ideal. Also, the shirt is my favorite race shirt to date! The whole event was well organized, and I greatly appreciated the chance to race in an otherwise crazy year.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

OtterOnTheRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

Great course. Beautiful views and a smooth, flat course. Highly organized. I recommend staying at one of the local hotels - makes the race morning super smooth! MORE

Great course. Beautiful views and a smooth, flat course. Highly organized. I recommend staying at one of the local hotels – makes the race morning super smooth!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

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nickihalin FIRST-TIMER '20

They did a great job holding a safe event while all other races were being canceled! Wonderful folks at the aid stations! Also, great engagement on social media leading up … MORE

They did a great job holding a safe event while all other races were being canceled! Wonderful folks at the aid stations! Also, great engagement on social media leading up to the event. Tons of communication, never felt left out in the dark.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

kerri2550 FIRST-TIMER '18

The city is beautiful! It is a wonderful place to visit and walk around with the river and lots of restaurants and shops. The race was hard. There was a … MORE

The city is beautiful! It is a wonderful place to visit and walk around with the river and lots of restaurants and shops. The race was hard. There was a large, steep hill that we have to run twice since it was a loop marathon. I wish there was more scenery on the course, but it was good. I did not like the shirt. I would prefer a standard running shirt style.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Girlierunner2015 REPEAT RUNNER '20

Swag? Amazing. Experience? So fun. Safety? Thorough and thoughtful. Scenery? Simply gorgeous. Negative Split did a lovely job of making this race safe AND fun. I will definitely be returning … MORE

Swag? Amazing. Experience? So fun. Safety? Thorough and thoughtful. Scenery? Simply gorgeous. Negative Split did a lovely job of making this race safe AND fun. I will definitely be returning to run again in the future! 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

amy.schaumburg FIRST-TIMER '19

This is a small race, sweet, beautiful, friendly folks and a great place to hang out before and after. There are only a handful of small hills and the race … MORE

This is a small race, sweet, beautiful, friendly folks and a great place to hang out before and after. There are only a handful of small hills and the race is primarily on the lake or river, so great views!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '19

This was one of the most fun racing experiences I've had. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event from the expo to the finish line party. I went to the expo … MORE

This was one of the most fun racing experiences I’ve had. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event from the expo to the finish line party. I went to the expo on Saturday at the San Diego convention center and it was huge and well-organized. They had it clearly labeled where to go for everything. There were so many vendors and products I think I spent a good 2 hours there looking at everything. I did not like paying for convention center parking though. I stayed at a hotel about 5 miles away from the race and shared a Lyft with another runner so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking. There were so many street closing the Lyft dropped us off about a mile away but it was a nice warm-up walk and got to meet other runners. My biggest complaint about the race was that they seemed to assign me to the wrong corral. There are a ton of runners and the corrals were clearly marked and it was well organized I was just in too slow of one I put my predicted finishing time as 2:20 and ended up in one of the later corrals and both the 2:30 and 2:45 pacers were in corrals ahead of me. I didn’t quite make my goal of 2:20 but finished a few minutes under 2:30 but never caught up to the 2:30 pacer because they started about 10 minutes before me. Other than the corral mess and having to weave my way around walkers the first 2 miles, the rest of the race was a blast. It isn’t the most scenic route through San Diego but it is designed to not be too hilly. That being said, there are hills but none are very large. Personally I like a race with some rolling hills. The crowd support for the race was absolutely amazing running through the local neighborhoods. People were giving away everything from fruit to donuts to tequila shots. I don’t drink alcohol but if you do and don’t take this race seriously you could have a lot of fun. There were also numerous bands and musical acts and the finish line in downtown San Diego was great. The finisher medal was nice and San Diego themed but it was smaller than most of my other half marathon medals. The T-shirt was tech quality. I’m glad I got the men’s/unisex because the women’s shirt was an ugly color. They weren’t ready at the expo so we had to pick them up after the race. The finish line festivities were great. There is a post-race concert and food trucks and then you can enjoy San Diego. This was the most fun I have had in a race. I am moving out of California this summer and am going to be out of town during the race this year, but I am hoping to come back sometime in the future to do the full

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

bperkins FIRST-TIMER '19

Just simply a great race. All around. Arrive early and plan for a long 1.5 mi (not steep) climb at mile 22. Get the VIP package, it's worth it and … MORE

Just simply a great race. All around. Arrive early and plan for a long 1.5 mi (not steep) climb at mile 22. Get the VIP package, it’s worth it and not very expensive. Enjoy the after party.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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StephenR REPEAT RUNNER '20

Great support from start to finish! Amazing scenery, friendly and helpful volunteers along the race route that made for a very safe and fun experience during COVID-19 MORE

Great support from start to finish! Amazing scenery, friendly and helpful volunteers along the race route that made for a very safe and fun experience during COVID-19

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

ddk001 FIRST-TIMER '18

The race was not as intimidating as I'd thought it be since it was my first time. There were portions of the race that were crowded. After I finished, it … MORE

The race was not as intimidating as I’d thought it be since it was my first time. There were portions of the race that were crowded. After I finished, it just seemed over and I left. No activities that were interesting to me. Regardless, the race part was a great first time experience.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

edwardsaiz88 FIRST-TIMER '18

For R&R's original race, they do a good job keeping up the quality. Expo is well organized and efficient. Race morning corrals were well organized and I appreciated the green … MORE

For R&R’s original race, they do a good job keeping up the quality.
Expo is well organized and efficient.
Race morning corrals were well organized and I appreciated the green space on the to warm up and quickly enter your corral.
It felt like the first 8 miles were a slight gradual uphill, but didn’t seem to affect my pace much, but around mile 10 you take advantage of a steep downhill that actually allowed me to run my fastest 5K ever (in the half marathon). Decent scenery in and around San Diego, but passing through Balboa Park probably the coolest.
I loved the finish line area in downtown San Diego by the ocean.
This was a PR race for me!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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sczuprynski92 REPEAT RUNNER '19

The course has some hills that are challenging especially around mile 5 in little Tokyo. You get hit with a steep hill that is very rough! You get to see … MORE

The course has some hills that are challenging especially around mile 5 in little Tokyo. You get hit with a steep hill that is very rough! You get to see all the best LA spots without the traffic which is nice. It’s basically a LA tour on foot. Finishing at Santa Monica is gorgeous! Would run again

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

paxelnat FIRST-TIMER '19

As a first timer, running the course was smooth and not too challenging. The first half of the course was mostly flat and featured beautiful scenery especially during sunrise. The … MORE

As a first timer, running the course was smooth and not too challenging.
The first half of the course was mostly flat and featured beautiful scenery especially during sunrise. The event was well managed and parking was easy to find.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '19

The aid stations were excellent. The most unique aspect was the hydration, which was fine. The race could be improved with more variety in nutrition. The race is recommended to … MORE

The aid stations were excellent. The most unique aspect was the hydration, which was fine. The race could be improved with more variety in nutrition. The race is recommended to friends to have an excellent run.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Rosecam REPEAT RUNNER '19

Pluses: The course is varied and gorgeous. Great volunteers, and fun little pockets of cheering observers alternating with quiet stretches. Water stops, nuun, and honey stingers on the course were … MORE

Pluses: The course is varied and gorgeous. Great volunteers, and fun little pockets of cheering observers alternating with quiet stretches. Water stops, nuun, and honey stingers on the course were all great. And the post-race snacks and beverages (yay terra chips, coconut water, and honey stinger waffles!), and live band (and chairs!) at the beer garden were all great. Gear check was also super quick and easy, both for drop-off and pick-up.

Main minuses: The beach path part of the course is narrow, so it can get a little crowded for that part. If you’ve positioned yourself well, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re too far back it can be annoying because it’s hard to weave through. I was annoyed that they charged $15 parking at the convention center for bib pick up, but didn’t warn runners about that in pre-race-weekend emails. Apparently the race-day parking permit included expo parking too, but that was also not communicated – I might have gotten that parking permit if I knew. Better communication would have helped me to either save money or at least be better prepared. Finally, I would have appreciated a more obvious first aid tent in the post-finish area (I started cramping and ended up getting anti-cramping spray from a prepared fellow runner because neither of us could see the tent).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Marie_Elizabeth REPEAT RUNNER '19

Someone up top must’ve made a lot of money off of the thousands of people who registered for this event because the funding was not put into taking care of … MORE

Someone up top must’ve made a lot of money off of the thousands of people who registered for this event because the funding was not put into taking care of the participants. The race shirts were not ordered ahead of time nor were they ready by race day. Half of the aid stations and the finish line did not have cups for water. The water given at the aid stations was warm. The medal was a joke in comparison to previous medals awarded for this event and did not specify what distance was completed. There weren’t any gummy bears (gasp!). My running partners and I all agree that we won’t be running this race again based off of our experience. Such a let down- last year was great and it is usually such a well organized event.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

BrooklandRunner REPEAT RUNNER '19

I injured my left leg on my last training run about a week from the race. I hoped that it would be ready in time to go. It was not … MORE

I injured my left leg on my last training run about a week from the race. I hoped that it would be ready in time to go. It was not 100%, and I limped through the race, a minute off pace of what I hoped. I ran between the first and second wave with a small group of “the running wounded,” those of us fast enough to qualify and be seeded in Wave 1, but slowed by an injury just hoping to finish. I’m happy to have finished my seventh Boston Marathon and pleased that my brother finished his first.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

3candice3 REPEAT RUNNER '18

This is one of the most scenic and interesting routes - taking you over a bridge, along the ocean, and seeing the port. The course was mostly flat which was … MORE

This is one of the most scenic and interesting routes – taking you over a bridge, along the ocean, and seeing the port. The course was mostly flat which was nice.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

KelliKO REPEAT RUNNER '18

This is a hometown race for me since most all of my family live in Long Beach and my mom brings my kids down to Ocean Blvd to see me … MORE

This is a hometown race for me since most all of my family live in Long Beach and my mom brings my kids down to Ocean Blvd to see me pass at about mile 11.5. So I really enjoy this one. The course is a pretty easy one with only a couple hilly parts on the freeway over pass. It is an out-and-back from mile 6 to the finish, but you go out on the beach path and back on Ocean Blvd, so it is a change in scenery. The medals are always nice and the race is run smoothly. I plan on running it again next year to earn my “Beach Bum” status and I also started “Beach Cities” with this one.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

malee8677 REPEAT RUNNER '18

The course is flat. There is a little incline for a very short distance so it’s no big deal. All runners are excited. A very fun event. Since I had … MORE

The course is flat. There is a little incline for a very short distance so it’s no big deal. All runners are excited. A very fun event.
Since I had a finish time in mind, so I decided to follow the pacers from A Snail Pace. They are awesome. They ran at an even pace and gave me tips along the way. My goal was to finish at 2:15 and ended up finishing at 2:13. Very happy.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

bperkins REPEAT RUNNER '18

I love the selection of events. The is a yearly staple for me. The combo is the "BEST" event. The bike ride is a super fun (fast) closed course which … MORE

I love the selection of events. The is a yearly staple for me. The combo is the “BEST” event. The bike ride is a super fun (fast) closed course which takes you on the Marathon course. There is typically plenty of time to transition to the half. I like the scenery, course, spectator participation and proximity to the runners. Can’t say enough about this race. Another “must-do” for Southbay locals.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

rrusso6 FIRST-TIMER '16

This was my first marathon. I kind of hated it because it was so hilly!!! I do not come from a place with hills (or elevation!) so it was rough. … MORE

This was my first marathon. I kind of hated it because it was so hilly!!! I do not come from a place with hills (or elevation!) so it was rough. The stretch of interstate sucked too because it was so hot and was made worse with the asphalt. I never wanted to run again after that lol. Some of the sites were nice, but the neighborhoods and parking lot areas were very unmotivating.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

m.cimeno FIRST-TIMER '17

I completed the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon in Ojai in 2017. The weather was very pleasant- sunny and cool (to start). I had read and saw this course advertised as … MORE

I completed the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon in Ojai in 2017. The weather was very pleasant- sunny and cool (to start). I had read and saw this course advertised as FAST, with lots of downhills. I had reviewed the course description and elevation chart; while running it, though, I only found two or three areas with a noticeable downhill. The rest was more gradual. In fact, I kept waiting for the downhills to open up, and was surprised I did not “find” them. Of course, I noticed and felt each and every incline!

The expo is small, but I liked that. It is not flashy. I really enjoyed that they offered a pasta dinner for runners, with the proceeds benefiting the local high school.

I found agree with a previous review that aid stations, at least compared to bigger productions, are sparse. They also did not use different cups to help differentiate between water and electrolyte fluids; instead, the volunteers just yelled out “fluids” or “water.” I would recommend that they use two different colored cups or something to help runners quickly recognize the difference (or for those who may not hear over their headphones). I also found that there were not many portapotties compared to other events; but, I never saw a queue at a rest stop. For this race, I think the majority of participants are laser-focused on achieving a PR or BQ!

I liked that the race organization was very smart to label the distance to the next set of portapotties at each one, which was helpful.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

dlane REPEAT RUNNER '17

I have now run Mountains 2 Beach 5 times and have qualified for Boston all but one time here. I was not a fan the first time on the new … MORE

I have now run Mountains 2 Beach 5 times and have qualified for Boston all but one time here. I was not a fan the first time on the new course but after the second I have learn to like it. I like the size of the race and hope it keeps the small field of runners. One of the best aspects is the race director and his willingness to differ your race to the following year. My first year here I had an injury and could not run. He moved it to next year with no issues. The expo continues to get better over the last couple of years. Thanks!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Profile photo of Vianey Contreras
contrerv FIRST-TIMER '17

I really enjoyed this race. The course was beautiful and I was able to achieve a PR and Boston Qualifying time. I would have liked to see more vendors at … MORE

I really enjoyed this race. The course was beautiful and I was able to achieve a PR and Boston Qualifying time. I would have liked to see more vendors at the expo and more free swag. As with every other race I’ve ever done, the lines for the bathrooms were too long and they ran out of toilet paper early on. There were plenty of aid stations with water and electrolytes. Overall it was a great experience and I would love to participate in this race again!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Tommyrun REPEAT RUNNER '20

I travel to many events during the year and this is one of my favorites. I have run the half and the 10K. Not only are the courses beautiful, but … MORE

I travel to many events during the year and this is one of my favorites. I have run the half and the 10K. Not only are the courses beautiful, but the production is first rate!. Last year ,during Covid they did an amazing job of staggering the start and separating runners on the course that made it feel safe. CDA is a great destination. See you again this year!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?