I wasn't really planning on doing this race this year, but they sent me an email saying, "If you do 3 years in a row you get this awesome Duffel bag, and a special bib!" This was their first year launching this Legacy program, and I wanted a free duffel bag. Also this race is part of the Beach Cities Series, and for 2011 I really want to complete a series, so I signed up.
The duffel bag ended up being really small, and quite poor in quality, and the "special" race bib, only added the word "Legacy" to the end of the banner, it was pretty much the same as everyone else. I was expected at least a different color or something.
This year the course was new with more hills. The general location of the race was the same. You start near Fashion Island, and then end at the OC Fairgrounds.
Prior years we would have to park the car at the Fairgrounds, then shuttle to the start at Fashion Island, but Luckily this year, our friend was kind enough to drop us off at the start near Fashion Island, and then pick us up at the end. It saved lots of valuable sleep time. I was able to wake up at 5am, and make it to the start line right at 6am.
The race starts off in Waves A - D (although C&D pretty much combined themselves).
The Full Marathoners and Half Marathoners all start at the same time, so the 3 "corrals" are pretty big. Expect to dodge a lot of elbows, and people that started walking at mile 0.25 during your run.
They did have lots of water stops pretty much at every mile with a sports drink (Lemon Gatorade - yum).
There was a section around mile 9-11 where you get into a narrow trail of the Back Bay. About 3-4 people could fit in width of the trail, so it sucked if you got suck behind some girls that decided to walk and not move over and instead stay in the middle of trail and mess with their ipod, walking side by side with her friends, so they make a very firm wall, and are completely oblivious to the 15,000 people behind them that are still running, saying excuse me, and trying to Squeeze through, but all their efforts are wasted because her music is on too loud.
After the finish line, there was a complete bottle neck just trying to get out.
1 - They put the photo booth right after where you get your medal, so people are standing in line to take photos, and you can't get out and to get to the water.
2- Then once you passed the traffic of people waiting for photos, you had to deal with people that would get the drinks and food and Stand there, again bottle-necking, and again halting my goal of getting to water.
The event organizers shouldn't have put the photo booth right there and they should have organized to flow of traffic better.