Long Beach Half Marathon 2008

Long Beach Half Marathon

October 12, 2008

view from the hotel

This is the view from our tenth floor room at the Westin Long Beach Hotel. We were right across the street from the Convention Center.

me in my hotel room, ready for the race

I got up at 5:30 am, after a sleepless night, to get ready for the race. Mom took my picture just before I left to find the starting line at about 6:45.

fountains at the convention center

I hadn’t figured out exactly where the Start Line would be, but I figured I’d just follow the crowds. We crossed the street and headed past the fountains at the Convention Center.

corrals at the starting line

Turns out, the starting line was right behind the Convention Center! Here, we gathered in our “corrals” to await the start. Being a smaller race, there were only four corrals. Corral C was for half-marathoners expecting to finish in 2.5 to 3.5 hours, and Corral D was for half-marathoners expecting to finish in 3.5 hours or more. Since I was right on the dividing line at 3.5 hours, I lined up at the back of Corral C.

the race begins

And we’re off! It only took me about five or six minutes to cross the Start Line, unlike Honolulu, where it can be a good 20 minutes before the back-of-the-pack runners get to the start.

ferris wheel by the Borders book store

We passed this Borders bookstore, with a ferris wheel in front.

Shoreline Drive

And continued on Shoreline Drive.

park at the end of Shoreline Drive

At the end of Shoreline Drive, we curved around this little park and circled back.

Queen's Way Bridge

Next, we crossed Queen’s Way Bridge heading out towards the Queen Mary.

Harbor Drive

And came back up Harbor Scenic Drive, coming up on Mile 4.

Ocean Boulevard

At the end of Harbor Scenic Drive, we crossed another bridge to lead us to Ocean Boulevard.

runners below on Shoreline Drive

As we crossed the bridge, we could see the runners still on Shoreline Drive below us.

Mile 5

Nearing Mile 5, we’re curving around towards Rainbow Harbor.

a park

We passed this little park.

along the harbor

And then we ran along the harbor.

runners around me

Most of the racers around me were also doing intervals of running and walking. I used a 1:2 minute run/walk ratio, which worked pretty well in letting me keep up a good pace while not getting too tired.

Aquarium of the Pacific

We passed behind the Aquarium of the Pacific.


This steamboat has a restaurant and does harbor tours. They were advertising a “Murder Mystery Dinner Tour.”


There was a little lighthouse on the shore.

unknown building

I don’t know what this building was, but it was pretty!

MIle 6

Mile 6! Nearly half done! We’re now leaving the Rainbow Harbor and entering Downtown Shoreline Marina.

running past the convention center

More or less back where we started, we ran behind the Convention Center and this big round building, painted blue with whales on it. It was a landmark for me—on the other side and across the street was our hotel. The race course was very twisty and confusing—I rarely had any idea where I was.

running along the beach

Past the marina, we ran along this beach bike path. It was beautiful, with the sand and the ocean to our right, and the city to our left.

pump house?

I don’t know what this structure was, maybe some kind of pump house? In any case, it was painted very prettily.

running along the beach

We ran along the beach for about three and a half miles.

Mile 9

Here’s Mile 9! Only 4.1 miles to go!

running through the city

Just before Mile 10, the path ended, curving around to join Ocean Boulevard. Now we’re in the home stretch, heading back to where we started from.

the race splits

Between Mile 10 and Mile 11, the race splits. The full marathoners head off to the right, to run another 13 miles through the city, while we half marathoners stayed to the left, continuing on Ocean Boulevard.

full marathoners return

The full marathoners soon rejoined us. Now we were being passed on the right by runners who would finish the full marathon before we’d finish the half!

house on Ocean Boulevard

There were some beautiful houses along Ocean Boulevard. I bet that’s some expensive real estate!

mile marker 25 for full marathoners

There’s the 25-mile marker for the full marathoners! For us half marathoners, it’s almost mile 12.

almost there

Just after the 26-mile marker, we turned left down Shoreline Drive. With only two tenths of a mile to go, I decided to run the rest of the way. There’s the finish line ahead!

finisher's area

I picked up my Finisher’s Medal and a bottle of water and walked around the finish area for a bit. My unofficial finishing time was 3:24:01. I was very pleased to have broken 3:30.

back to the hotel

Then it was back to the hotel.


My mom was waiting for me outside.

me, in front of the hotel, with finisher's medal

Here I am, in front of the hotel, with my finisher’s medal.

fish in the Aquarium of the Pacific

After a rest and a shower, we went out to lunch, then visited the Aquarium of the Pacific. All marathon runners got in free! It was nice to run a half marathon for a change, finish in less than three and a half hours and still have time and energy for sightseeing in the afternoon! I’ll have to do this again!

Written by Cody Nelson in: marathon |

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