MY FIRST MARATHON!!! I can now sport the 26.2 logo with pride! I signed up for the marathon for my 30th birthday which was 4 days after the race! 30th anniversary - 30th birthday... a perfect combo! Running a marathon is a true accomplishment and I felt such a wave of emotions crossing the finish line. It made all the months of training and preparation worth it.
I highly recommend the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and here's why:
-Great crowd support all along the course - many thanks to the volunteers and the local residents who passed out water, Gu packets, Gatorade, oranges, watermelon, bananas, bagels and the like!
-Fast, flat course - for the full marathon, the elevation gain was 383 ft and the elevation loss was 377 ft.... this is the lowest elevation gain/loss you will find for a 26.2 mile course!
-Beautiful views including the Queen Mary, Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Beach path with miles of ocean views, Marine Stadium, Belmont Shore, CSULB, Recreation Park and Downtown Long Beach.
-The expo was well organized, efficient and had lots of great vendors and merch.
-Separate starts for the marathon and half marathon. The half marathon has 4x the number of participants in it so I was very pleased the race organizers started the half marathoners a full 90 minutes later. The full marathon started at 6AM and the half started at 730 AM.
-I loved the 6 AM start time.... I had finished running a marathon by 10 AM! Sweet!
-Post race finish line with separate finish lanes for the half and full marathons -Great bands, cheerleaders and supporters along the way! I loved the energy of the Poly HS Track Team!
-Pacers provided - I ran with the 4 hour pace group for the first half of the marathon and the pacer was encouraging, fun and talked to the group throughout the course. Every mile he had a trivia question related to running, Long Beach and the like! I got the 4 mile trivia right... Long Beach is known as the Aquatic Capital of America, thank you very much!
-Lots of treats at the finish line - Power Bars, fruit, cookies, Gatorade, water, coconut water, Michelob Ultra, etc.
-Race results were posted within hours with numerous splits provided so you could analyze your performance over the full 26.2 miles!
-The 30th anniversary medals are heavy, high quality and the shell design is awesome! Excellent medals!
Thank you, Long Beach, for helping me accomplish something I've always dreamed of doing! Yes, miles 20-25 were tough, but just remember your mind will quit 100x before your body ever will! Don't let your mind trick you into immediate satisfaction (walking, stopping, etc.) and instead remember your goal... which is to finish and finish strong! Keep running and just remember, YOU CAN DO IT! We are capable of more than we know! I'm already looking forward to next year! RUN LBC!