FAQs

Some answers to the most FAQs

What is the weather like on race Day?

It's about perfect, exactly what you would expect in Southern California. For the last 14 year, the race has been held on the first Sunday in May. In the 14 years that we have held the event on the first Sunday in May, we have had one rain day and it was a doozy. In fact it even hailed! Most years the day begins at 58° and tops out around 70. If the clouds burn off, it can get warm with our warmest day nearing 80° around noon.

Is the course walker-friendly and what is the course time limit?

The course is absolutely walker friendly! While there is not a strict time limit to finish, we do have a stated "official" time of 3.5 hours for the half and 7:00 for the full. This is a 16:00 per mile pace. This "official" time is so that our police and public safety officials can begin to reopen portions of the course as well as allow our volunteer water stations to begin breaking down. We have a "Balloon Lady" at the back of both the full and half marathons walking at the 16:00 per mile pace, signifying to the PD that certain intersections or roads can reopen. Walkers that fall behind may be asked to utilize sidewalks and intersection walkways as any normal pedestrian. We provide turn-by-turn instructions and a bottle of water to those that request. No matter how long it may take you, we will be at the finish line for you and you will get your medal.

The description says the course is net downhill. Is the course hilly?

The course, both the full and half are net downhill courses, starting at 170' and ending at 60'. The courses reach a high point just after Mile 1 at 260' and the lowest point is at Mile 7 at 10'. The first few miles are rolling but there are two hills on the half marathon, just after 7 (55' total) and at mile 11 (45') and on the full marathon, the overpass at mile 14 looms large but has only 50' of elevation change. The most common comment I get is, "it was hillier than I thought but I got a PR."

Can I run with a stroller?

Strollers are not allowed for the Sunday marathon or half marathons unless special arrangements are requested and granted by the OC Marathon (info@ocmarathon.com). These requests may include able-bodied athletes/parents pairing with athletes with disabilities or in the rare instance a request to break a record, etc. We do allow strollers in our Saturday 5K although we prefer that they start near the rear.

I am not available to participate in-person. Is virtual still an option and does it maintain my Legacy or Beach Cities status?

Although we would much prefer to have you run with us in-person, the virtual option is still available. Your Legacy and/or Beach Cities Challenge status would still be in-tact after you submit your results.

Are there Volunteer Opportunities available?

Absolutely! It's one of the most fun and rewarding experiences you can have. We have opportunities for both large groups and individuals. Please visit our VOLUNTEER PAGE for more information.

Beach Cities Challenge questions.

The Beach Cities Challenge is a race series that awards a special medal to runners that complete the half or full marathon at each of the three participating events - Surf City Marathon/Half, the OC Marathon/Half and the Long Beach Marathon/Half. Runners can begin at any of the three and do the next two in a row. The last couple years have had some confusing Beach Cities Challenge scenarios but we are finally back on track.

There is no additional registration for the Beach Cities Challenge. We keep track of your status through your normal event registration.

Running any of the events virtually will maintain your challenge.

Registration FAQ's

Can I make a change to my registration like half to full, full to half or add the 5K to make it a Combo? Can I add the VIP or bib shipment?

You can make these changes and more by using this link .

Do you allow wheelchair &/or handcycle participants?

Yes. We require chair athletes to compete in the full marathon only and handcyclists must not exceed a 5:00 minute per mile average pace (2:11 marathon).

How can I confirm my registration? I lost my confirmation, but I registered online.

Confirm your registration here.

If you have an issue with locating your registration, please email our registration team at support@emallc.com.

Race week, registered participants will receive their bib numbers via email 3 days before the race. Note: our email will only send one email to an email address. If there are multiple registrations on a single email, unfortunately our system can only send out a confirmation for one of the registrants. This is made even more confusing as there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which registrant is selected.

If for some reason a participant does not receive an email with a bib number via email or have a confirmation, most issues can be resolved by coming to the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa) after the expo has opened and looking up your name/bib number. If the issue still exists, go to the Solutions table and they will be able to assist you.  Make sure you have your ID and if possible, a copy of your registration.

Can I pick up my packet on Race Day?

YES, for the Saturday OC 5K. In fact, it is recommended that runners come to the expo on Saturday afternoon, get their packet, enjoy the CELEBRATE OC Festival and run their 5K. They should then stick around and enjoy the bands.

NO,  race-day bib pick-up is not available on Sunday for the full or half marathons.

All participants must attend the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo to pick up their bibs and packets on Friday between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m or Saturday, between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You will be required to show your identification to pick up your own race bib, D-tag timing chip, technical shirt or t-shirt.

If your travels plans do not allow you to be able to get to the expo during these hours,  you must order the bib to be mailed in advance to your home or office. There is a $25 fee for this service and the shipment only includes your bib, (4) safety pins and an event information page.

A friend or family member may pick up your bib IF AND ONLY IF they have a copy of your driver's license and a signed waiver which can be downloaded. Click on the View Waiver button. 

What if I have a question on race day?

For all questions and inquiries, participants and spectators can visit the Information Tower, located in the Finish Line Festival at the OC Fair and Event Center.

Participant Information

Will there be Personal Items Storage?

UPS has been handling our Personal Item Storage for years and they are FANTASTIC!   One of the most recognized names in the world, will ensure your personal items are delivered from the start line to the finish line.  Look for the UPS trucks near the start line to check in your bags. At the finish line, look for the UPS trucks after you exit the finish line chutes. YOU MUST USE THE CLEAR DRAWSTING BAG & TAB FROM BIB PROVIDED AT THE EXPO TO CHECK YOUR ITEMS. No backpacks or other bags, other than clear plastic bags, will be permitted.

Will there be a Participant Lost & Found?

Yes. Items of value that have been turned in will be located at the Information Tower at the OC Fair & Event Center. Unclaimed items will be held at the OC Marathon offices for 30 days after the event and then donated to charity. You may email us at info@ocmarathon.com for 30 days after the event to check for your items and we can make arrangements to get it to you or for you to come by our offices to retrieve them. Anything still at our office after 30 days will be donated to charity. PLEASE NOTE: Any clothing or bags left at the start line will be collected immediately following the start of the race and donated to the Salvation Army.  Please do not leave items at the start line.

Transportation

Will There Be Bus Shuttles? What about hotel Shuttles?

Pre-Race Bus Shuttles (not hotel shuttles) will run from the Finish Line at the OC Fair and Event Center (OCFEC) at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa to the Start line at Fashion Island, Newport Beach. They begin shuttling runners at 3:45 am and continue with the last bus leaving the OCFEC at 5:30. We will send out a suggested shuttle time for each participant. Please don't wait for the later shuttles as they get packed and you will not want to miss the start of your race.

The 5K starts and finishes at the same location.

Post Race Shuttles: For participants that park at the start line, there will be bus shuttle service back to the Start Line following the race. The shuttles will pick you up in front of the Pacific Amphitheatre/Centennial Farms and drop you off at the corner of Santa Barbara and Newport Center drive across from the Newport Beach Marriott.

HOTEL SHUTTLES - Hotels MAY offer a shuttle to the start and back from the finish. These, if provided, will be organized by the individual hotels, not the OC Marathon. You must confirm the shuttle times and availability with your hotel.

Parking FAQs

Where do I park?

Parking daily at the OC Fair and Event Center will be $10 (Card preferred).You can also purchase a parking pass on Friday or Saturday for $10 for Sunday at the Expo when you're picking up your bib. This will make the lines move faster Sunday morning.

There is parking near the start line in Newport Beach. Lots will be designated. Please do not park in any area that is not designated as an OC Marathon Event Parking area. In order to accommodate the increased traffic due to the event as well as normal traffic around Newport Beach, we need to direct the OC Marathon traffic to the assigned lots. You run the risk of being towed should you choose to park in an undesignated area. Parking at any non-designated lot of the Marathon and Half Marathon will be at your own risk.

Finish line to start line shuttle service will begin at 3:45 a.m. from the OC Fair and Event Center at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa and continue until 5:30 am. Visit Parking and Directions for detailed information.

Course Time Limit FAQs

What is the time requirement on the course?

The participant on course time limit is 3.5 hours for the half and 7 hours for the Full marathon. Please note that the course will have a rolling re-opening that will be strictly enforced by the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa Police Departments. Roads must reopen based on a 16 minute per mile pace. We do not have a finish line time limit. We will be there to support you and get you your much deserved medal.

DROP OUT AND COURSE CLOSURE  

Runners unable to finish the race may stop at any water station along the course.  The water station captain will alert the support vehicles to pick you up. Runners still out on the course when officials determine it is time to reopen the roads (approximately a 16-minute per mile pace) will be informed they are now a pedestrian and must obey all pedestrian traffic laws, stopping at red lights, using crosswalks, using sidewalks, etc. Once roads begin to reopen to vehicular traffic, course support, including water stations, course signage, mile markers, timing systems, and medical stations will close. Runners on the course after this time accept that they will be on their own and should plan accordingly, OR utilize the support vehicle to return to the finish line.   The support vehicles will have printed directions for walkers to return to the finish line on their own.

Will there be portable restrooms on the course?

Yes.

Will this be a Boston Qualifier?

Yes, the OC Marathon is a Boston Qualifier and USATF Certified. Your half marathon time will not qualify you for Boston. Good luck!

Are iPods allowed on the course?

Yes.

Will photographs be taken along the course and at the finish? If so, how can I order these pictures?

Sport Photo Group will be there on the course and at the finish line to capture you in photos AND video on the day of your big race.
Photos will be available online within 36 hours after you have finished and all participants will be able to order a digital package, order printed phots and be able to download a free finisher certificate.
You will be notified via email (if it was provided on your registration form) when the photos are ready. After the event we will post a link to the web site for your convenience.

Am I allowed to bring my baby stroller jogger, or have my friend in-line skate with me?

Strollers are not allowed for the Sunday marathon or half marathons unless special arrangements are requested and granted by the OC Marathon (info@ocmarathon.com). These requests may include able-bodied athletes/parents pairing with athletes with disabilities or in the rare instance a request to break a record, etc. We do allow strollers in our Saturday 5K although we prefer that they start near the rear.

In-line skaters, bicyclists, as well as pets will be prohibited on the course in order to ensure the safety of all runners.

Can walkers register for the Marathon? Half Marathon? 5K?

The course is absolutely walker friendly! While there is not a strict time limit to finish, we do have a stated "official" time of 3.5 hours for the half and 7:00 for the full. This is a 16:00 per mile pace. This "official" time is so that our police and public safety officials can begin to reopen portions of the course as well as allow our volunteer water stations to begin breaking down. We have a "Balloon Lady" at the back of both the full and half marathons walking at the 16:00 per mile pace, signifying to the PD that certain intersections or roads can reopen. Walkers that fall behind may be asked to utilize sidewalks and intersection walkways as any normal pedestrian. We provide turn-by-turn instructions and a bottle of water to those that request. No matter how long it may take you, we will be at the finish line for you and you will get your medal. The 5K does not have a time limit.

Other Questions

Is there an age cutoff for volunteering?

Volunteers must be 16 years or older, or accompanied by an adult. Visit the Volunteers Page to sign up for volunteer opportunities when available.

Who are the Charities?

Please visit the Charity Partners Page for a complete listing of our 2023 Charity Partners. Please e-mail charities@ocmarathon.com if you would like to apply to be a 2023 official charity.

Teams and Running Clubs

My employer wants information on having a team.  Details on our Corporate Challenge program can be found on our Corporate Challenge page.
Can my Run Club Register? Absolutely. Visit Running Clubs for more information.

Do you have marathon pace groups?

Yes. We have pace teams for all of the milestone times and BQ times.. The complete list of pacers and their times can be found for the Half Marathon Pace Groups and on Pace Groups