This was my 108th marathon and my 12th time running LB. It is a well organized course with good support. The first half of the course is pretty while it takes you through the various shore areas. I do not like the change in the course after 16 where it is out and back until 21, it is rather uninteresting.
The only complaint is the announcer for the early start said they would have to cancel the early start in the future because people were blocking the way for the front runners. This irriated me. There are 90,000 people out there and we are just as important as the front runners who do not pay to run. The police escort makes sure we are out of the way.
This was my first LB half. I normally run the OC half and in comparison it felt overcrowded. I was making my way to the first wave of runners and felt like I was at a concert trying to get to the front of the stage. I encountered a lot of resistance. I finally gave up and settled into the front of the third wave. There should be more room at the start for sure.The course itself was nice. I run most it of daily so it was quite familiar to me. Plenty of water stations, although more energy drinks such as Powerade would have been helpful. I also appreciated the Clif stand around mile 10. The weather was awesome and the crowd was so encouraging and enthusiastic. The other awesome thing to note was all the food being offered at the finish. I was in carb heaven!!! It made me forget about my legs aching. All in all, a positive experience. Now that I know what to expect, I will plan to get there earlier to secure my spot.
This was my second half marathon at Long Beach and as much as I love the scenic route and the flat paths, I cant handle running around all of the walkers. I dont get the logic of registering for a half marathon if you're in no shape to even run past one mile! I saw some awfully large people that were just walking and chatting on their cell phone which is just plain rude and disrespectful to the serious runners. I'm having to use energy that I would otherwise use toward the end of the race to run like mad across grass and sand which is not good for the legs either. With the paths being so narrow its pretty hard to get around them easily. Either limit the number of participants and/or assign wave # so they have to be in the LAST wave if they plan on walking/slow jogging thru the race. Its just really unfair to the runners that have personal time goals and are much more serious about these events. I'd like to run a full marathon at this event next year but wont if this is the organization of the race again. Other than what was said above, I liked the organization of the post race set up, loved the goodies after the race and the volunteers did a great job!
The course was flat and fast, but kind of random for the marathon course. Overall support from fans, water, and aid were great.
The main problem for me was that the marathon combined back with the half marathon before the 24 mile mark. This meant weaving through densely-packed half marathon runners going half the speed. It seems that the race directors could fix this fairly easily utilizing the full width of the street and keeping half and full runners separated. It was very frustrating and I DO NOT plan on running this race again.
Also they need to have the starting waves roped off or otherwise separated. I had to climb the fence to get into my correct wave because you could only enter from the rear of the pack. Then many of the people in front had no business being up there. No one likes to spend the first mile or two weaving through slower runners. Also be prepared to run on a lot of concrete which is significantly harder than asphalt.
It was my very first Bike Tour, I had so much fun. The course was a bit challenging over the bridge, but over all, I enjoyed every mile. I would definitely do it again.
Thanks for all the volunteers!
See you again next year!
2nd Year Running the Long Beach Full marathon. I have completed 14 marathons and those include 7 different sites. Two things that marathons MUST GET RIGHT! Support on the course (H20) and support at the finish (Water, Fuel, First Aid).
This marathon went backward in one year's time.
Areas for improvement:
1. Water and Power Aid... Stations fairly frequent but more tables and support at each station would have assisted!
2. Organization at the beginning... Wave start, fences, crowding, and gear check were TERRIBLE!
3. Music and people support were weaker than in years past.
4. Finish line left a LOT to be desired! Bags of food were weak, table and support people were minimum.
5. First aid at finish poor! Took me 10 min to get an ice bag. I also like when races have support people with shrink wrap to hold bags in place.
6. Parking area access was weak with one bridge that had a huge line.
1. Expo had nice LBM branded clothing.
2. I thought that the mile markers looked cool and it was a neat idea to raffle them off.
My time improved by 16 min over my last long beach marathon but with the direction it is going, I do not think I will be back. Hopefully I will hear great things about next year. It felt a little cheap for the number of people and races going on. It may help them to eliminate some of the events and focus.
This was my first marathon and WOW! what an event. I was completely unprepared for the 18,000 or so marathoners and half marathoners and the multitudes of crowds lining the streets. Everyone was fantastic, great organization, great idea on the waves (since this was my first, I'm not sure if other marathons apply the same concept and if not, why?). The volunteers were fantastic, between making sure water, powerade and gel packets were readily available. The crowds were incredibly enthusiastic and the route was picturesque (I live in Portland, OR and was concerned I would be disappointed with the route, I was not).
I did spend the night in one of the local hotels. Since this was my first marathon, I wanted to avoid any of the worry related to logistics the morning of (I had enough on my mind without that). I ended up paying a few more dollars, but the peace of mind that it bought was well worth it (not worrying about parking, getting to the event, etc.).
The only bad was the JetBlue bag retrieval. I spend about 1/2 of my time in Buena Park and fly into Long Beach airport on JetBlue every other week (or thereabouts) from Portland, OR. I've never checked bags with JetBlue and after the experience at the marathon, never will. That was plain and simple a catastrophe. How could JetBlue let their name be associated with such a complete and utter breakdown in controls and management?
This was my first and I look forward to seeing you out there next year - targeting a sub-4.
It was a great event until I had to wait 30 min to get across the bridge just to wait another 1 1/2 hours to get my checked bag! Really? Jet Blue should be asking for their money back. That mess didn't help their reputation at all!
This was my first Marathon, and I've got to say that it was a blast! I love the scenery and the path, it was the perfect backdrop to the 26 mile ride!
The in-race set up was great with plenty of hydrating stations and plenty of supporters. The post race event were really great and well organized... However my frustration was the bridge... my friends and I waited over a half hour to get back over the bridge to leave! For the amount of people at the event, better planning of the crossover is definitely needed. I would strongly suggest either moving the post event boothes/tents to the Convention center side or putting more bridges in place.
Other then that... I had an awesome time!!! I will be back again next year!
I would love to give this a 5 star review because the course was great, the volunteers were amazing, the overall vibe was fantastic and the race itself was a great experience. However, and it's a huge however, as stated in other reviews here, the post-race experience was way more painful than the run. The pedestrian bridge, was, well, pedestrian and a total joke. I have to admit I cut in line and don't feel bad at all in doing so. Why was baggage claim, where many would have their cash stored (against better judgment, yes) on the other side of where many would want to spend their money? I, for one, absolutely had had it by the time I got my bag that had what money I was planning on spending and got the heck out of there as soon as I could. The The Jet Blue baggage check? What a cluster_____!! The lack of security and lack of organization made this a total disaster. For it to have been overrun by the runners thereby losing whatever organization this may have had was unacceptable. This needs to be re-thought out and quickly. Also, nobody, including those manning the Bike Coral seemed to know where those who rode a bike to run the race were to park their bike. I went up and down the area only to be told after 1/2 hour that the Bike Coral was indeed the place to store bikes for racer (this after being told it was not). Another thing, why did Long Beach Transit decide to charge fare for racers this year after not having done so for years? Anyway, I'll be back next year but will have no bag to check and hopefully things will be better.
This was my first 5K and on the whole it was a good experience. Having been emailed several times about traffic, we prepaid for parking online and found our way to Lot 3 with no problem. Didn't need police to direct us when the signs did a perfectly adequate job!! Waste of police time to do that, if you ask me.
Luckily I didn't have to check in any bags as my hubby held it and I had the presence of mind to use the facilities at the Renaissance (along with a few other runners) o my walk to the race, rather than using the portapoties!! Highly recommended!
The 5K also had wave issues. Walkers 4-5 abreast held up our start when they were asked and should have been at the back. Not nice!
Thanks for the medal - didn't expect that!!
Great Course along watrefront and then in through some nice neighborhoods and through the Long Beach State campus.
Awesome weather and support staff. Tons of Water/PowerAid and Cliff gel handouts along the way!!!
Best part...running through the students on Long Beach State Campus...sent chills throughout my body.
They were awesome...
also set PR of 4:05 in the marathon...next year i am aiming for a sub-4hr !!!
This was my seventh or eighth participation in this marathon and I am always appreciative of the organized effort. I thought the wave starts were an improvement although it was difficult for people who arrived late to move into their wave. I observed several runners needing medical attention and was impressed with the response they received. All in all a good effort.
Personally, however, there was one glaring problem: as soon as I finished the half marathon, I asked event staff where the California Dreamin' tent was located. No one could help me. After wandering around for 15 or 20 minutes (which is not very comfortable for someone who has just finished a marathon and is 78 years old), I found another participant with the California Dreamin' medal and he was able to direct me to the California Dreamin' tent. When I mentioned my problem to the staff at the tent, it was obvious that I was not the first to have this problem.
I LOVE the Long Beach Marathon! I started running 5 years ago. It was my first 1/2, my first Full, and this was my 5th year in a row running the event. By far this was the best year yet! Perfect Running weather, great support, fabulous Volunteers. A little crazy afterwards with the whole bridge thing. But fortunately I didn't check a bag so I figured out how to bypass the huge line.
Thank you to eveyone who volunteered, to the race director, and all the support!
It was WONDERFUL!
This was our 3rd year running this half-marathon, and getting to our wave was a mess! We had to press through 4 waves of people and then when we were packed in and ready to go we all had to squeeze together to make room for wheelchairs, that isn't fair for them or us, you need to have a route for the wheelchairs seperate from the other waves. Someone is going to get hurt climbing over the fence in order to get to their correct wave, I don't blame them I don't see why there couldn't be a break in the fence behind each wave.
After running the race we were all trapped! Why was there one way to get bags and back over to the parking lot and hotels. That was horrible! We ended up walking back about 1/4 mile along the race route and then had to cross runners to get back to the other side of the street....verry unsafe and silly. The Bubba Gump food distribution area was set up after the finish line and would not let any runners over there to cross back over the street behind the finish line...big mistake..this needs to be corrected or you are going to loose many runners next year and word of mouth travels fast among us!
The race route is great and inviting ,the mess before and after will keep any serious runner from returning! By the way You do NEED to have a walker wave...no exceptions no matter how fast they THINK they walk they need to be in the back!!!!! This becomes a safty issue or both them and us!