Join us for the Inaugural Surf City Kids Cowabunga Beach Challenge!
The Cowabunga Beach Challenge is a 1/2 mile untimed fun run in the sand with a splash of obstacles. You’ll earn your cape and medal when you conquer the Cargo Net Crawl, Trash Can Slalom, Hay Bale Climb, Sand Pail Carry, Balance Walk and zoom down the Inflatable Slide for the Finale. Join us in the Kids’ Zone after you cross the Finish Line for Surf City inspired crafts and activities.
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
Challengers will take on the sandy course based on their age:
11-12-year-olds – 10:30 am
9-10-year-olds – 10:40 am
7-8-year-olds – 10:50 am
6-year-olds – 11:00 am
5 year olds – 11:10am
*Wave schedule start times are subject to change based on number of participants. Please arrive at least 1 hour before your child’s wave
*Adults will not be allowed on the course, except for 1 adult per 5/6-year-old participant.
* 5/6-year-old participants will have the option to participate in a shorter course.
*Siblings who would like to participate together must start in the youngest sibling’s age group.
*Socks are recommended.
*The event is untimed.
All Challengers will need to check in at the Surf City Active Lifestyle Expo:
Friday, February 2nd from 1:00 pm -7:00 pm
Saturday, February 3rd beginning at 9:00 am
*Challenger does not need to be present for check-in.
At Check-in, each registered challenger will receive their Bib and Special Edition Cape!
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 Sand Bar!
Important: the 5K Distance does NOT apply towards the Longboard legacy program, Beach Cities Challenge, Double Dog Dare or California Dreamin’ Racing Cup. You MUST enroll in the half or the full marathon to maintain your challenge status.
Surf City Half Marathon – California’s Classic Oceanfront Course
This award-winning half marathon course is one of the best in the country. Our most popular track, is well known for being scenic and flat. Participants come from all over the globe to experience this exhilarating run. Start along Pacific Coast Highway and pass by the famous Huntington Beach Pier while more than 2,000 volunteers and several surf bands cheer you on. Enjoy the beauty of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands as you start your turn. Kick it up a notch for the crowds as you zoom past at Main Street on your way to a monumental finish line moment!
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.
– Start Time 7:45 a.m.
– Participant Limit – approximately 17,000
– The course time limit is approximately 5 – 5.5 hours – runners must finish by 1:30 p.m. regardless of your wave start time.
– Clif Pace Groups available. Please see our Faq page for pace times.
– Aid Stations include water and Nuun electrolyte. See our Faq page for Clif shot zone location and mile-by-mile aid station info.
– USA Track & Field certified
– An early start is not available
– Highest point less than 100′ above sea level
– Live Results and Athlete Alerts
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!
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?
– 5K and Half Marathon Pushrim and Handcyclist Wheelchair Start Time 6:28 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.
– Clif Pace Groups available. Pace times can be found on our Faq page.
-Aid Stations include Water and Nuun electrolyte. Clif shot zone details can be found on our Course Map.
– 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 and Athlete Alerts
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.
Important Note to Pushrim and Handcyclist Athletes: Whether you select the 5k or Half Marathon you will be the 1st to start on Sunday, February 4, 2018, at 6:28 AM before the Full Marathon. Currently, the Full Marathon course covers a few unsafe areas (particularly for the public and Elite Handcyclists). So, for 2018 we kindly request you select our Half Marathon or 5K. Our team is working diligently to revamp the course and we look forward to its re-open in 2019. Thank you for your patience. If you would like additional information, please email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to assist you.
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
– 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.
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”.
The Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon is excited to bring the Virtual Run Option back to the 2018 event.
Virtual Runners’ Post Race package will include:
– 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 11, 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?
Switch to the Virtual Race!
Runners who signed up for the traditional course race can switch to the Virtual before February 11, 2018. Runners who decide to transfer from the Course race to the virtual race must submit their request by February 11. No transfer to the virtual race will be accepted past this date. There is a $10 transfer fee. Should you decide to switch to the virtual race, click here to login to your Active account, select “Purchase Additional Merchandise” and add the Virtual Upgrade to your current registration.
Virtual Race Rules:
– Virtual Race Upgrade may be purchased until February 11.
– 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 11 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.
– Please 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.
– Bib, Shirts, and Medals will be mailed to the address listed on the registration form by February 19.
– We will mail out outside of the United States for an additional fee. Please email us at [email protected] for details.
– 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.