Latest reviews by Jacob Abrego

(2016)
"Long Beach Goes the Distance!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Long Beach Marathon! A definite staple race that is essential to Southern California. A partner race to the Beach Cities Challenge along with the Orange County Marathon and the Surf City Marathon. As a citizen of Long Beach it is nice to be apart of a local race that brings in over 20000 athletes to bike or run Long Beach's events every October. This was my third year running Long Beach, first two times I have completed the halfs, this year I completed the full. I have to say the difference between the half and full marathon is much different, and the full marathon deserves some praise and recognition!
The Long Beach Race Expo is nothing short of great for obtaining all of your needed race gear and future race information. Packet Pickup is easy and simple in the Long Beach Convention Center. First you receive an email containing your bib number information before attending the expo, so you can avoid a wait time to pick up your bib. Bib pickup lines were very short and for every bib number line, there were two volunteers helping with pickup. The volunteers for this marathon are all very helpful. You are then directed to race shirt pickup, where you get your shirt and exchange sizes if need be. Long Beach race shirts run big, so be sure to check your size of the shirt, nevertheless the designs of the shirts are great! After packet pickup you are then free to roam around, and checkout the race merchandise and race vendors. Many big brands and races make an appearance at this race expo! Such as (just to name a few)- Honey Stinger, New Balance, Procompression, OC marathon, Surf City Marathon, Rundisney, 2xu compression, GU, and many others! In addition if you are a 3+ year racer be sure to pick up your bonus Beach Bums Shirt! A fun bonus for running legacy. After packet pickup, make sure to head home, rest up and carb load for the next day is race day!
Since the Marathon time is 6:00 am compared to the Half Marathon start time at 7:30 it is essential you get up early to take care of any needs you have before race time. Normally I would say that traffic is bad for this marathon, but you run at this earlier time, traffic is not as bad because most of the Half marathon racers have not shown up yet. Be sure to leave early and arrive at least 45 minutes before start to avoid any traffic either way. It is much easier to take the freeway and not the streets. When I ran the Half Marathon traffic was horrible, and it took me an hour to get to the race. The marathon only took 10 minutes to get there due to the lower amounts of traffic. At the start line there is plenty of restrooms, leading to short wait lines for restrooms that is if there were lines. For the marathon, there is one start time for all marathoners and bikers. Don't worry, the bikers have a much different course compared to the runners. The race starts at 6 am for the wheelchair racers and bikers and 6:05 for the marathoners. For the marathon everyone starts at the same time. For the half marathon it is in wave times. Be sure to be ready for a great race after the Star Spangled Banner!
Mile 0-1: The race begins by going through the beautiful Downtown Long Beach the Pike. You run along Pacific Coast Highway, making your way to the Queen Mary Ship.
Mile 1.1-6.7: The Queen Mary in the Long Beach Harbor is a staple as a must see landmark for the city of Long Beach. For the first six miles of the full or half course, you stay in Downtown Long Beach where you just take in the beautiful sights of Long Beach. Be sure to Check out the light house, the aquarium of the pacific, and run along the "pike path"! Yes the first six miles are very scenic!
Mile 6.8- 9.5: Depending on whether you are running the full or the half and how the weather is, this long stretch of the course can make you or break you. For these next three miles it is a long stretch of nothing but beach path through Long Beach. The Two Half Marathon events I ran through Long Beach the heat was very intense. There was no shade and the sun was blazing and I have heard that this year was the same story. So if you are running in those conditions expect to feel the heat and plan ahead! However for the Full Marathon, the conditions were gorgeous! Thanks to the 6 am start time, the cool weather made this long section a breeze to run through. Of course be sure to run long straights in your practice regimen to prepare for this part of the race. Every mile in this race there are water stations with NUUN or water and plenty of race supporters cheering you on along the way! Every other mile there are restrooms, in case you need them. Once you have completed this part get ready to run through the neighborhoods of Belmont Shores! Congrats you are done with 10 miles!
Mile 9.6-12: After completing the bike path you get back up to PCH and start to turn into a neighborhood area. At about mile 10 a friendly family gives out countless Honey Stinger brand gels to help all racers continue through the race. A huge plus along the tough race. Throughout this part of the race you pass by the bike racers, where they are on a much longer mile distance. Nothing but homes and some hills along this part of the race and beyond.
Mile 12.1-13.1 (halfway point)- This part is where you make it to Belmont Park and by Mother's Beach (a calm beach with no waves, perfect for children) you run this way on the road and you hit a water station while making a small turnaround to the half marathon checkpoint. Congrats on getting through the first half of the marathon!
Mile 13.2-15: After passing through the park area get ready to tackle some hills right away! You continue going through residential areas until you make it to the next major street. You run through another park, passed the Long Beach Armadas local baseball team stadium, and by Wilson High School! Throughout the race there are many young school cheerleaders cheering for you along the race. Wilson is one of them! It is truly motivating in this part of the race. Keep on pushing hard, because after mile 15 is where your discipline and self-motivation needs to come into play!
Mile 15.1-17: Passed Wilson High School, you head towards the Northern part of Downtown Long Beach, and start making your way to my college, California State University of Long Beach! This part is a long road with one sort of major hill incline! Just keep moving forward and save yourself for the big hills through the campus of CSULB! At this point the weather is still cool but the sun is starting to shine through.
Mile 17.1-19: At this point, you have now entered the CSULB campus. Right away you head up a hill driveway. After 17 miles this can be very tough. Then you make a left and you are always climbing up at this point, just keep your control as the hills get higher and higher. Eventually you will hit mile 18 and start going down a hill very fast, try not to go down to fast to avoid injury, but you can gain good speed at this part. After this you then complete your square around the campus and make it past mile 19 back on the road. Be sure to get water from the next water stop. Congrats on making it past the hardest obstacle of the race, now it is time to make it to the finish line!
Mile 19.1-21: At this point of the race you are just going back the way you came, back up the hill making it back to Belmont Shores, back passed Wilson High School and making it back to PCH. Plenty of water stops are along the way and I have to say I am thankful for them along the way back. This is truly the toughest part of the race, pretty much for any marathon event. Keep on Going!
Mile 21.1-24: Passed Wilson High School, you start to exit out of the neighborhoods, run on PCH and join the Half Marathon runners. The runners are clearly sectioned off. You have plenty of space to run on the marathon side. The sun is clearly out at this point but at this point you shouldn't be worrying about the temperature. You have the view of the beach as you start heading back in to the city of big towers of Downtown Long Beach. It may feel like a while but just keep remembering you are almost to the finish line, just a straight away from mile 22. Just Keep it Going!
Mile 24.1-25.7: This mile you are in full city, but keep powering through this part for you are very close to the finish line, maintain control and start to kick in your last power up for a great finish. Many supporters are watching and hoping for a great finish for all racers. Also congratulating everyone for a great race just about done! The excitement levels are way up at this Point!
Mile 25.8-26.2(Finish!!!): After making a left turn you are going down a small downhill which makes conditions perfect for a fast finish! Crowds are watching and cheering for everyone to cross the finish line. It is truly an awesome feeling hearing the people cheer for you, and the race announcers announcing your fast finish, in that moment you know why you race! To achieve that Runners High! The Finish Line is gorgeous with a race clock that hopefully says the time you want! If you run this race I truly hope you achieve the same feelings I have felt from this truly amazing race! After the finish line you get your awesome medal and have plenty of pictures taken. Plenty of nutritional snacks and water is given right away as well! Congratulations! You did it! You completed the Long Beach Marathon!
Post Race Party- After the race there are plenty of activities to do if you plan on staying after the race. Activities include: A beer garden, massage center with first aid, Many Food Trucks, Bands with music, and many club tents that are there to support many of their athletes. Overall the Long Beach Marathon has much to offer and deserves to be one of California's finest races! Attracting an average of 25000 racers this is a race you definitely have to put on the race bucket list! Hope to see you out there for the 2017 event!
Until then Keep Working hard and always remember to Fear No Distance Athletes!

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(2016)
"Hot Summer Race!"
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T-Shirts/SWAG
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Race Management

The Cypress 5k/10k is a local and fun Summer time race. This is a great race to test your endurance in the Summer time heat. Southern California race with the locals, free race shirt, helpful volunteers and popsicles at the finish line.
The race morning begins with Packet pickup and easy parking, reserved for event participants. Traffic is light and parking is easy to access. Packet pickup is easy to identify, lines move swiftly and there are many volunteers who are ready to assist you when needed. You then walk over to the start line, stretch in the stretching area. The race start time is approximately 7:30 am. Its nice and cool before the start of the race, but every year at 7:25 you gather around with the other racers, sure enough the Sun peaks out and you can feel the heat of the Summer beating on your back.
Mile 1- At the start of the race, it is a bit crowded with racers due to the road being a narrow one. The street widens after the first quarter mile and you make your first right turn. The city of Cypress is a clean and friendly neighborhood. You pass by beautiful houses and by Cypress town park until you make it to the next mile.
Mile 2- At this mile you enter a gated community filled with race supporters and more classy looking homes. There is one water stop at this point. at about mile 2.5 you exit the community and are back on a long straight all the way up to the finish line. At this point of the race it is blazing hot and sunny. There is no shade on this straight and the sun does nothing but shine on every racer. And everyone will show that they feel the burn. This is what makes the race a challenging Summer race. Elite athletes come from all over to compete to win this race and the prize money that comes with the win.
Mile 2.7-3.1: You are still running on the long straight be sure at this point to start speeding up the pace because this is a fast race and a great one to PR in. The finish line is located at the Cypress Civic Center along with where the race expo is. You are offered water and a refreshing popsicle to help cool down after a fast race.
Overall Cypress is a great race that offers cash prizes, and age division awards. This race is also apart of the OC race series partnered with the Seal Beach 5k/10k, and the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. Run all three in the same year and claim your awesome series medal! Be sure to get out there and take part in Cypress to run in the heat!
Fear No Distance Athletes!

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(2016)
"Local Beach Friendly Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Seal Beach 5k/10k, a great race for any level of runner. I have ran the race in 2014 and completed the 10k with a PR earlier this year. Overall this is a great family oriented race with a nice course through the town of Seal Beach. This was a local race, making it a smaller race capacity. Parking was easier to find and more accessible. For this race their is no real race expo before the race, only the day of the race. There are few race vendors but it is from the local businesses in the town. For race swag, its okay, there is only a racing bib and race shirt. Unfortunately for this race there is no finishers medals but only medals for division winners.
At the start line there are wave start lines, from elite to 5 different pace waves.
Mile 0.1-2 you start out running up a small incline and run through the neighborhoods of seal beach, past the Seal Beach Pier until you turn and hit the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. There are no water stations at this point.
Mile 2.1-4 At the halfway point there is a water station, and you continue running through the town, at least every year it is almost guaranteed to have very cool and nice weather.
Mile 4.1-5.7 In my opinion this is the most nicest part of the race and where I hit my stride. You hit the road on the riverbed. You can see the ocean from their and is a clean area to run in. Nice clear, and an open road. after The river bed its back to the neighborhoods to hit an even faster stride to the finish line.
Mile 5.8-6.2 At this point you want to hit your fast stride and run your best to the finish line. The great thing about this race is that it is very possible to PR in this race.
This race is fun, stroller friendly and good for any kind of runner or fitness athlete.
Fear No Distance Athletes!

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(2016)
"Southern California's Best 26.2!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

2016 Surf City Marathon is my second time running the event. 2015 I completed the half marathon. Both years I have never been short of impressed with all aspects of the race. The race expo is simple, and straight forward. You pick up your bib and race packet from the helpful volunteers. the Racing shirt has a very nice design and is long sleeved every year. After bib pickup you are lead to the vendor and race merchandise sections. Parking for race expo is decent and straight forward.
On race morning, like any other major racing event traffic I heavy but parking is available for everyone. Just expect to leave home a bit early to make it to the race on time and get in a warm-up. Since you are right on the beach it will be very cool on race morning, you should be able to ignore it, and enjoy the racing environment, of the 20000 other runners. The announcers keep the energy levels high and announce each wave [pace] start time. The race begins on the street of Pacific Coast Highway, next to the strip of Surf City Shopping and Dining Center. PCH has very wide streets so there is a lot of room for runners to keep moving without the feeling of being squished by the other runners.
Mile 1-7 is a long straight on PCH and a great focus to maintain your speed and stamina for the rest of the race ahead. Throughout this whole part you can see the beach on the left and you can see the gorgeous waves and the definition why they call it Surf City USA. In addition to every other mile there are restrooms and water stops along with entertainers and supporters to help keep you running strong.
Mile 7.1-10 Throughout this part of the race you start to turn off down a beautiful neighborhood, that will lead you to beautiful Huntington park. For a few short miles you run through a gorgeous park with trees, ponds, and many more race supporters, the scenery is great. There are a few minor hills in this part of the race but should be nothing to hard to handle.
Mile 11-14 After you head out of the gorgeous park, you head up a hill that gives you a gorgeous sight of PCH and the distance beach and ocean. You then head down and make your way back to PCH. You then reach the farthest part of PCH and past the Bolsa Chica Wetlands before having a turnaround. At the turnaround CLIF bars are their to give you a pick me up along with GU to keep you going on the race with nutrition and energy.
Mile 14.1-18 at this point you are met up with the half marathoners who are headed to the finish line on PCH. The sort of bad thing for a runner is heading to the finish line only knowing that you are still a far distance away from finishing your race. At mile 18 for the marathoners but is mile 12 for the half marathoners so it is close to the finish line, you have a turnaround again but this time on a beach path closer to the beach. In my opinion this is where the race starts feeling challenging, along with the weather getting warmer.
Mile 18.1-24 With this being the toughest part of the race, this is the part where you have to be smart. You have to maintain self-motivation and constant pace or even a slower pace just to maintain your nonstop run. At this point the sun will be out and all racers are feeling the sting of the marathon. It is a straight with little elevation change, and runs along PCH so it is almost the same course that you have done once already. At about mile 22 you will then do your final turn around and finally head back to the finish line for real. This is the big finish, stay motivated and keep reminding yourself that you can and will finish this race!
Mile 24.1-26.2 You have now made it out of the beach path and are now back on PCH. You have the finish line in your sights and you can see Surf City Shopping Center, you know you are almost done, all have to do is stay strong! Mile 25.5 their are many supporters of the race on your left and right sides cheering you on and watching you head to the finish! The Atmosphere is superb and you can feel the Runners High pulsing through your veins! People are cheering for you and you finally make it to the finish line you cross it with power and you cant help but breakout a smile at the finish! On top of that the cherry on top, the gorgeous unique medal that you will claim and wear with pride! You then get a goody bag full of food that will give you needed nutrients to help you regain your energy. Congratulations to completing the race!
The scenery of this race is amazing and the course is great for any runner on any level. This race is a Boston Marathon Qualifier and a part of the Beach Cities Challenge. Be sure to run the Orange County and the Long Beach Marathons as well. Southern California is full of great races for all runners.
Good luck out there and always remember to Fear No Distance Athletes!

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(2015)
"Fun Run or a Speed Run!"
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T-Shirts/SWAG
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Are you looking for a fun run in Southern California? Want to burn off those Orange County Fair fried food wonders calories? Want to experience the park in a new way and get an awesome medal just for having a fun?! Are you a runner that is just looking for a great race that is flat and try to get a PR in? The OC Fair Fun Run 5k is the race for all types of runners and walkers! Sponsored by the OC Marathon the OC fair has its own 5k every August. This race offers a fun run through the fair where you can play some games and go on slides during the race. This race also offers a cotton race shirt and an awesome Finishers Medal! This race is fun for walkers, joggers and especially the kids. Packet Pickup is the morning of the race. Parking is easy to get on the fairgrounds and police are their to help traffic move about nicely and steadily. This is a plus for any race. It is easy to pickup your bib for all bibs can be found in alphabetical order and an email is sent to participants of what number they are. Helpful volunteers are there to assist you and handout your bibs and race shirt. The race expo is also their with products and information of in the area and upcoming races. At the start line, it is a bit of a crowd to get in the corrals. So make sure you get in at least 10 minutes before race time. There is good start line music and start line announcers keeping the crowd excited and ready for the race to start. Also announcing Marathons and talking about the OC Marathon. Be ready to start right after the "Star Spangled Banner" Athletes!
Mile 1- The race starts out with a straight onto the major street around the fairgrounds. Use this way to gain your speed and keep a constant stride. It is a nice cool morning and you have room to run at your own leisure. Just enjoy the great workout and the environment of the race.
Mile 2- At this next mile you are starting to make your way into the fair, you run through the farm area, past the Hangar stage and you get to see the whole fair as empty as it is with no crowds. Continue enjoying the sights.
Mile 3.1- You are still running through the fair, at this part be sure to enjoy the free games and slides in the fair. Expect to wait in lines however. It will be okay if you are not running for time. If you are running for time, this is a great course to run for a PR, this course is very flat with few turns. As soon as you exit the fair, make a full dash for the finish line! At the finish line you are welcomed back with an awesome medal!
Overall this is a great race for the whole family. If your in the area, you should look into this race. Also to add for your own medal collection. Be sure to check out the OC Marathon and the other Beach Cities Challenge Races as well. Until the Next Race Review always remember to Fear No Distance Athletes!

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