Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Ventura Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
This past weekend I ran the Ventura Half Marathon. It was my first time running a race in Ventura, which is such a cute little town to run in/visit. Packet pick up was at the Ventura Pier, with beautiful views of the ocean.
The expo was smaller than expected, but had good vendors (running gear, food, clothing, etc). The packet pick up was simple and well organized and they had lots of good photo ops!
Check out the runner swag! Reusable Ventura bag, hat, nice tech shirt, and not pictured was all the snacks and Ventura tourist info.
After checking out the expo my bf and I went out to dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant in Ventura, Himalaya . Unfortunately I didn’t get any food pics (#fail). If you are in Ventura this place is a must. With our bellies full we went to our Airbnb…home? Room? I don’t know how you would refer to that, but we stayed at a cute home that we found via Airbnb – our first Airbnb stay! The proximity to the race is one of the reasons we chose this location, but let’s be real, this is the number one reason I chose to stay where we did:
Oh my goodness you guys! These cat friends were the best! We cuddled all night, then cuddled some more before we left.
Okay, okay, on to race day. The half marathon started at 6:30am so I arrived around 5:45am to prepare for the race. I also met up with my fellow BibRave Pros! It was great to meet Abby and Erica on race morning (you can read their reviews of the race here and here). The start of the race, and the entire race for that matter, was very well organized. The start line had corrals, and each corral was well controlled by the volunteers. A pretty big pet peeve of mine is runners running in waves/corrals that they shouldn’t be in, that didn’t really happen here that I could see. Perhaps it is because everything was so clearly labeled.
So, I gotta be honest here, not a big fan of this course for the most part. I really did think we would be able to see more of the coast. You saw the beach at the beginning, a little in the middle, then again at the end since it is an out and back course. This isn’t a huge turn off for me, but I thought the views would be a little nicer. The course is nice and flat and perfect if you are looking to set a PR. There were quite a few cheer stations, which I LOVE! If you don’t run, but are reading this and you cheer at races, I just want you to know how much that means to me and the other runners. Running/racing is really hard and having people out there cheering us on helps more than you know. Another thing that helps is good pacers. I was in the 2:15 pace group, which I only decided on the night before. I have been recovering from a few injuries so I wanted this to be a fun and easy run. Thanks to Megan and Amy, who pace for Beast Pacing, I ran a nice and easy 2:09 half. They got me to about mile 9, and I was feeling great so I thanked them, took off and they cheered for me as I ran the rest of the race solo.
While the views aren’t the best, I still enjoyed this race a lot. The course was clearly marked, aid stations were stocked well and the volunteers did a great job handing us our water/electrolytes. Bottom line: awesome cheer stations, flat course and it ends on the beach! Food, drinks and beach time is a pretty great way to end a race.
I have also reviewed this race (and all my races) on BibRave. Check it out & leave reviews for your races –> BibRave.