The Positive: Great course, Friendly volunteers, Price was reasonable. Nice expo. Great idea to have the pre-paid parking.
The Negative: Too much traffic (because of too many races going on in 1 day), Ugly dri-fit shirts(nasty gray and blue), goodie bags now are nothing but advertising papers. What happened to all the trial size products and discounts for runners? Also one of the big thinkg was the free pass to the LB aquiumm (good for only 1 week...are you serious that was very misleading and wrong!,
My biggest complaint is that after I run (and I'm slow but I run the whole time) I'm so sick of non runners and running club's taking all the FREE STUFF. All the pizza's/calzone's were gone and people had more than one (like 5-6 each). Come on people stop being sooooo greedy! The volunteers also had more than one and the running clubs had tents set up with 30-50 pizzas in them, they said they were saving them for their runners when they finished.
These runs have got to start having a better distribution so that the RUNNERS, not spectators and volunteers end up with all the stuff.
This is my third Long Beach Marathon (2001, 2009, 2010). I've read a number of the positive and negative comments so I will be brief:
1) I really like the course. It's scenic; shows off nice areas of the city; and is fairly smooth. There are some streets that could use some work.
2) Loved the hotel I stayed at - Westin. Right where you need to be and they accommodated a late check out.
3) T-shirt is nice. Good color, good design, and not white (not that I have anything against white) I have a lot of it...
4) Nice medal. Good design this year
5) Nice sponsors...willing to give away lots of coffee (Dom Francisco) and Cliff bars.
6) Portable restaurants. Good idea...forgot my money
7) Chocolate milk...good idea
8) Love the city. Been coming to events here since 1987. Man has it changed for the better.
9) Lots of porta johns.
10) Expo is okay.
1) My Garmin stated I ran 26.6. Hmmm? Really? I tried to hug the corners too.
2) Food...very bad. No bagels. Only a banana and a Cliff bar (Mojo). Good...but I want a bagel.
3) The start...pushy runners trying to get to the front...how do we fix this? Limit the field size? Start on a wider street?
4) Standing in line for a photo. Really? We just ran a marathon? We want to lie down. Minimize the lines.
5) No ice. A nice touch at the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon is ice wraps at the end of the race and a cold towel.
The run itself was great. The waterstops and volunteers were great. The bands, though they seemed few and far between, were great.
But the finish, what a complete "Cluster Flub". Why would you have the entrance and bag check on one side of the course and the finish area on the other side of the active course and only a tiny temp footbridge connecting them? We waited an hour for the line to start to go down but it still took 20 minutes to cross. And then the Jet Blue bag check was mayhem. Fortunately for me someone was able to grab my bag because it was up front, otherwise it would have taken hours to get retrieve. Oh and the Cal Dreaming tent was unmarked and at the back where it was almost impossible to find.
One more thing. The start was a mess as well. What's with the self seeding of corrals? That was stupidity at its finest. Pushing and shoving, and people climbing the fences. What a joke.
The organizers need to get their act together.
So I finished the Cal Dreaming series and I'm glad I never have to run LB again! Don't expect a return runner for this event.
And I intend to send a note to Jet Blue to let them know that they sponsored one heck of a mess.
After losing 100 pounds in 3 years, I decided I would start to events like this now and then. The bike tour was my first-ever event of any kind and I have to admit that I enjoyed it thoroughly. The course was great, well-marked, and volunteers were all fantastic.
My only complaints:
- The barricades on Shoreline Drive near the finish line. There was no warning and when you're nearing the end with the adrenaline pumping, swerving around barricades and slowing down is the last thing on your mind (at least it wasn't on mine).
- The sudden finish. Even with the barricades in place to slow you down, cyclists almost immediately had to stop once they crossed the finish line.
- Like Running Bull 2 stated, the course may have been a bit longer. My Garmin also read 26.6 miles at the end of the ride.
- Limited food choices. I ended up going elsewhere for a (cheaper) bite to eat.
Other than that, a great time for me. I will be doing it next year and look forward to squeezing more in between now that I've experienced the thrill of it all.
I second all the reviews! Been running since 1979. Even those early runs were better managed. I know it's hard to get volunteers but obviously more are needed. Make a donation to a non profit club and get their members to volunteer. The seed yourself wave start was a disaster. SF marathon had to show your number to enter your proper corral. No pushing and shoving. Could hardly believe that line to walk up and over the foot bridge. Beyond bad. Not sure that wasn't a safety hazard in itself? How about the elderly parents who could barely manuever it. The traffic getting out of Long Beach was beyond horrible. The one lonely police officer at an intersection off 7th street was not paying attention and not keeping the traffic moving.
I want to end on the good: The food trucks rocked! Glad you advertised it and I remembered to bring some $. What a treat Seabirds was. I liked getting a bag of food rather than everyone grabbing free for all (but I did miss oranges). The food at Buono's (sp?) was great and a deal for the price the night before. The course was interesting.
For all the other bad reviews, I agree and don't need to repeat. I would probably not run this again. I entered because of CA Dreamin series.
This was my first full marathon after running 4 half marathons. Overall I had a good experience with the race, which a large part of it was completing the race in a good time for me. The course itself was very nice and scenic, thought there was a good amount of water, powerade, and energy gel stations. The course entertainment seemed to be very few and far between. I actually really liked the pre-paid parking. I arrived early and had no problems parking, took a nap in my car before the race, and was able to get out of Long Beach very quickly.
My daughter participated in the Kids Fun Run on Saturday October 16th and she had a great time. I think some of the same organizational issues with this race happened in the full marathon. They had everyone sign up over the internet to ensure there were not to many people, however at the race all you did was sign a blank paper. The race was supposed to be 6 years and over so my 4 year old did not participate, even though I found out that many other 4 year olds just signed up on the day. It just seemed very disorganized in the planning, but my daughter had a blast and loved the medal she received.
The main issues that I had with the race was the following:
1. The post race food was very dissapointing. I desperately craved a nice big bagel, but it was not in there. There should have been more items in the bag.
2. Jet Blues Bag Check was the worst experience of all. I was dead tired and had to stand and wait for about 30 minutes before finding my bag. I waited a very short time because some how one of the workers found my bag amongst the pile of hundreds of other red bags. It got so bad the volunteers had to call over the LB Police to try to regain control.
3. My Garmin GPS watch showed a total of 26.6 miles, slightly longer than the expected 26.2
Even though there were some issues with the race, I had a great time. I would run this race next year.
I personally had a great time running this race, it certainly was the flat fast course that was promised. Beautiful views around the shoreline.
While the beach path was a nice thought, in practicality it isn't the most ideal. It is concrete the entire way which is a knee shredder. Besides that, it is just too narrow to handle the traffic. There is no room to weave around slower runners; you're trapped at the speed of the pack. A bit frustrating.
I'd rather run up and down Ocean Blvd than run on this beach path. The beach path may be the reason I would opt not to run this race again next year.
My husband and I rode in the Bike Tour which started at 6:00AM, an hour before the marathon runners took off. Typically there is a "bottle-neck" effect in most large organized bike rides at the starting point. This occurs when everyone is bunched up together trying to get out of the starting gate. Somehow, the L.B. ride managed to avoid that inconvenience by having us leave in waves. It worked! Take off was pretty smooth and the rest of the ride was awesome. Even though it's only a 26.2 mile ride, it's so worth the effort. The ride was well supported, there was staff/law enforcement at all of the intersections stopping traffic, we started the ride at dawn and got to ride next to the ocean and watch the sunrise, and the route was well marked. It was fun to roll in and receive a medal and a little fruit bag. Thanks, LBICB for hosting such a cool ride!
LB was the third marathon I have run in the last year. I LOVED this marathon. Outstanding crowd support, beautiful course that really is quite flat compared to the other courses I have run (including two great half marathons). Well organized - except for the Jet Blue bag pick-up, which was an absolute disgrace. The only other gripe I had was all the walkers at the end. After running 23 miles you don't want to dodge the walkers that are taking up the flattest part of the road. Maybe this race is trying to appeal to too many groups. Honestly, I thought it was very well done. (and the amazing weather was appreciated!)
It was my second marathon and I loved it. I think it was very well organized, I liked the snack bag at the end, there was plenty of space to sit after the race, and we didn't have any problems to get out. It was also nice that they gave out the warming "blankets" since it was pretty chilly. The volunteers were awesome and the course was nice. I didn't check any bag so I can't say anything about that. I also love the website it was very easy to read and I like the runpix results on the website it is a cool feature. I can't say anything bad about the marathon it was everything way better than the first marathon I did. I can recommend it.
This was my first event in Long Beach - nice course for the 1/2 marathon. BUT - since I had been in previous 1/2's and fulls, I had something to compare it to - this was my husband's 1st big event so unfortunately, he didn't know any different.
Bag check in and out was ridiculous - I have NEVER seen anything like it! Why in the world would the bag check in folks make you fill out ANOTHER tag with your bib number on it, when we already had an extra tag on our bibs?!? Why in the world did it take us 1 1/2 hours to get our bags at the end?!? Utter and complete chaos - I was tired, hungry and really annoyed! And the food - nothing to write home about. Now why would I want to drink a cold beer on an empty stomach?!? No bagels, no oranges - very disappointed at the post run food. I agree with one of the previous comments - so many of the spectators, and 5K participants got ALL of the food (like the pizza) with NOTHING left for the 1/2 and full marathoners?!? Don't think I would participate in this event again - as there was not much incentive.
This was the second time I've run this marathon. Last year went fine, but this year was a disaster with the number of problems in the start and finish area. The bag check needs a bigger area so bags can be kept in numerical order. The long wait because of the chaotic search for bags is unacceptable. The start areas need access from the side to avoid having to squeeze through thousands of runners in later waves. I missed the first two waves because people were packed in and either wouldn't or couldn't move out of the way. And what were spectators doing in the start area? The post-race food bag is a great idea that prevents people from taking enough to fill their pantry, but a banana, an apple, and two mini-size Clif Builder bars seems pretty skimpy. Was this to drive business to the food trucks? Get some food trucks with healthier food. The best part of the start/finish area was the good number of port-a-potties. This is a rarity at running events. Two on-course comments: 1 - Powerade sucks. This is a non-carbonated soft drink, not a sports drink. The second ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. 2 - The spectators, cheerleaders, and band at Cal State Long Beach are awesome.
Like the course, but agree that the bag drop/claim process needs improving. Felt sorry for the young people working the pick up--they were needleesly overrun. Having to stand in a long line to go over the single file bridge was frustrating. I don't remember that in '08. Liked the prepaid parking. Could of had better drinks at the finish. Keep spectators out of the wave ques. If the price doesn't go up I'll probably be back.
Pre-race, I had arrived early, so I had no trouble getting into the start area in an appropriate spot for my pace. The course itself was great - flat, scenic, and full of spectators and cheer-ers. Also, water and port-o-potties were plentiful. Post-race, I had an excellent massage. However, leaving the finish area via the brdige was an exercise in patience. I finally figured out that I could walk a loop around...but if I wasn't familiar with the area, how would i know this. Better direction here would have been great. Also, the bag check was chaos. I jumped in to help locate my bag, and it was found in some random location. Third, supposedly the Long Beach Bus system was free to bib-wearers, but when I tried to board post-race, the driver was adamant that marathoners were not free. So overall, I would run this race again, but I would hope the post-race logistics would be improved in the future.