Bibrave Race Review: Surf City Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Surf City Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Well if flying out of LAX and driving to and from LAX wasn’t enough to give anyone an anxiety attack, I don’t know what is! I was in Huntington Beach this weekend for the Surf City Half Marathon. I first did this race in 2013 and have wanted to come back and do it again, so living on the west coast made things easier.

I flew out Friday morning, a rare direct flight from Spokane to anywhere. I picked up my rental car from the airport and hit the 405 towards Huntington Beach. I was hoping to miss any sort of rush hour traffic. Granted, LA always has traffic, I just wanted to miss the stand still part of it. I ended up stopping at the expo prior to going to the hotel. Since I was early, I found a place for lunch and walked around some. It was raining just a bit, but the sun came out by the time I got through the expo.

The Expo was easy to navigate. They had computers set up for number look up and liability forms to sign. You walked into race weekend registration, bib and shirt pick up

Packet pick up is open for business for @runsurfcity! #bibchat #runchat #runsurfcity

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

The lines for medium was long, but what can you do. It moved quickly though. No shirt exchange at the expo, but you could bring it race day to see if there was a size you wanted and you could swap out there. Always plenty of vendors and races there. I actually signed up for next year’s race at the expo. If you do the race 3 years in a row, you become a legacy runner (think special shirts and bling!). A ton of races, vendors, etc. Destination Races was there, a bunch of California races and your typical running specialty stuff there. Best of all, if you’re a beer drinker, the beer garden was open all 3 days.

Hotels: I stayed at the Double Tree Club in Santa Ana, about 30 min away. They have the Double Tree cookies there, but are awesome in general. They have free shuttles to/from the race, a pasta dinner and the best welcoming party after the race. The Hilton Waterfront is the sponsor hotel and right across the street from the start/finish

Getting there: Shuttles. Shuttles. Shuttles. Hotels associated with the race tended to do shuttles, which is what I took. There were other areas in town that let you park at their facilities and shuttled you in (I think the HS, the convention center, etc.

Race Morning: The Marathoners have their own start time at 630 AM. The Half Marathoners start at 745. The 1/2 marathon has a wave start based on your bib number and heads off every 3 minutes.

Waiting to get going! @runsurfcity #bibchat #runchat #runsurfcity #bibravepro #surfcityusa

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

 

The Course: you start out on the Pacific Coast Highway for approximately 3 miles before heading into a residential neighborhood for another 2 miles and change. Around mile 4 you get a nice little hill and some coastal view before heading back down the Pacific Highway. You head to the turn around (somewhere between miles 7 and 8) before heading back into town. Mile 10 brings some more gradual hills, but otherwise very flat. You get the breeze from the ocean, which kept things cool. The marathons had an extra portion that they did prior to coming back on Pacific Highway with us and split again in the late stages of the half marathons. Aid stations were every 1-1.5 miles with bathrooms, water and vitalyte (never heard of it).

Pacers: are from gun time and were available for the half and full marathon

The Finish: Where the expo took place over the weekend and right along the ocean. You were greeted with medals and enthusiastic announcers, spectators and other runners. Plenty of medals for everyone. As you went through, you picked up water, food and heat sheets. These guys also know the true meaning of having chocolate milk at the end of a race. There were other free samples of stuff and vendors set up. You could also buy finisher stuff. If you’re a beer fan: beer garden with entertainment.

My medal enjoying some beach time! @runsurfcity #bibchat #runchat #bibravepro #runsurfcity

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

Personally, this was probably my best race in 22 months. I ran 2:24:35, my first sub 2:30 since May, 2015. I’m pleased with that!

Please go do this race sometime. Or multiple times. It’s worth the runcation and time in California. The weather is typically good, though the sun decided to not join us this weekend, which was sad. My only gripe is they still use a D Tag. How about upgrading to the B tag? Less likelihood of someone putting the wrong tag on their shoe or throwing out their timing chip.

If you need any other reason to stay at the Double Tree Club in Santa Ana, look no further. The post race welcome we arrived to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About drrunner
6 time marathoner, 40 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. New title of BibRave Pro member so watch for discounts and products! Do what you love and love what you do!

2 Responses to Bibrave Race Review: Surf City Half Marathon

  1. I love that finisher’s medal!

  2. 50in50marathonquest says:

    this race is definitely on the list one day!

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