The Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Marathon was held on the Camp Pendleton marine base on April 17. The entry fee was $95, $90 if you register before 2/1/2010. Active military duty can run it for $45.
I don’t have any pictures from the event and it’s a pretty small race so this review is going to be zippy and short.
I think around 500 people ran this small race, a there weren’t any frills. I don’t even know if there was an expo or not; I picked up my bib and packet race morning with no hassle. There isn’t any need to be there early: no lines for porta potties and plenty of very close parking. The race swag was pretty stupendous: chapstick, a gold coin, a lanyard, a hat, mints, a rubber bracelet, and sunscreen all in a reusable bag. schwing!
It was chilly at the start, high 40′s but it warmed up quickly after that and was 70′s by the end.
The race started right away on time at 7:10. I mean, this is the Marines… like they’re gonna be late. There weren’t any corrals because of the size of the race.
The race starts at Las Pulgas and heads out 5 miles towards the ocean. Then you run north until the halfway point where you turn around. The whole course is on paved roads or fire roads, but it is all rolling hills. It pretty much killed me, but then again, I’m a weenie.
Yes, you can see the ocean for most of the race, but it’s not like “Hey, we’re at the beach, we’re so close to the ocean!” You can see it, but you’re really pretty far up in the hills, not anywhere near it.
The best part of the race was the Marines who manned the aid stations and also the ones who ran the race. They were so friendly and encouraging! I’ve never heard so many participants encouraging other runners in a race before. It was really rad to see. Plus, the Marines are very polite; they all called me “ma’am”. Should that make me feel old?! They really did create a great environment to run in.
There were water and gatorade stations every mile. Every couple of stations had pretzels, orange slices and bananas as well.
Although the Marines were great, there weren’t many other spectators there. like 10. seriously. That was a bummer.
There really wasn’t much going on after the race. at all. I grabbed one bottle of water and left. If you are looking for the post-race party, this is not your race. If camouflage is your favorite color and the phrase “drop down and gimme 20!” turns you on, then this race could be right up your alley.
Besides the goodies bag, this is a no frills event, but it is run efficiently and well; all the logistics were easy. There were no problems at all, and I really don’t have any negatives to say…. well, the course is boring, and I wished there were more spectators. All in all, it’s very well run, albeit a bit of a “blah” event.
If you need to get a marathon in for training or something, do this race. Or if you’re looking for a very fit future fiance… But if you’re looking for a big event/destination marathon, skip this one and do Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego the following month.