5 tips for OC Marathon Race Weekend!

I ran OC Half once. Back in 2017 I did the series challenge that started with Long Beach Half Marathon in 2016, but I continued on with Surfcity Half in 2017 and OC Half that same year. Now that was the only time I ever ran this race, and for some reason I never came back to run again. Luck would have it I might be working the expos this year rather than running!

Looking back into my 2017 OC Half, there are things I think worth sharing with others running this race Sunday. Even if you ran this course a lot of time, you might find something useful!

1. Got last minute Injury? You can defer to 2020!

I was at my car dealer trying to deal with my car issue and Jeff the guy who is super nice that helps me out all the time said he signed up to OC Half, but he has strained his calf and wouldnt be able to make it! If you have last minute injury like that, not all is lost – for an additional $40, you can defer your 2019 entry to 2020. If you are good at math, you would be like, hey wait, why did I pay $120, and then I am paying another $40. But that is how the race fees go and every one seem to have accepted that as a norm. But I think they usually open at $89 for next year, so you are kind of saving on your 2020 registration really rather than saving your $120 from this year. Does that extra $49 be of any interest to you? may be it does, may be it doesnt. You decide, but its good to know you have that option!

2. Avoid Paying for the $10 parking – Park at Fashion Island!

Out of all the races I have run, both Long Beach and OC Half are the worst interms of parking fees. The expo is at the OC Fair, and OC Marathon does force you to pick up bib the day before or Friday , (Since there is no race day pick up option), which literally forces you to make atleast two trips. With $10 parking fee,, that is about $20 total. IF you ask me, look for the Orange Coast College parking lot when you visit to pick up your bib, and the side streets and try if you can find yourself a spot, and walk across to the fair ground. ON the race day, go ahead and drive to fashion island and park there. There will be plenty of parking. You will be shuttled back to the fashion island after the race from finish line!

3. Remember the half marathon course is kind of down hill!

It may not seem like it but trust me. Most part of the OC Half course is down hill, except for few spots. So allow yourself to pick up a little more speed than you would usually.

4. Snap out of it after the mile 11 mini up hill!

The course mostly goes not too steep between mile 8 and 11. however right after the little downhill, comes a very gentle slight uphill at mile 11. When I ran this was the point I was out of it , and tired, and this hill did a number on me. I got into a pity party in my head and ended up slowing down more than I should have. All I can tell you is remember this hill that comes up after mile 11, and when your whole body tells you to quit, remember to ‘snap out of it!’ the race is almost over, and its nice flat run for the next 2 mile. That will get you to your PR or course PR I promise!

5. its usually nice weather even tho its May!

Marathon starts at 5:30 am, and half marathon starts at 6:30am, the times we usually use to for Summer races. What that really means to rest of us, the weather tend to be nice and cold for the most part of the race. When I ran back in 2017 there was rain. But I dont see rain in forecast, but the weather should be a perfect running weather!

Bonus Tip: No RACE DAY BIB Pickup, however you can have your friend pick up your bib as long as they have the hard copy waiver signed (which you can download (
https://ocmarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019-Final-OCM-Waiver-1-2.pdf ), and have your ID!

Registration is still open. and you should be able to register at the expo as well! Good luck with your OC Half or full if you do the full!

Key Information:

  1. Link to OC Marathon site:
  2. Addresses:
    • Finish Line and Expo for race day bib pick up:
      OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive ,
      Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    • Start Line(for half and marathon):
      900 Newport Center Drive – Newport Beach 92660
  3. Times:
    • Half Marathon : 6:30am
    • Marathon : 5:30am
    • Expo Hours for BIB pickup: Friday 4 to 8pm, Saturday 9 to 6pm. (No race day BIB pickup)

My Strava link from 2017:

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