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Surf City USA Marathon

Huntington Beach, CA

Race Dates

2018: Sunday, February 4, 2018
2017: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Mostly Out and Back
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 58°F (14°C)
Average High: 67°F (19°C)
Average Low: 49° F (9°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 99.15
Course Score: 99.15

Race Size

2017: 1,576 Finishers
2016: 1,939 Finishers
2015: 2,070 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: 7.7%
2016: 7.5%
2015: 7.5%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands & Elevation Wrist Bands

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Course Description

The Surf City USA Marathons is a mostly flat course with elevations varying from sea level to nearly 100 feet. The course travels by the famous Huntington Beach pier and continues through scenic Huntington Central Park with long stretches along the PAcific Coast Highway and Huntington Beach Bike Trail.

Marathon Rankings

The Surf City USA Marathon was the 47th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 46th largest in 2015.

This year 7.7% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 7.5% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Surf City USA Marathon the 314th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 21st highest percentage so far in 2017.

Its Course Score of 99.15 ranks it as the 159th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 17th fastest course in California.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Surf City USA Marathon a PR Score of 99.15. This PR Score ranks it as the 112th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 13th fastest in California.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 87 feet (26m)
Min Elevation: 2 feet (0m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Surf City USA Marathon

4.8 Stars from 5 Reviews

review of 2016 Surf City USA Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


What a great race!!! Awesome scenery, easy course, best finishing medal there is. What else could you ask for???

Race Tips

It can be hot in early February so be prepared. No shade.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2015 Surf City USA Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Running along the Southern California coast in February, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery.

Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2015 Surf City USA Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2015 Surf City USA Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Overall vibe, the people, the organization of the event overall.

Race Tips

Expect an awesome day! Happiest race overall!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Plan your pick up place w your person before the race ends because most years I can't use my cell after the race as so many people are on cells. :)

review of 2014 Surf City USA Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Pre-Race expo was laid out nicely. I didn't wait in line; but at times, it seemed the line may have been a little long, but moved fast (based on what I could see from my Hotel room)! Restaurants are all pretty close by.

Race itself was good, temperature was nice, I wore a long sleeve / capris. When the sun came out around mile 20, it was warm, but at that point, everything is tough! Wind was bearable, though it does pickup as a headwind the last 5 miles or so. I enjoyed the course because it was easy to split up in to 4 - 5 mile segments.

Water stations / Volunteers were excellent. I never had a problem getting what I needed. My only complaint on the course was not enough Port-o-potties. Distance b/n was too far. I saw quite a few people sprinting across the road and jumping the sand dunes to relieve themselves (including one of the top ladies). Felt bad about that.

Course is flat, except for a couple minor hills the first 5 or 7 miles. Nothing unbearable. Not a lot of crowd support until the end. And when running along the ocean, you may have to dodge a tourist or 2, but they mostly move out of the way.

Race Tips

If you are trying to BQ, as I was, the pacers were excellent. I seem to think they were aware of the wind on the back 5. So they paced accordingly, not out of control.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

I was from out of town, so I recommend staying at the Marriott or Hilton nearby the race start. Spend a day or 2 being a tourist - heading to Laguna, etc. Restaurants were all affordable, good food, no waiting.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Surf City USA Marathon in 4:48:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.