When all that glitter is gold, run the Beach Cities Challenge for glitzy race bling!

The Beach Cities Challenge

Participate in three races located along the coast of the Southern California and you’ve got yourself the Beach Cities Challenge.

The OC Marathon teamed up with the Surf City Marathon and Long Beach Marathon to begin the first Beach Cities Challenge in 2012.

Join the Challenge

Participants run the Surf City Marathon, OC Marathon and Long Beach Marathon consecutively to participate in the Beach Cities Challenge.** Participants may do a half marathon for all three races, or a mix of half marathons and marathons.

Beach Cities Challenge participants can receive up to seven medals for participation! Race t-shirts represent different areas of California vibes and the Beach Cities Challenge medal is bling worth running for.

The Medal

Beach Cities Challenge medal features elements from all three races - a surfboard from Surf City Marathon, the OC Marathon wave and Long Beach’s Queen Mary. The medal itself is made to represent an animal from the ocean in shiny gold. There’s been a clam shell, sand dollar, starfish and shark! Hold tight for the announcement of 2019’s medal!

The Races

Long Beach Marathon

Date: October 7, 2018

The Start Line of the Long Beach Marathon places itself in downtown Long Beach. The course runs  toward the Queen Mary and takes a turn toward Shoreline Village.

Half Marathon participants continue down Ocean Boulevard and circle back from the Aquarium of Pacific, the Lighthouse at Rainbow Harbor and back to Shoreline Village. Runners then make their way to the scenic beach path. The race finishes downhill from the ocean bluff and leads runners to a spectacular Finish Line filled with spectators and cheering fans.

Participants experience the city of Long Beach. Full Marathon participants begin downtown and head toward the Queen Mary. Runners go through Shoreline Village along the beach path to Belmont Shores and Marine Stadium.

Full Marathon participants experience Cal State Long Beach’s full cheerleading force as they take the 5K loop around campus - cheerleaders, sororities, fraternities and Prospector Pete encourage runners in the race.

The remaining 6.2 miles of the Long Beach Marathon takes runners down Ocean Boulevard to the Finish Line Festival celebration.

Surf City Marathon

Date: February 3, 2019

Run Surf City Superbowl Weekend to get waterfront views, the ocean breeze and run along PCH.

The Half Marathon and Full Marathon begin on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel.

Half Marathon runners run along the beach with expansive views and make their way down to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Runners turn around at Warner to run along beach for the home stretch. Participants race to the Finish Line greeted by cheers.

The Full Marathon makes its way toward Central Park. Loop around Central Park and back to the beach and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Participants turn around to finish along the beach path and race to the Finish Line.

OC Marathon

Date: May 5, 2019

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the 2019 SDCCU OC Marathon Running Festival!

The VIP reception dinner Thursday, May 2 - an evening filled with recognition of our charity partners, sponsorships and legacy runners. We open the OC Fitness and Lifestyle Expo Friday, May 3 for bib pickup. The OC Fitness and Lifestyle Expo continues to Saturday, May 4 and ends just before the OC 5k.

The OC 5k gives runners the opportunity to do a little warm up run the evening before the big race day and join the OC Combo Crush! Runners who join the OC 5k and their choice of the Marathon or Half Marathon qualify for the OC Combo Crush.

Participants enjoy a free beer and live music after the race.

Sunday, May 5 starts early with Marathon participants at the Start Line in front of Newport Beach Marriott near Fashion Island. The race begins 5:30 AM and runners make their way through 26.2 miles of waterfront views, palm trees and an ocean breeze.

Half Marathon participants line up and race at 6:15 AM.

Volunteers, Official Charity Partners and OC Marathon sponsors and partners greet runners with water, smiling faces, posters and motivation.

All runners begin their first mile with an ocean view and soon make their way to cliff side views at Corona del Mar State Beach. Neighborhood residents cheer for participants as they make the climb of Upper Newport Bay Estuary Reserve.

Marathon participants continue their race toward the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, around South Coast Plaza toward Segerstrom High School. Runners make their way to the Santa Ana River Trail for 1.5 miles and end up in the Mesa Verde neighborhoods before reaching the Finish Line.

All participants receive race medal upon finishing the race. They are greeted with post-race snacks from Kind Snacks and other partners. Runners donning Hoka One One shoes head over to the Hoka Legacy Lounge for an additional free beer and pizza. The Ultimate Finish Line Festival begins and participants enjoy a free beer and live music.

**Must register separately for each race on each race’s website. For example, to register for the OC Marathon, you must register on ocmarathon.com and to register for Surf City Marathon you must register runsurfcity.com.