Ventura Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

Hello everyone!

I ran the Ventura Half Marathon this past Sunday.

As with all of the races that I have done this year, I love to share my review of each event.

So, let’s do this!

The Ventura Marathon offered a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Century Bike Ride and a 5K.

I paid about $85 for the Half using a discount code that I found a few months ago.


The race’s swag was awesome and went right along with the race’s “Beach Party” theme!


They gave all the runners a neat reusable shopping bag (top left) and the bib (bottom left) was one of the coolest I have seen.

The race medals (bottom right) were awesome too (and also double as a bottle opener!)

The race expo was great… larger than most.

ProCompression, Addidas and Altra were there- as well as lots of food vendors and other race vendors (Santa Barbara Marathon, Los Angeles New Years Half Marathon and Surf City.. to name a few.)

After picking up by bib at the expo, I spent the rest of the day relaxing and resting for my race the following day.

I stayed at the Embassy Suites, Mandalay Beach, which was a treat!


The hotel is right on the beach!

Before I went to sleep, I laid out my race outfit…


and prayed for a good nights sleep.

As per usual, I slept like crap.


I woke up bright and early at 4 AM and quickly got caffeinated.


After a few dozen cups of coffee, a bonk breaker, a banana and a protein shake…

I was ready to rock!

I felt great going into the race and was hoping to finish in at least 2 hours and 15 minutes.

As you can see, I had my 2:15 PaceBand on as a reminder of my goal.

After barely making it to the start at the gun time, (thanks to road closures and a full parking garage), I was stressed!

I managed to push it all aside and reminded myself that I was going to do great.


Β  The course runs from the Ventura Pier towards the Oxnard Harbor and back.

I kept looking at my watch to try to keep up with my PaceBand (which was extremely helpful).

I felt great!


The race website boasts a pancake flat course, and notes the highest elevation is 50 feet.

I can definitely attest that there are no HUGE hills, but the middle 6 miles are a steady stream of small rolling hills.

It began to get hot at 7:30 am, and by 8 am it was about 80 degrees.

No thank you.


Up until mile 7 my Garmin was ON TARGET with my PaceBand and the mile markers.

And then something strange happened.

My Garmin and the mile markers were all of a sudden off by almost .6 of a mile.

I ran next to a lady at mile 10 who confirmed that her watch matched my mileage…

Apparently, the mile markers were over a half a mile off.

No, it wasn’t a joke.

Anyway, my legs felt great and I wasn’t very tired.

All of my hill training and speed work were really paying off!

I decided that I was going to ignore the mile markers and run my own race.

I was able to sprint to the “finish”!

Another reinforcement that alllllllll of my hard work is paying off.


I ended up run/walking the “rest”, but was so proud of myself for running my fastest race of the year.

Chip time: 2:20 something
Adjusted time (according to the Ventura Marathon): 2:13.34
Ashley’s watch time: 2:13.56

The time I am going with: 2:13.34

Overall, I thought the race was well organized and the race swag was great.

However, I am extremely disappointed that the race was over a half a mile too long.

After my horrendous experience running the Shoreline Half Marathon and now this- I doubt I run this race again, or any other race in Ventura for that matter.



14 thoughts on “Ventura Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

  1. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    Congrats on you time- that’s awesome! I ran Ventura last year and was disappointed with it. Granted I had a major blow up but over all the race was just meh. The expo was tiny too. However I will say that the medal you got this year was awesome!


    • RatherBeRunnin' says:

      Wasn’t it!! I know they really tried to up their game and although their SWAG was great…. the fact that the race was longer than it should have been because of someone’s mistake, kinda ruined the experience for me. Anyway, thanks!!! And on to City to the Sea! πŸ™‚


  2. fionajarrett says:

    Well done on a great race. I’m not very good at sticking to goal pace, particularly towards the end but you did great & stuck with your pace band. Awesome work! I love that there was a beach nearby to chill out on beforehand too. Very relaxing & a nice little bonus πŸ™‚


  3. clepcoach says:

    Great job! Hoping I’m brave enough to push on and train for a half-marathon next year. πŸ™‚ Do you ever find running lonely? I keep hoping I’ll find a friend with similar goals who will want to train together but it’s not panning out…it’s easy to come up with an excuse not to begin.


  4. wanderwolf says:

    A great race! Congrats on making your goal. But I wouldn’t be too quick to toss the distance out the window. If it’s a certified course, then the mileage they set up is something to trust over an individual GPS. Certified courses get measured in many ways while the Garmin (or other GPS) could be slightly faulty.


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