Distances
Cowabunga Beach Challenge
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This year, compete with your friends, family, and fellow runners in a 1-mile timed run in the award-winning sands of Huntington Beach on Saturday, February 1st, 2020!

Start time: 11 a.m. for all participants.

BIB PICK-UP:

All Cowabunga Challenge participants* will need to be checked in at the Surf City Active Lifestyle Expo:

Friday, January 31, 2020 – 1PM to 7PM*
Saturday, February 1, 2020 – 10AM to 11AM*

*Expo hours may change.

PERKS:

All Cowabunga Challenge participants will receive:

  • Commemorative Bib
  • Participant Cape
  • Finisher’s Medal
  • Complimentary Beer (21+ only)

 

Participants who are completing the Cowabunga Challenge on Saturday, Feb 1st in addition to a race on Sunday, Feb 2nd, will receive a special commemorative item.

It's Back! Join us for the 5K!
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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 for the 2020 Event once again. This is a timed-course.
Each participant will receive a Unisex-sized tech shirt, Medal and celebrate in our Sand Bar!

Important: the 5K Distance does NOT apply towards the Longboard legacy program, Beach Cities Challenge, Double Dog Dare or any other challenges. You MUST enroll in the half or the full marathon to maintain your challenge status. 

Half Marathon
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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 runners in 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 30 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 Half Marathon participants need to complete the course by 1:30 p.m.

Course Highlights

– Participant Limit – approximately 17,000

-Check out the course, here!
– The course time limit is approximately 5 – 5.5  hours – runners must finish by 1:30 p.m. regardless of your wave start time.
– Snail’s Pace Pace Groups available. Please see our FAQ page for pace times.
– Aid Stations include water and Nuun electrolyte.  See our FAQ page for Honey Stinger 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!

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. You’re bound to see local surfers catching waves 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

– 5K and Half Marathon Pushrim and Handcyclist Wheelchair Start Time 6:28 a.m.
– Marathon Start Time 6:30 a.m.

-Check out the course, here!
– Participant Limit — approximately 2,500
– The course limit is 6 hours, a pace of about 13:43 per mile. The finish line closes at 1:30 p.m.
– A Snail’s Pace Pace Groups available. Pace times can be found on our Faq page.
-Aid Stations include Water and Nuun electrolyte. Honey Stinger 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 for a few stretches. 

Important Note to Pushrim Athletes:  If you are joining us as a Pushrim athlete and would like additional information on course safety, please email us at runsurfcity@motivsports.com. We will be happy to assist you.

Become a VIP

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 and available to a limited number of runners. Our velvet rope VIP experience includes:

  • Surf City Marathon or Half Marathon entry
  • VIP Express Packet Pick-up at Expo or Race Day Packet Pick-up
  • VIP Hassle-Free Parking all weekend
  • Unlimited VIP Lounge access on race day to include:
    • Pre and post-race food and beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
    • Private VIP restrooms
    • Private post-race massage
    • Private Gear Check
  • VIP Gift

Virtual Run
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The Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon is excited to bring the Virtual Run Option back to the 2020 event.

Virtual Runners’ Post Race package will include:
– Official Event Bib
– Official Finisher Shirt
– Official Finisher Medal
When you sign up for the Virtual Race option, you will need to complete your virtual distance on your own, and submit proof between January 26 and February 9, 2020.

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 2, 2020?
Switch to the Virtual Race!
Runners who signed up for the traditional course race can switch to the Virtual before February 9, 2020. Runners who decide to transfer from the course race to the virtual race must submit their request by February 9. 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, log into your myevents.active.com account, make the category change to Virtual.

Virtual Race Rules:
– Proof of your run must be submitted between January 26 and February 9, 2020 to runsurfcity@motivsports.com.

– Your finish time will not be posted on the Results Page.
– Bib, Shirts, and Medals will be mailed to the address listed on the registration form. Items will be shipped on February 10, 2020.
– We will mail out outside of the United States for an additional fee. Please email us at registration@motivsports.comfor more details.
– The Virtual run option will allow you to maintain your legacy status or maintain your status within the Beach Cities Challenge.
– Virtual Race registration is required in order to participate in the program.

#RunThisBeach Feb 2, 2020!
Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon

The biggest party on the beach returns on February 2, 2020! Join us for SoCal sunshine, Pacific ocean views, and a post-race beach party you don't want to miss!

Register Now

Event Partners

We’re proud to partner with these great brands to bring you an incredible event experience. Whether you’re drenched in sweat, dressed in costume or immersed in music, you've worked hard to get there and deserve to have the best time possible.
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