Remember, this is JMO
The OC Marathon was held on Sunday May 1st. There was a 5k, Half and Full Marathon.
The start for the half and full marathon was at Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach. There were 5 corrals (A-D), however, they were not strictly enforcement. Total honor code, yet, it was organized.
The race started late; I think the official time was 6:10 a.m. For the first 12 miles the half and full marathoners ran together from Newport, through Corona Del Mar, by Balboa Island, through the back bay to the Santa Ana Country club. The first 12 miles were GORGEOUS. Views of the ocean, bay, etc. Loved it. Tons of spectators and great support. It was HOT and the winds were picking up, but there were ample water stations and a good amount of shade! At mile 12 the half marathoners turned off to head to the finish.
From mile 12 on the marathoners were on their own. It was boring, desolate and well, crappy. While the volunteers were great, the sites of Irvine and Santa Ana were that of shadeless cement and closed businesses. Total ghost town. I am talking zero spectators and nothing to look at. Actually, I take it back, at mile 14 there was a Clif Block Party that had a balloon rainbow and 10ish people jumping and cheering. At 19 there was Kool N Fit spray. That stuff is AWESOME. It’s a spray muscle pain reliever that felt freezing cold on the legs. BONUS! After that the police officers blocking off the roads were runners BFF’s.
Around mile 23 runners entered a neighborhood where I counted a total of 6 spectators, one of which handed out oranges. Whoever you are, I love you. Those oranges were GOOD! Around 24 we headed onto a trail that was rocky with a bunch of flowers. It was HOT (in the low 80s) with wind gusts at 35 mph.
The last mile was crossed over a major intersection and entered Costa Mesa Fairgrounds where the race finished.
Overall it appeared that this race catered to the half marathon. From the course, to the spectators, to the finish, this is a great half marathon race. The second half is just blah, which surprised me. By the time the marathoners were crossing the finish line (after running through cement city) the main stage was empty, many of the vendors were out of products and it was dead. (By the way, this was at the 4 hour mark and there were still plenty of runners on the course! I can’t imagine what it was like for the 5, 6 and 7 hour finishers!!!)
Would I do it again? Not the full. However, I would definitely do the half!
Sorry for the lack of photos, I forgot the camera in my bag!!