Distances
Half Marathon
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Surf City Half Marathon – California’s Classic Favorite

This award-winning course is considered one of the best half marathon courses in the country. As our most popular track, it is well known for being scenic and flat. Runners come from all over to experience this exhilarating run. Start along Pacific Coast Highway and pass by the famous Huntington Beach pier. Enjoy the beauty of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands as you start your turn. Kick it up a notch for the crowds at Main Street on your way to a monumental finish line moment!

More than 2,000 volunteers and several bands will be along the way cheering you on and making sure you have plenty of nourishment and energy!

Half Marathon Wave Start

In a wave start, runners start in groups of approx. 1,000-1,200 at 2-3 minute intervals. Groups are organized according to their individual predicted finish times. This way you can run with others who are similar in speed. Please note: there may be approximately 45 minutes between the first wave and the last wave. You should arrive at the start line in time for your wave start interval. A wave start will allow you plenty of space along the course, at the aid stations and at the finish line, without affecting your chip time. All 1/2 Marathon participants need to complete the course by 1:30 p.m.

Course Highlights

– Start Time 7:45 a.m.
– Participant Limit – approximately 17,000
– The course time limit is approximately 5 – 5.5 hours – must finish by 1:30 p.m. regardless of wave start time.
– Pace Groups available
– Aid Stations include fresh water, electrolyte sports drink, energy foods, and snacks
– Official finish times, finisher medals, and post-race refreshments cannot be guaranteed to any participants finishing over 6 hours
– USA Track & Field certified
– An early start is not available
– Highest point less than 100′ above sea level
– Live Results

Description: Half Marathon by the Mile

Miles 1–2: Huntington Beach Pier & Main Street
Start on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel. Running north, the Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street are less than a mile away. At the 5K start banner, look to the left to enjoy the famous Huntington Beach Pier. Downtown Main Street is where you will likely head after your race to watch the Super Bowl in one of the many idyllic beach bars.

Miles 2–5: Seapoint View
Just past the second mile marker, at the first retro surf band station, turn inland on Seapoint and head toward Huntington Central Park. On this stretch, you will encounter the course’s only incline, between miles 3 and 4. Take your turn at the bluff, reenergize at the aid station and head down Seapoint back toward the ocean. Enjoy the ocean view all the way down to PCH.

Miles 5-7: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Just past mile five, take a right on PCH and absorb the energy from the ocean! Breathe in the fresh sea air as you continue north on the highway. The Bolsa Chica Reserve wetlands roll out to the right. This 300 acre ecological wonder is a sanctuary for wildlife and migratory birds. Bolsa Chica, along with the rest of Huntington Beach, CA, has some of the nation’s best birding! Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen in Huntington Beach. Sightings of great blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans are common; lucky bird watchers can even spot a rare white pelican at the right time of the year.

Miles 8-13.1: The Home Stretch
Just before mile eight at Warner, turn back south on Pacific Coast Highway. The blue waters of the Pacific Ocean stretch out to your right and you are getting your second wind. Feel the fresh ocean breeze and take in the spectacular view. It’s flat, it’s fast, and it’s all yours for the next five miles! Before you know it you are back at the pier, less than a half mile from the finish line. It’s a straight shot from there, and the finish line banner is just ahead. Spectators line the highway to cheer you to the finish!

Full Marathon
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Surf City Marathon Course Overview

This spectacular oceanfront course is an exclusive Southern California favorite! Run by the famous Huntington Beach pier and continue through scenic Huntington Central Park. Observe native surfers in their natural habitat as you hit the beachfront running path at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

More than 2,000 volunteers and several surf bands will be along the way cheering you on and making sure you have plenty of nourishment and energy! Where else will you get cheers from a surfer?

Course Highlights

– Wheelchair Marathon Start Time 6:25 a.m.
– Marathon Start Time 6:30 a.m.
– Participant Limit — approximately 2,500
– The course limit is 6 hours, a pace of about 13:43 per mile. Course closes at 1:30 p.m.
-Pace Groups available
– Aid Stations includeWater, Energy Gels and electrolyte replacement drinks.
– Official finish times, finisher medals, and post-race refreshments cannot be guaranteed to any participants finishing over 6 hours.
– USA Track & Field certified
– Official Boston Marathon qualifier
– Highest point less than 100′ above sea level
– Steepest course grade is approximately 6%
– Sunrise: 6:47 a.m.
– Average temp at the start: 48 degrees
– Live Results
– An early start is not available

Description: Marathon by the Mile

Miles 1–2: Huntington Beach Pier & Main Street
Start on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel. Running north, the Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street are less than a mile away. Look to the left to enjoy the famous Huntington Beach Pier. The next time you see it, you will be on the beachfront running path at mile 25!

Miles 2–9: Huntington Central Park
Just past the second mile marker, at the first retro surf band station, turn inland on Seapoint and head for Huntington Central Park. On this stretch, you will encounter the course’s only incline, between miles 3 and 4. But take heart; there are hundreds of kids at the park, waiting to cheer you on! They love marathon runners and get up early every year to come to the park, hand out water and yell words of encouragement! These will be your biggest fans!Feeding off energy from the kids in the park, head down Seapoint back toward the ocean. Enjoy the ocean view all the way down to PCH.

Miles 9–15: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Just past mile nine, take a right on PCH and absorb the energy from the ocean! Breathe in the fresh sea air as you continue north on the highway. The Bolsa Chica Reserve wetlands roll out to the right. This 300 acre ecological wonder is a sanctuary for wildlife and migratory birds. Bolsa Chica, along with the rest of Huntington Beach, CA, has some of the nation’s best birding! Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen in Huntington Beach. Sightings of great blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans are common; lucky bird watchers can even spot a rare white pelican at the right time of the year.

Miles 16–25: Beachfront Running Path
Starting on mile sixteen, the course leaves Pacific Coast Highway and continues on a beachfront running path paved right over the sand! These are the same beaches where the legends of surf movies and music were made. Observe local surfers in their natural habitat with the waves crashing just yards away. Run all the way back to the pier, where a crowd of spectators will be cheering from above!

The Last Mile: A Spectacular Finish
After turning at the pier, work your way up through the lifeguard station back to Pacific Coast Highway. As you come on to the highway, you will be less than a mile from the finish line. It’s a straight shot from there, and the finish line banner is just ahead. Spectators line the highway to cheer you to the finish line!

Things to Know
About eight miles of the marathon course runs on the multi purpose beachfront running path that winds through the legendary surfing beaches of Southern California. This public path is not part of the closed course and you may encounter walkers, bicyclists, and others who are not participating in the race. It is only 8 feet wide in some places, which is why we limit the marathon event to 2,000 participants. Special Note to wheelchair participants: The Multi Purpose Beach Path has a speed limit of 8 MPH that must be observed at all times. Most wheelchair participants select our Half Marathon course, which stays on the main roadways.
• An early start is not available

Become a VIP
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A First-Class Huntington Beach Race Experience!
You’re ready to race along one of Southern California’s most beautiful beaches… … and now you have an opportunity to do it in style! We’re rolling out the red carpet for those who want a little more luxury from their Surf City experience. VIP registration is open but available to a limited number of runners – there are only 100 VIP spots available and they’ll go quickly. Our velvet rope VIP experience includes:

– Your Surf City Marathon or Half Marathon entry
– VIP Express Packet Pickup at the Expo – no-wait, dedicated pickup table

OR

– Race Day Packet Pickup if you plan to arrive Sunday morning ready to run
– Personalized VIP Race Bib (when purchased before January 15th)
– VIP Hassle-Free Parking directly outside the Expo for both Saturday and Sunday (Race Day).*
– Unlimited VIP Lounge access on raceday
– Pre-race Energizing Breakfast Items served in the Lounge
– Private Gear Check with Pick-up at Finish Line inside the VIP Lounge
– Post-race refueling food and drink (an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available)
– Dedicated VIP entrance to the post-race Beer Garden, if you want to venture out of the VIP Lounge
– Private VIP restrooms with sinks!
– Heated seating areas
– Private post-race massage
– A special 2018 Surf City Finisher’s Jacket – delivered with your packet

All this for only $375! * Parking passes delivered directly to your inbox prior to race week for hassle-free printing. ** Surf City cannot guarantee sizes for the Finisher jacket on race day. Should your size not be available, we will be happy to mail it to you after the event. *** Kids under the age of 3 may join for free. Anybody over the age of 3 will need a VIP ticket to access lounge and amenities.

Bring a Friend
A VIP experience is more fun when shared with friends and family! Add a Guest (non runner) for only $75! Extend your five-star treatment to your VIP Guest (maximum of 3 guests per VIP runner). Your VIP Guest will receive unlimited access to the VIP Lounge to enjoy unlimited food and drink while you enjoy running California’s Classic Oceanfront Marathon or Half Marathon!

IMPORTANT: Guest passes are for Non-Runners ONLY. Runners will need to purchase the VIP Upgrade in order to enjoy the VIP amenities.

Already registered?
Upgrade your registration for only $275 and you’ll receive all the red carpet upgrades outlined above! Simply login to your Active.com account and select “Additional Merchandise”.

New! 5K option
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You spoke and we listened! Surf City is more than a race along Pacific Coast Highway. It is a annual celebration of our community, and we want to make sure EVERYONE can be a part of it.

We are so excited to bring back the 5K option for the 2018 Event. This is a timed-course.
Each participant will receive a Unisex Shirt and a Medal and celebrate in our brand new Beach Beer Garden!

The Kids' Cowabunga Beach Challenge - Surf City’s Kids Beach Run
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New in 2018! Introducing The Cowabunga Beach Challenge

The Cowabunga Beach Challenge is Surf City’s Kids Beach Run! It is a half mile adventure on the sand designed specifically for kids aged 5-12, with running, jumping, crawling, a little climbing, and a lot of smiling!

Each Little Challenger will receive a Cape and a medal. The Cowabunga Beach Challenge will be held on the sand on Saturday, February 3, at 10.30a. This is a non-timed event. So bring on the neighbors, the cousins and let’s make it a party!

Virtual Run Option
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The Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon is excited to bring the Virtual Run Option back for the 2018 event.

Virtual Runners’ Post Race package will include:
– Bib
– Official Finisher Shirt
– Official Finisher Medal

When you sign up for the Virtual Race option, you will need to complete the virtual 13.1 mile race (Half Marathon) or 26.2 mile race (full marathon) and submit a proof between January 27, 2018 and February 12, 2018.

Race Proof can be:
– Photo proof of your tracking device showing the date and distance
– Link to Garmin, MapMyRun, Nikeplus, RunKeeper, Runtastic or Strava tracking.

Already signed up but can’t join us on February 4, 2018? Upgrade to the Virtual Race option.

We understand that sometimes things might happen and you may no longer be able to attend the event. Login to your Active account and add the Virtual Upgrade to your current registration.

Virtual Race Rules

– Virtual Race Upgrade may be purchased until February 12.
– Virtual runners cannot run the Official Course race.
– Virtual Race Upgrade fees will not be refunded or transferred.
– Proofs of the race must be submitted by February 13 at the latest at: [email protected]
– Proofs of the race must match the registration name. i.e.: If You submit tracking from Garmin, Garmin account must be listed in your name and match the name on the registration record.
– Do not send any data before January 27, 2018.
– Your finish time will not be posted on the Results Page.
– Data / Race completed before January 27, 2018 will not apply.
– Runners who signed up for the tradition course race may be allowed to switch to the Virtual before February 13. Runners who decide to transfer from the Course race to the virtual race must submit their request by February 13. No transfer to the virtual race will be accepted past this date. There is a $35 transfer fee. Should you decide to switch to the virtual race, click here to login to your Active account and add the Virtual Upgrade to your current registration..
– Bib, Shirts and Medals will be mailed to the address listed on the registration form By February 19.
– We will NOT mail out outside of the United States.
– The Virtual run option will allow you to maintain your legacy status or maintain your status within the Beach Cities Challenge, Cal Dreamin’ Racing Cup and the Double Dog Dare.
– Virtual Race Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. No exceptions.
– Once we receive and accept your virtual entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot submit your proof in time, you may not transfer your entry fee to future races. – Virtual Race registration is required in order to participate in the program.

2018 Registration is Open!
February 2-4, 2018

Join us on February 4, 2018! Secure your spot to run SurfCity and join us for the Greatest Race on the Greatest Day in America!

Register Now

Event Partners

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