The OC Marathon is ranked as one of the best running events in California. The course is beautiful, the weather is mild, and best of all, there’s little elevation gain. As a casual neighborhood runner, I was on the fence about whether or not the OC Marathon was for me. But after taking a closer look at the course itself, I signed up and I haven’t looked back. If you’re still unsure about committing to this event, read on for an in-depth look at the course. I bet you’ll be as pumped as I am for Race Day!


Logistics: How to Sign Up & Show Up for the Race

Orange County marathon

This year, the OC Marathon weekend is May 6 & 7th and it includes a slew of events, including a Lifestyle and Fitness Expo and a Celebrate OC Festival. Saturday evening is the 5K and Sunday morning is the Half Marathon & Marathon. SIGN UP HERE for all races – but remember that if you’re running the half or full marathon, you’ll have to pick up your bib on either Friday or Saturday. While there is no day-of bib pick-up offered, you can pay a little extra to have your bib mailed to you.


The Course, all 26.2 Miles of It

oc marathon

The OC Marathon spans four cities and takes racers past views of the ocean, harbor, Back Bay Nature Preserve, and mountains. Did I mention that there’s hardly any elevation gain? (Gotta love that!). It also counts as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. That’s why it’s perfect for all types of athletes, from avid runners to casual joggers. I highly suggest watching this FLYOVER VIDEO for an in-depth description of the entire course. The race ends at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, where music, food, and spectators await! 


OC Marathon’s Weekend Activities

Celebrate OC Festival

Another reason the OC Marathon is the perfect race is all of the activities surrounding the running events. The weekend kicks off with the Lifestyle & Fitness Expo. At this event, you’ll find both up-and-coming and popular health and lifestyle brands featuring their newest products for sale and giveaway. It’s also where you’ll pick up your bib.  Then, on Saturday and Sunday is the Celebrate OC Festival. This is essentially a giant party celebrating the successful completion of the 5K, half marathon, and marathon. Music, food, beer, and fun abound. If you’re coming into town for the race, be sure to save a little extra time to hangout at all of these events, conveniently located at the Orange County Fairgrounds, your race’s home base!

lifestyle and health expo


Registration for all races is open until May 4th, unless spots have sold out. Based on the race’s popularity with the running community, I suggest you sign up ASAP. And thankfully, the OC Marathon website is a great resource for FAQs, training guides, and anything else pertaining to the big weekend. See you all at the starting line!