Here is the summary and results for the 2021 Surf City Half Marathon. I’m keeping it short because I have a busy day at PB & JAM. Scroll to the bottom of this post for links to the race discounts page which I will be updating with more coupon codes soon.
OK. Let’s get started on step 1 of each race weekend – the race fair. This is where you get your race number (aka bib) and your “free” shirt (aka the $80 shirt you’ll never wear after race day). The best part about the show is that you can buy running gear at full price which you don’t have to use for the first time on race day. But, I like to believe that shopping helps calm the tension before the race, so go for it.
In fact, I’ve won the stand-up paddle in one of the fair’s draws for one year, so I really enjoy all the shows the race fair has to offer if you have time.
Surf City Half Marathon Expo. Browse City Half Marathon Expo
The Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon are set up in the Huntington Beach parking lot. A large tent is usually set up to pick up your number and shirt, and plenty of stalls display vendors selling the best running gear, snacks and supplements.
This year’s tents featured the pick-up, jersey and racing crest. All the vendors were lined up outside, and it was a better setting than usual because the weather was great. God bless California. The ocean recedes away from the parking lot but you can see it from where we were and feel the perfect ocean breeze. I wanted to stay and hang out but had to get in and out quickly.
I don’t know why but I was very tired the day before the race. So, when I got home from the fair, I walked over to Diego, had dinner and just chilled while watching Gossip Girl (the old series – I discovered it recently and I’m interested in it). I selected some running gear options, but didn’t do a ‘Flat Runner’ because I was turning down the power quickly and knew I had to decide exactly what to wear in the morning.
My running buddies and I decided to wear red, white, and blue in memory of 9/11 (which fell on race day). So, I took off my clothes that were in line with that and went to sleep.
Surf the city Morning Half Marathon
Race morning, Kristen picked me up bright and early so we could go together. The marathon started before the half marathon so I thought we might have trouble finding parking. I’ve run this race a few times and only once did I have to park too far and take a shuttle to the starting line.
My only small concern was with this – there were signs at the fair that you had to wear a mask on the shuttles and I didn’t pack an extra disposable mask for this. (This is a little reminder to myself to put a few extras in my bag and car just in case!)
We parked in the beach parking lot and walked along the boardwalk to the starting line. Beach toilets were open so that contestants could use them. This really helped keep the porta-potty lines short at first. And the beach toilets are better ventilated, so it’s a more pleasant experience all around. It also makes it easy to follow rule #1 on race day.
Browse Half Marathon City
I’ve run the Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon in the past so I was familiar with the course. But the race is usually in February (specifically Super Bowl Sunday) each year, so it’s usually cooler. And this year the half marathon started pretty late, probably the last I’ve ever seen half marathon start time actually! Which made him feel much hotter than usual for this race.
Thankfully, I don’t mind the heat too much, but I wasn’t a fan of the late start because the sun was finally setting and I felt like I was starting to get sunburned (which stresses me out—and stress is the real killer thing).
I thought the course was a flat pancake because it’s on the beach, but the end doesn’t go up a bit at PCH. You probably won’t feel too hard if this part is at the start of the race when your legs are fresh. But it’s for the last few miles so you have to pay.
I am very pleased to report that the grueling part of the Surf City Half Marathon is nothing compared to the last grueling miles in America’s Best City Half Marathon (Sharp AF).
My ethnicity: I couldn’t get into the area all the time. I usually take a while to warm up, but about mile 8 (this depends on my fitness level) I feel warm and can put up a handful of miles feeling good. I can also tell around that time who showed up for the race – Magic Monica (a magical fast runner with a lot of speed and stamina) or some people I don’t know (who’s slower and makes excuses – she wasn’t invited to the races and I’m telling her tonight).
In any case. When I’m in good shape, running 13 miles doesn’t feel hard, but that’s what happened. I kept checking myself to see if I could pay to run faster. I wanted to speed up at the detour near mile 8, there’s a water station and thought I could walk through it to get water and get a gel. Next, I’ll remove the training wheels and speed them up.
But the water station was without water and miscalculated the gels. I thought they were on both sides of the street and I’d get one on the other side, but that was a mistake. Therefore, neither gels nor water at mile 8 helped the situation. I should have brought my own gel – this was my complete failure. Some of the races are running out of gels, sometimes they’re gross, and sometimes the help stations you’re dispensing are a little messy. For full marathons, I pack my car, but I play a light half marathon because the consequences aren’t great. But the water situation did not help on a hot day.
Again, I’ve run Surf City a few times. I’ve never seen a water plant run out in this race in the past. I’m also slower than I’ve been running in the past, may that have happened before? I think it was a slight bump on the road due to racing on a hotter day and having a lot of time since the last race. I give them the benefit of the doubt given that it has been a good experience several times in the recent past.
Oh, and there was a dog on the course. He had a small belt but he must have walked away from his owner? I looked around and don’t think the owner was a runner.
The best part of the race was running with my friends again. I missed this sooooooooooooo much. I’ll link them to Instagram below.
My running buddies on Instagram
Surf City Half Marathon Finish Time. Browse the city half marathon finish time
Surf City Half Marathon finish time: 1:59:07
Meh. I am not happy at that time. I have to be faster and more in my training at this point. But the numbers don’t lie. If I had been faster or fitter, I would have ran better. I need to look at my training and recovery and make some changes if I want to run faster and feel stronger for my next races. So, I have a lot of work to do!
I’m glad I have a two-and-a-half hour marathon to apply to Run Disney at the Disney World Marathon venues. If you plan to run a half marathon of 2.5 hours or less than the full 4 hours, you must provide proof of race time or it will be a public arena for all distances.
Surf City Half Marathon Finish Line
I crossed the finish line and met some followers. Somewhere about mile 7 I lost Pam, Sandy and Kristen so I waited for them while chatting. Everyone came fairly quickly – even Kristen who joked that she would run/walk everything slowly.
After the race, some people took a beeline to the beer garden. And by “bee line,” I mean they made a slight BUZZZZZZ sound as they walked and periodically rocked their butts on the flowers.
I’m not a fan of beer, but I’m a huge fan of milk chocolate, so I was happy to see it handed out after the race. And I didn’t dance happy when I saw the Real California Milk seal on the truck. How wonderful!! I love seeing that and have to stop myself from telling people at the grocery store.
After the race, I asked Kristen to take some pictures that I could use to become a model on Instagram. Please like, follow, subscribe, buy everything I link, tell a friend and Venmo me $5 and leave a 5 star rating and review. Thanks. xoxo.
Then I came home to relax and eat 13 watermelons. I ended up watching an old documentary called 9/11 and started Worth, a new movie about the Victims Fund.
Document called 9/11 He is from two brothers who happened to be doing a documentary about firefighter recruits in New York City at the time. They happened to be filming that day and one of the brothers went with the team sent to the Twin Towers. The other stayed at the station with the recruiter who kept working on the phones.
What I run, eat, watch and read:
9/12 is a 7-part podcast series that deals with how 9/11 affected America in different ways. Maybe I’ll start listening to it tonight when I walk Diego. I just heard a 9/12 review on the crime book podcast with a review of the LulaRich documentary.
listen to: 9/12 podcast – 9/12 Available on Amazon Music here (I think it’s free because I don’t own Amazon Music and I have this podcast), Wondry and most podcast apps.
to watch: LulaRich on Amazon Prime and Gossip Girl on HBO Max
Keep working with these: