Surf City Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

Hello everyone!

Happy day to you.

Yesterday, I ran the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA.

As many of you know, this race has been on my bucket list for a while.

I registered for the race back in 2014, but had to DNS because of my stupid injury.

So, I was determined to vindicate myself.

The weather predicted unusually HOT temperatures on race day.

With a 7:45 am race start time, I was nervous about the heat.

If you have read my Shoreline Half Marathon race review, you already know how much I HATE running in the heat.

Hate, with a capital H.

Yes, I know, this is something I need to get over.

I will… some day.



Fortunately, my race outfit was perfect for the temperatures…

and I fit in nicely with the “beach vibe”, don’t you think?

I think so.

I drove down on Saturday morning and was able to check into my hotel early.


After some shopping, I headed over to the Expo to pick up my packet.

The expo was HUGE!

There were lots of big names there…

Running Skirts, ProCompression and Nuun, were a few of my personal favorites.

And, I may or may not have registered for the OC Marathon while I was there.


 I received a cute long sleeved tech shirt, my bib and a decorative race bag.


After the expo, I set my sights on dinner.

I wanted to eat early so my food had time to digest.

I drove around Irvine trying to find a Mediterranean restaurant, but every one I drove to was either closed or out of business.


I finally settled on a fancy Italian restaurant.


Don’t judge.

I was carb-loading.

Dinner was fantastic!

Then, I headed back to the hotel to lay everything out and get ready for my 5 am wake up call.

I woke up, as per usual, earlier than expected.


I got myself situated and headed over to the starting line.

I could not believe the number of people who were running this race.

There were atleast 15,000 people.

Woah dang.

I was instructed by my coach to run the first half at a 10 min mile pace and to run the 2nd half at a 9 min mile pace.

So, right out of the gate, I knew this could be a PR for me… ff I could just stick with the plan.

I knew that I could do it!


As you can see from the elevation chart, there is a fairly steady incline but it’s relatively flat-ish.

In my opinion, the course is more “rolling hills” than anything.

None of the hills were too difficult.

The ocean breeze was very welcoming as it started to get hot around 9 am.

There were aid stations at every mile (or so), which was very much appreciated.

Most races don’t have that many aid stations, so I was very impressed!

The majority of the race is along Highway 1 and the views are gorgeous!

Seriously gorgeous.

I enjoyed every second of this race.

There were a LOT of people, but it was well organized and staffed appropriately to meet everyone’s needs.

The race swag was great as well.

I loved the “I ran this beach” shirt, and the medal was HUGE!


I also received my California Dreamin’ medal… so I walked away from this race with some serious bling!

Finish time: 2:05:18

Aaaaaannnnnnd new post-injury PR for me.

I dropped 6 minutes off of my time from last October.

6 whole minutes!

Yeah baby!!!

I am so stoked!

I definitely plan to run this one again.

See you next year Surf City!


Let’s connect!


34 thoughts on “Surf City Half Marathon Race Review & Recap

  1. winnebago70x says:

    Great blog! Our house is in Dallas, but we’re hanging out in San Jose for a couple of years for work. We’d love to know your opinion as to which Central and NorCal Half Marathons coming up this Spring/Summer are your favorite–as you could tell from our Austin Half Marathon report at our, we prefer flat to hills! (Duh!)


    • RatherBeRunnin' says:

      Check out my race reviews! I am running the OC marathon in April, the sf marathon in July as well as rock n roll in SD and a few Wine country races! I have run LOTS of races in CA, so definitely Check out my reviews. I’m happy to offer any advice if you have specific weekends available to race,


  2. DoRunnersPooInTheWoods says:

    Wow what an amazing time! You must be thrilled with that!
    Comfortable run for you if you noticed scenery. 😉

    Loving the bling!


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