I worked with OC Marathon as an influencer for the 2023 race. I received compensation & a complimentary entry in exchange for monthly Instagram posts. All thoughts are my own.
I signed on with OC Marathon to promote the race last year. I decided to run the half marathon, this is a race that I’ve run both the half & the marathon previously. My first time running OC is recapped here.
After running both races, I’ll stick to the half because the most beautiful part of the course is in the first half.
This year, Sean & I drove up Saturday morning, picked up our bibs, got a bunch of free drinks, said Hi to a few friends, got a yummy tiny taco with Abbot’s Butcher Plant Based Chorizo and then headed to our hotel.
The race gave me a room at the VEA hotel, a Marriott that has been renamed. I stayed there when I ran in 2019 and it’s so convenient. When I checked in the front desk agent gave me a banana as gift.
Then later after we got settled, we got a super nice amenity with some food, bottled waters & a foam roller from the marketing department. So sweet!
Flat Jenny gear included:
rabbit Crop Hop
rabbit Fuel n’ Fly 2.5in shorts
Nike React Infinity 3
Camelbak ultra belt pack
Jaybird Sport Vista
Garmin Enduro 2
We had dinner over at Fashion Valley, picked up some bagels for the morning and I got some baby food apple sauce because we were out of spring energy and Whole Foods didn’t have any other race day options that I liked.
The next morning, the alarms went off at 4:30am, Sean’s race started at 5:30a and mine at 6:15a. I got up around 4:50a and Sean was getting ready, since we were staying right by the start line, it literally took about 5 minutes to get the start. I stayed upstairs until after the marathon started and then headed down so I could get a little time at the VIP area since I had access to that too.
The VIP area was full of a few elites and mostly the people who pay to be in the VIP area. I got a bottle of water, used the bathroom and dropped my gear back at gear check.
Then I headed to the corrals. I was in Corral 3. Getting to the corral wasn’t easy, we had to walk on flowers/plant that were in the median in the middle of the road, that didn’t seem very ideal for the plants but it was what it was. I got to my corral and waited for the race to begin, it was interesting that the guys manning our corral made us hold at our spot until Corral 2 was almost all the way through the start line, I’ve never seen that before. Then when we got close to the start they held us again, very odd but ok.
The race got underway and I slept well the night before but I started out a lot faster than I should have so I decided as I was running listening to a run-walk class with Olivia Amato that I would run-walk the majority of the race, which seemed to work well.
I really like the first half or so of this course, you run near the water, have a nice down hill near the 5 mile mark and then get to run mile 8 or so on a nice trail overlooking the water.
Then we make our way towards the fairgrounds. Around mile 10 my right foot started to hurt and I noticed a little bit of tightness in my right hip flexor/groin but it was mild which was nice considering that the last 2 races I felt a lot of issues in that area.
After a few slower miles and a little bit of climbing, I made it to the finish line! I raised my arms like Fitz told us too and I hit a guy’s hat with my arm, ooops!! LOL. Can’t wait to see what that photo looks like.
And I managed to run a few minutes faster than the last race, Beach to Bay Half a few weeks ago so that was nice.
I got my medal, a few photos, a bottle of water, a few bottles of electrolytes (they told us to take as many as we wanted because they had tons), a banana and then headed to the VIP area to get my bag and wait for Sean to finish.
The VIP area was right next to the finish line, they had a nice buffet of food, cold juices & coffee. Not much in the way of vegan options except some fruit and some veggies that I had sauteed at the omelet station.
Then I headed over to watch for Sean to arrive, I didn’t have to wait too long and then he was there!!
After he finished and got through the finish line area, we went to get the bus back to the hotel. In the past, there were lots of buses waiting for us, but this time there wasn’t a lot of signage or buses around. It took about 15 minutes for a bus to come and then the traffic was really bad so it took about 40 minutes to get back to the start area. Fortunately we had an extra hour due to late check-out so we were both able to shower and relax for a few minutes.
All in all, this is a fun race. There were a few minor hiccups but nothing major. It was a good day out there with some incredible weather.