• Huntington Beach,
    United States
  • February
  • 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

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Ciara Doll

Los Angeles, California, United States
18 41
"Surf City Beach Mile -- Sunsets and Sand, Oh My!"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Ciara Doll's thoughts:

This sunset fun run may be short, but it's definitely sweet! A great option for families, and a fun warmup for runners doing the Cowabunga Challenge!

This was my second time running the Surf City Half Marathon, and, as always, the race management team hosts an excellent Expo. I drove down on Friday afternoon to pick up my bib for the Half, the only race I was registered for at the time. When I arrived, I noted that there were still spots left to sign up for the Beach Mile -- which meant I could run both and complete the Cowabunga Challenge (and 2 more medals for the weekend!). Not being one to turn down a challenge, I signed up that day. I got there a bit too early (totally my fault!) and spent the afternoon hanging out in Huntington Beach and exploring the expo before the race began. Parking for the race met that rare goal of mine: it was close to the start, easy to find, and free! The starting line for the race was just next door to the Expo, right on the beach! My only complaint about the pre-race area is that there was no bag check or area to place items. I fortunately had enough time to run them back to my car, but many people simply left their shoes and bags in the sand near the finish area. (I don't have enough trust for that!)

The Race:
This course was a simple out and back on the sand. Runners ran toward the pier, turned around at the cone markers, and ran back. Due to the sand being pretty soft, this is a surprisingly tricky mile! Upon registration, runners received a fun themed superhero cape to wear during the race -- it was so fun to see so many capes running down the beach!

Due to the short nature of the race, there were no water stations on the course, however there were multiple volunteers pointing out the turnaround point and cheering runners on as well as a photographer to capture finish line photos!

All finishers received a medal, and were greeted at the finish line with multiple snacks, including chips and fruit cups. Since it was just next door to the expo, runners were encouraged to return to the expo area, where there were merchandise tents, product samples, and even live music!

- This is a sandy fun run! Most people chose to run this barefoot, but if you'd prefer to wear shoes, wear a pair you don't mind getting lots of sand in!
- If you're new to running on sand, expect this to be a bit tricky! You'll be surprised to feel the impact on your knees that running on sand has, even with a short distance like this!
- Do not plan on taking anything with you to the starting line that you don't plan to run with -- keep your bags and other personal items in your car. If you feel comfortable to leave your shoes at the finish line, you can do so, but be warned that there is no dedicated volunteer to watch over these items, and the race is not liable if something should happen to them when you return.
- This is a FUN run! There will be lots of families there, especially small children. Watch out for them!

Final Thoughts:
This sunset beach run was such a good time! It's a perfect race for Surf City athletes to warm up before the next day's big events, and offers a a fun way for runners to get their non-running family and friends involved in the weekend action! Soak up the sun, feel the sand in your toes, and stick around afterward for music and fun!

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