I was part of the bike tour for this event and I have to say that I thought everything was perfect! It's awesome being the first one out of the course and seeing so many people up and helpful that early. Thank you to everyone that volunteered and offered support. You have no idea how much your cheers and encouragement helped as I made my way through the course!
I had a great time. Thanks to Cliff Bar for having the marathon pacing groups! What a great experience. I qualified for Boston!
The weather was PERFECT- overcast and drizzly. I was terrified last weekend when it was 90 degrees in Long Beach! What a difference a week makes.
I LOVED the course. It varied. The boardwalk was great. Hearing the ocean waves crash onto the shore was very relaxing. Super cool to have all of those college teams out to cheer us on when we weaved through CSULB campus! Please thank them for us. The high-fives and cheers really gave me a boost. I'll be BAAACK. I'd recommend this course to anyone. Fast and fun.
This year I did the bike tour (last year and ran the 1/2). I don't think they care much about the bike tour, we didn't get timing chips which shouldn't be a major expense as all of the timing equipment is out on the course. There were no photo line photographers and we didn't get the same great snacks the runners did.
The line for the foot bridge was ridiculous, please add more foot bridges in the future.
My first 1/2 marathon and I couldnt have picked a better one!! Had a great time,the crowd was wonderful,music was good, and so was everything else !!! Great itme see you next yr!!!!
I ran the 1/2 marathon yesterday...definitely some goods and bad about Long Beach worth noting
It was a fun course that snaked through town and along the beach. Things got a little cramped on the beach running paths (they weren't designed to handle that many people) but it was still nice.
The weather was ideal for running, mid 60s and overcast.
The expo was also set up well and it was easy to get my bib/shirt/goodie bag.
The pre-paid parking was efficient and I had no trouble getting to the lot and parking.
The technical shirts looked really nice, but they're too narrow of a cut. Their XXL was about the size of a regular XL shirt and I heard several people complain about them not fitting properly.
The wave start could have been handled a little cleaner. The volunteers didn't seem to know how to properly inform/corral the runners. It lead to some confused runners and a little bit of chaos.
The layout/execution of the post race party. It was spread out without any proper layout or organization. And worst of all was getting out of the party. The only real exit was walking over one bridge and it had about a 20-minute wait to use it. Not only is this very inconvenient (just ask the poor people who ran a marathon to stand for almost half an hour) but also extremely dangerous...what if there was an emergency? Can you say "stampede." This MUST be redesigned.
The bag check was a disaster. Bags were strewn everywhere without any logic. The poor kids working the booth just looked lost and without enough supervision. After 25 minutes of them being unable to find my bag, I stepped in myself and sorted for another 15 minutes before finding my bag (well away from where it should have been). This needs to be handled better. I do think it's funny that this was sponsored by an airline (Jet Blue).
I echo the issues posted about the horrendous LINES to get from the finish area over to the baggage claim area. Once I arrived (over 45 minutes later), baggage claim couldn't find my bag so I had to dig for it myself.
How do directors expect competitors to relax and enjoy post-race festivities when they cannot get to their sweatshirt to take off the chill? I find it difficult to lounge and socialize in sweaty workout gear when I'm shivering!
I did the LB Half Marathon in '05 and it was so much more manageable in terms of size and organizational structure. The event has grown significantly in 5 years which is good, but directors MUST keep the COMPETITOR in mind to make it as comfortable for us as possible. After all...it's about us, not the spectators.
Going forward I will not attend the LB Half...I will find smaller half marathons and stick to them.
I ran the 1/2 marathon. This was my second 1/2 marathon and I previously ran the full marathon a few years back. We love this race as there is always a lot of support on the course. Plenty of water stations, etc. Having said that, this year I noticed a definite lack of forethought regarding the finish line festival in that there was only one way back over to the downtown area and that was to cross a bridge over the course. We waited in that line 30 minutes and then it just got hectic with people cutting in line, etc. Also, moving the start line made for some confusion for those of us who have run this race previously since the change was not communicated properly. Also, PLEASE announce to walkers to stay out of the middle of the road next year.
The wave starts is a great idea - if you can separate the various waves!
You need to organize the waves so that there are entry points into the starting area with volunteers ensuring you are entering the correct wave... there were so many Wave 1 people who had to start in Wave 4 and that eliminates any possibility of a good start.
The race course, volunteers, first aid, water stations were all top notch.
The finish area was very weak - a bag w/ a banana and apple? seriously?
And then all the vendors with food that were for purchase was on the opposite side of the bag check... So, if your money was in your checked bag, you needed to wait 20 min to cross the bridge, get your bag, and wait another 20 min to get back over... no thanks... need some better logistical planning on that one.
I have run or walked this marathon as a both a full and half since 2005. This is a wonderful course that highlights the best parts of the city. This year I ran the half. The medal is their best yet.
The pre-race and expo are great. The pre-paid parking was also a great idea. I purchased a parking permit the night before, was emailed a receipt and used it as entrance to the lot. Post race, me and other runners found that the pedestrian entrance/exit of the underground lot was closed. We walked around to 3 other car entrances to see them closed also. We finally found one car entrance that we could walk down the ramp into the lot. This was not identified well and was not expected. To improve, information about lot entrace/exits should be included with the permit or at the time of entering the lot. The park above the lot was filled with homeless people (no biggie, I gave them my post-race food) and gang members (not so much fun).
As this event keeps getting bigger, 2 big problems emerged (as was clear at yesterday's race). There were not enough portapotties for that many people, so quite a few could not get into their waves on time. There was no way to move up to your wave as there were no paths for people to get by. And above all, the line to get over the bridge back to the Convention Center was ridiculous! I finished the race at 9:18 and got in line right away. I got back to my car (which was parked at the Convention Center) at 9:56, so I spent over 30 minutes just waiting to cross the bridge. With so many people, they needed multiple pathways to cross.
The event itself was great-perfect weather, wonderful volunteers, great course. It's my 3rd year running this, and this was by far the busiest and least organized.
This was my 3rd year walking the Long Beach Full Marathon. I really enjoy having the early start even though I can finish within the time frame, it just makes it a little more relaxing. This year there was concern over the walkers getting in the way of the runners and although I can understand the concern, some consideration needs to be placed on the locations that the runners are complaining about. Most of us tend to be courteous and stay to the right, but when you get onto the Beach path, it becomes to narrow and you are not just dealing with Marathon participants but this year there were several people in general walking or bike riding the path. Although it is nice to walk/run along the actual beach maybe the route needs to be reconsider in this area.
race itself was nice. getting to other side on bridge was terrible. it took over 2 hours to get my bag at the bag check when everyone got fed up and stormed the tent. all the volunteers who checked-in the bags in did a horrible job. (can't really blame the volunteers trying to find the bags, when everyone uses those red bags) they had at least an 1.5 hours to organize the bags. jet blue should be upset being associated with such a poorly run bag check. poor supervision overall.
It was my first marathon (age 44), I will be in the M-45-49 age group next year when I do it again. It was a perfect race (almost) for me, nice weather, great support from all the volunteers. I did miss my time by 5 minutes, but I am still very happy with my results. Thanks for the organizers and the volunteers and kudos to all the marathon runners.
Likes - Donut Holes by the Lakers tent and running through the Cal State Long Beach university with the students cheering us on through the marathon, energetic announcer, instructions for walkers to not group in packs of four and to stay to the right.
Opportunity for Improvements - Walkers and half-marathoners should start at 6:30AM. Marathoners should start at 7:00am. The congestion of all the half-marathoners is not good as there were so many marathoners that had to push their way (RUDELY) through crowds of people to get to their appropriate waves. Waves should be blocked off with rope with only specific entry on the side. Powerade, Cytomax, or Gatorade should have been available at each water station. It was not even at the ones listed and advertised in the guide. Mile 8 and 10 volunteers did not have it ready and were surprised that we were looking for it. Unacceptable! One line for pictures was incredibly terrible. It took too long to get out of the finish line area. After running 26.2 miles, you should not have to do more walking unnecessarily and then climb up steps to go out of the only exit.
This is my third event at Long Beach and it's a very good event. The expo is the best compared to the others that I have attended. The course is scenic and the post race festivities are great. However, the organizers need to solve the problem at the start line. There were only 6 waves and very few people were in their appropriate wave. They should set up about 20 corrals and have them start every 3-5 minutes. It took me about 2-3 miles to get some running room.