Since I have gotten more and more into running, I’ve come to realize that although there are many reviews of certain racing events, some of the less popular ones don’t have enough informative reviews. So, I have decided to create a review from my perspective on the running events that I participate in.

Now for a disclaimer: This review is only my opinion on how the race was and was organized. I do not consider myself an elite runner. I just started seriously running in March of 2012, so I’m hoping to improve as I continue to run. So the perspective I come from is from an everyday runner.

Surf City Marathon 2013

I decided to run the Surf City Marathon because it was right in my backyard, and I have to admit it had one of the coolest medals I’ve seen. I kind of had a shorten training schedule of 2 months, so my goal was to finish under 5 hours which i was very glad I was able to do.

The Surf City Marathon is hosted on Super Bowl Sunday every year, and it is an awesome way to start off the big game. Since its in Huntington Beach, CA, the weather was pretty much perfect throughout the day. They do have a time limit for the races, but I do not remember the time limit. I’m not sure how parking for the event is because I got dropped off by my girlfriend early in the morning, but from what I hear they did have shuttles if your car is too far away. I wasn’t able to check out the expo the day before because I was out of town, but from a quick look on the morning of the race, it seemed pretty cool. There are normal restrooms from the beach that people could use before the race as well as some extra porta potties for the large crowds.

imagewaiting at the starting line

The organizers made separate carols depending on what pace a runner runs, and if you feel like you should start slower than the pace your signed up for, you can. The race also had a bunch of pacers with different times. For each pace there was two pacers. I did hear one complaint that after the 4:40 pacers there were no other available pacers until the 5:00 pacers. I decided that the 4:40 pacers was the group I was going to follow, and I have to give credit to Marie Bartoletti. She was the most energetic pacer that I saw that day. The entire run, she talked nonstop about one of the many events that she has experienced, with funny stories to keep runner’s minds off the race. Every mile marker she would say, “DO you see what I see? Mile Marker Number _. 3, 2, 1..” and everyone would respond with “4:40 rocks!” She was an amazing person to run next to, and I’m a bit disappointed that after mile 21 I couldn’t keep up at the 10:40 pace anymore. From what I saw of the official race times, Mary and the other pacer, who unfortunately I wasn’t able get the name of, finished at 4:39:20, so she is a great pacer.

imagethis is on Goldenwest in between the two sides of Huntington Beach Central Park

map of course

The course starts off on the Pacific Coast Highway just a little bit past Main Street and goes through Huntington Beach Central Park. Other than a small bit of running through some residential streets, the course is pretty scenic since most of it is on PCH and you get to see the waves crashing onto the beach. It is a pretty flat course with just one or two small hills you have to go up. The lanes are nice and wide so runners have plenty of space to pass people if needed. The course does wind back and forth a bit, but that is not a huge issue for me. They also had music and bands placed randomly on the course to keep runners entertained. There were a total of 14 aid stations, with most having bother water and vitalyte. Some had Cliff shot blocks and towards the last half of the marathon, they were handing out bananas as well.  They also had quite a few medical stations along the way in case runners got hurt. One thing I loved was the amount of porta potties they had a long the course, because surprisingly I needed to use them a lot. I ended up over hydrating myself in the beginning so I was glad to have somewhere to use the restroom. Better over hydrated than the opposite.

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the finish line


Crossing the finish line felt like a huge accomplishment for me. It was nice hearing the announcer even calling out my name and my finishing time of 4:48:35. I kind of wished I had the whole 4 months to train to get my time closer to 4:00 but that was my own fault. The race had plenty of volunteers at the end handing out goodie bags of food and water as well as the medals. They also had photographers everywhere throughout the race taking pictures for your memories if you choose to buy the pictures. Overall, I was very happy with this race being my first marathon, and I plan on doing this one again in the future.

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supportive mom

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supportive girlfriend


I would highly recommend anyone to try this race.

Course: Flat course with a couple of hills. Very scenic with the beach view and it is cool to run on PCH. According to my GPS, the run was 26.37 miles long, so it was pretty accurate. However, one mile (I believe it was mile 18) was a very, very long mile.

Aid Stations: Plenty of aid stations that provided water, Electrolytes, and food. Each stations had plenty of supplies and cheerful volunteers.

Organization: Very organized. Everything went very smoothly and for me, there were no big problems. For leading half marathoners, they had a Lifeguard truck and bikers clear the way ahead of them, which I thought was a good touch. It is also apart of the Beach Cities Challenge, where if you run Surf City, Long Beach, and the OC marathon or half marathon in a row, you get a special medal.

Atmosphere: A very great atmosphere. There were many spectators with some awesome signs (my favorite was “I trained all year to hold up this sign”). The best was running by the RV lot, where they had an “aid station” of beer shots and bacon bits. If wasn’t trying to finish under 5 hours, I probably would have taken them up on it.

Value: It is a bit pricy at $120 (if i remember correctly), but I think it was worth the organization and fun of the race. It also included your race bib, disposable timing chip, a long sleeve technical t shirt, a reusable shopping bag, and of course the awesome medal. There is also an official finisher certificate you can print online that is included.Overall, I think its worth the price.

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technical t shirt, medal, race bib, and the shopping bag

finisher’s certificate

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Close up of the awesome medal

Since I have gotten more and more into running, I’ve come to realize that although there are many reviews of certain racing events, some of the less popular ones don’t have enough informative reviews. So, I have decided to create a review from my perspective on the running events that I participate in.

Now for a disclaimer: This review is only my opinion on how the race was and was organized. I do not consider myself an elite runner. I just started seriously running in March of 2012, so I’m hoping to improve as I continue to run. So the perspective I come from is from an everyday runner.

This review does not have that many pictures, since I never thought I would be doing reviews. I promise future ones will have more pictures of the event.

Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Dana Point Turkey Trot 2012

Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks for everything in your life, and it is also a day for tons of food. When I heard about the Dana Point Turkey Trot, I thought, why not get a good run in before eating tons of food with the family. So, I decided to participate in the 10k and the 5k of the Turkey Trot, especially since it was only $5 dollars more to run both events.

This is the 6th year that Dana Point has done a Turkey Trot, and it is a pretty popular event. Parking instructions were a bit confusing, but it was nice to have the parking not too far away from the finish line. However, it was a bit confusing if I was allowed to park where I left my car. There wasn’t any signs telling me where I should park if I was running the Turkey Trot. When I looked around, I could tell there were a few people confused about it as well.

Picking up my packet was very quick and easy at the expo, and they were very organized on how to pick things up. The expo is on the smaller side, but still had some neat things. There were plenty of porta potties to use before the race started.

The way the Turkey Trot organized its event was the 10k started at 0700, then the 5k Masters at 0830, the 5k Open started at 0930, and the Mission Hospital Kid’s Gobble Wobble one mile started at the 1015. I wish that they started the 5k Open right after the 10k instead of nearly 2 and a half hours later and I’ll explain why in a little bit. The race was a timed event and they provided timing chips. If I remember correctly, there was no time limit.

There were no specific carols, but they did separate people into waves. One of my biggest gripes in the way they organized the run was the enforcement of some of the rules. They state on their website that strollers should be in the back of the race for safety reasons, but no one really enforced it. At the start of the race, with everyone rushing out of the start line, I saw a few problems with people trying to dodge people with strollers and even a couple of falls.

The course itself is a pretty decent course, being pretty flat, but very narrow. There were quite a few areas where runners were being bottle necked especially on the bridge. During the 10k, it wasn’t as big of a deal since there was far less people. However, during the 5k it became a big issue for the faster runners on the bridge. Many people wouldn’t follow the signs and cones telling them to keep left and would cross to the other side where faster runners who were making their way back would run into them and be forced to dodged them. Even slower runners like me still had a problem of dodging people who were not running to the left. The mile markers were pretty accurate and the course was pretty close. For the 10k, my Garmin Forerunner got 6.29 miles and the 5k total was 3.14 miles. Aid Stations supplied only water. For the 10k there were 3 aid stations while the 5k had 2. They were evenly spread out throughout the course.

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At the finish line, they handed out some food, waters, and awarded your medals as well. Now here is why I wish they held the 5k Open first. The hour long wait to run again was a bit too long for the people who were running both events. I thought it was too long of a wait and it was hard keeping my muscles warm. The main problem though was for people running in the 5k Masters. A few people I know who were running it said it was way too congested because people from the 5k Open would just run in the Masters carols. It messed up their goal of trying to get a PR for the 5k and running for the prizes as well. I think if they switched the Open to right after the 10k it would help clear up the 5k Masters and allow runners who want to leave sooner achieve that goal.

This was my first timed event, and overall I was pretty happy. I would probably do the 10k again, but I’m still not sure if I would do the 5k again.

Course: Very flat course with not too much scenery. However, it was pretty narrow in a couple of spots, forcing runners to bunch up together at some points. On the bridge, runners would cross over to the other land and block incoming runners who are faster.

Aid Stations: There were 3 for the 10k and 2 for the 5k. They served only water.

Organization: I think it could be better organized. Although getting in and out of parking was very easy, I didn’t really see any signs that really showed if I was allowed to park where I did. Switching the 5k Open and Masters around would make it a better overall experience for everyone, and enforcing the rules would make it a bit safer.

Atmosphere: It was a very fun atmosphere. The organizers had a local high school marching band playing at the start/finish line. They had a costume contest to make the run a bit more festive.

Value: For $40, I was able to do both the 10k and 5k. To do both only cost me five extra dollars and it was a great deal. The race packet included a pretty cool technical t shirt, a race bib, disposable timing chip, and 2 medals (one for each event).

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So this is my first review of pretty much anything, so I apologize if it is not the best review in the world. Since I have gotten more and more into running, I’ve come to realize that although there are many reviews of certain racing events, some of the less popular ones don’t have enough reviews. So, I have decided to create a review from my perspective on the running events that I participate in.


Now for a disclaimer: This review is only my opinion on how the race was and was organized. I do not consider myself an elite runner. I just started seriously running in March of 2012, so I’m hoping to improve as I continue to run. So the perspective I come from is from an everyday runner.

Now on to the review of the Orange County Color Run 5K 2012:

imagestarting line

The Color Run was actually the event that got me into running in the first place. My girlfriend wanted to do it with her sorority and invited me to come along and so I did. If you have never done an organized running event before, this is a great one to try first. I would consider the Color Run more of a fun run that an actual race. There is no pressure to finish at a certain time and they have no timing chips. It is all about just having a great time. They had only one rule: Everyone has to wear white! Of course, if you don’t wear white, they won’t kick you out, but I do recommend following this rule since it makes it more fun to get color thrown at you. At the event, there were tons of people that were there just to have fun.

imageMy girlfriend and I before the race

imageeveryone waiting for the run to start

The basic concept of the Color Run is that at every kilometer marker, there is a different Color Zone where very cheerful volunteers throw colored powder at the runners. The closer you are to the volunteers, the more color you will get thrown on your body. They also, aim low in order to prevent getting too much on your face. Now, the powder is harmless, but I would highly recommend some sort of eye protection like sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes. One warning: keep your mouth closed when you go through these zones! I was yelling and crouching low when some got into my mouth and that definitely was not a pleasant experience.

imageThe colorful finish line

Its been a year since I ran the Color Run, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but if I remember correctly there was only one aid station and it supplied only water, but for a 5k race that is all you really need. They also had water and some food at the finish line, but don’t expect too much stuff.

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I found the course to be a pretty wide open course since it was at the Great Orange County Park. However, according to Runmeter, the 5k was very, very short. It showed the course as a 2.72 miles long, nearly .5 miles short. Now this could be a glitch from Runmeter or maybe it didn’t start tracking like when I told it to, so I wouldn’t be too worried. Plus, like I said before, I would consider this more of a fun run.

imageAfter the Color Run

At the end of the run, they had the usual photo area where you can take pictures, as well as a little concert. Every 10 minutes, they would do a powder through where everyone counted down to through the packs of powder they provided with the entry fee and then throw them in the air. To clean off, they had guys with leaf blowers to get most of the color powder off, but be warned you won’t have all the color completely off. My running shoes for the rest of the lifespan had a shade of pink to them that would not come out.

imageThe color toss

Overall, this was a great event to have fun and if you want to try to get someone into running, this is a great one to get them into the sport. I am very glad I did it and I would definitely do it again.

Course: Pretty good course. Very flat with no hills. It was a little short to my GPS, but it could be a glitch on my part.

Aid Stations: Just one that supplied water. But, for a 5k I think that is more than enough.

Organization: For the amount of people at the event, it was pretty good. I would highly recommend getting there early. The line to get into the parking was extremely long. For the start of the race, there were no specific carols. They did a good job of staggering the waves. There was plenty of porta potties for everyone to use.

Atmosphere: Very fun atmosphere, with a little concert at the end.

Value: For $35, it was a great price I thought. Included in the fee was a cotton t-shirt, racing bib, a sweatband, a small tattoo, and one packet of color powder.

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I would highly recommend this race.

Feedback is greatly appreciated