Race Review: Cruise the Coast Long Beach

While in California for the Surf City Half Marathon (post on that to come later), I scowered the internet for possible shorter races to make it a double race weekend. Let’s face it, might as well bring home more bling if I can.

I found the Cruise the Coast race in Long Beach, about 25-30 min from my hotel, and since I have a rental car, no big deal. I signed up for it 6+ weeks ago and had it on my rador. It’s one of those races that has a 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon and were pretty cheap. The 10K was only $35, the Half only $45.

Monday, we received an email about final race details. Personal opionion, worst day for this to be done, because emails get lost in email pergatory when you have minimum 3 email accounts you have to worry about. I was convinced that race time for the 10K was at 8 AM (because I had found the race through active.com, and that’s the time it gave with no connection to the acutal race website). There was no ‘expo’ pick up for bibs, all is done race day.

I showed up at 745, thinking it was an 8 AM start and got my Bib. My number? 666. I can’t make this up.  The check in? A table in front of someone’s car. After I signed in, the lady asked if I had a garmin or a watch to track my time. The race had started at 730. Face Palm. I put what I didn’t need in my rental car, put on my bib and off I went. The course itself was along the beach of Long Beach. It has 2 separate trails, one running and one biking (always a good think when I don’t want to get run over by two wheels). Flat course, which was good. The 5K option had a turn around at 1.55 miles. The 10k turned around at 3.1 miles before heading back. Not sure if the trail itself went longer. If you chose to do the half, it did the 10K course twice. The full: the 10K course 4 times. Mind. Numbing. The only area of water/gatorade was at the start/finish area (which served as the turn around point for the half and full marathon). Nothing at the 3.1 mile turn around point. And how to know where your turn arounds were and if you were going the right direction? Chalked arrows on the running path.

I didn’t see a whole lot of racers in general on course. The full and half marathoners started at 630 (with a 530 AM early start option), but still. Even though we were racing, the path was still open to pedestrians, bikers and runners not part of the event. Meh.

Overall, not sure about this one. If you’re local, the organization puts on a bunch of small races which is a plus and they all look reasonably price, but be prepared for barebone races. No real big bells and whistles and the races are small. It’d be worth it for some sort of investments in flags/mile markers/something to bring attention to the course. An actual race clock instead of a kitchen timer. I can only imagine the heat over the summer in California, and one water stop to serve longer distances doesn’t seem like enough if you’re counting on runners bringing their own stuff with them. At least you get some post race food and a medal (which is a plus, I don’t need more shirts!).

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