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Surf City Half Marathon – California’s Classic Favorite

This award-winning course is considered one of the best half marathon courses in the country. As our most popular track, it is well known for being scenic and flat. Runners come from all over to experience this exhilarating run. Start along Pacific Coast Highway and pass by the famous Huntington Beach pier. Enjoy the beauty of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands as you start your turn. Kick it up a notch for the crowds at Main Street on your way to a monumental finish line moment!

More than 2,000 volunteers and several bands will be along the way cheering you on and making sure you have plenty of nourishment and energy!

Half Marathon Wave Start

In a wave start, runners start in groups of approx. 1,000-1,200 at 2-3 minute intervals. Groups are organized according to their individual predicted finish times. This way you can run with others who are similar in speed. When you register you will be asked to enter your expected finish time and your bib will be assigned accordingly. Please note: there may be approximately 45 minutes between the first wave and the last wave. Click below for your Wave Start Time. You should arrive at the start line in time for your wave start interval. A wave start will allow you plenty of space along the course, at the aid stations and at the finish line, without affecting your chip time. All 1/2 Marathon participants need to complete the course by 1:30 p.m.

Look up Wave Start Time

Course Highlights

  • Start Time 7:45 a.m.

  • Participant Limit – approximately 17,000

  • Participant Limit — approximately 2,500

  • The course time limit is approximately 5 – 5.5 hours – must finish by 1:30 p.m. regardless of wave start time.

  • Pace Groups available

  • Aid Stations include fresh water, electrolyte sports drink, energy foods, and snacks

  • Official finish times, finisher medals, and post-race refreshments cannot be guaranteed to any participants finishing over 6 hours

  • USA Track & Field certified

  • An early start is not available

  • Highest point less than 100′ above sea level

  • Live Results


View the Surf City USA Marathon Course Map for 2017. Click to enlarge.

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Half Marathon by the Mile

Miles 1–2: Huntington Beach Pier & Main Street
Start on Pacific Coast Highway between the ocean and the Hilton Waterfront Beach Hotel. Running north, the Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street are less than a mile away. At the 5K start banner, look to the left to enjoy the famous Huntington Beach Pier. Downtown Main Street is where you will likely head after your race to watch the Super Bowl in one of the many idyllic beach bars.
Miles 2–5: Seapoint View
Just past the second mile marker, at the first retro surf band station, turn inland on Seapoint and head toward Huntington Central Park. On this stretch, you will encounter the course’s only incline, between miles 3 and 4. Take your turn at the bluff, reenergize at the aid station and head down Seapoint back toward the ocean. Enjoy the ocean view all the way down to PCH.
Miles 5-7: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Just past mile five, take a right on PCH and absorb the energy from the ocean! Breathe in the fresh sea air as you continue north on the highway. The Bolsa Chica Reserve wetlands roll out to the right. This 300 acre ecological wonder is a sanctuary for wildlife and migratory birds. Bolsa Chica, along with the rest of Huntington Beach, CA, has some of the nation’s best birding! Nearly half of the birds found in the U.S. have been seen in Huntington Beach. Sightings of great blue herons, snowy egrets and brown pelicans are common; lucky bird watchers can even spot a rare white pelican at the right time of the year.
Miles 8-13.1: The Home Stretch
Just before mile eight at Warner, turn back south on Pacific Coast Highway. The blue waters of the Pacific Ocean stretch out to your right and you are getting your second wind. Feel the fresh ocean breeze and take in the spectacular view. It’s flat, it’s fast, and it’s all yours for the next five miles! Before you know it you are back at the pier, less than a half mile from the finish line. It’s a straight shot from there, and the finish line banner is just ahead. Spectators line the highway to cheer you to the finish!


We will use a wave start for the Surf City event.

Why include a wave start?

– Less congestion at the start line
– Easier access
– A more enjoyable experience
– Looking for your Boston Qualifier? This is it!

We are committed to making the 2017 Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon the best to date.

Pace Groups


The CLIF BAR Pace Team will be this year’s “official” Surf City Marathon & Half Marathon Pace Team. 

Here’s How It Works:
Each Pace Leader will run even splits (every mile will be run in the same amount of time) throughout the race, and by following your Pace Team leader, you’ll cross the finish line under two minutes of your goal time. 

Half Marathon Pace groups: 1:30, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45

Support Overview

The 2,000+ volunteers of the Surf City USA Marathon and Half Marathon prepare year round for your arrival and are ready to support all your race day needs.

Become a volunteer

This section of the site will provide you details of what will be available to you on race day to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable run. Please review the information carefully to prepare yourself for the event.

The location of aid stations are posted in the course sections of the site.

It is highly recommended that you integrate the course nutrition into your training regime.

Medical Information: Emergency-1 Response, Inc

During the event our fully trained rapid response medical team will insure that any medical emergency is taken care of providing un-paralleled customer service.

We employ only licensed, certified and seasoned Emergency Medical Technicians that have access to the most up-to-date, state of the art equipment necessary for the health and welfare of staff members, performers and spectators of your special event. The Emergency-1 Response medical team helps reduce corporate medical event liability by responding rapidly to any medical emergency that might arise during the event and expeditiously takes action when needed.

Learn more about Emergency-1 Response