Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon
Our trip began when we arrived at the Pacific Inn Motel. The motel was very nice with a good size refrigerator and a microwave, which came in handy since we brought some of our own food with us. Another plus was the motel was only ½ mile from the shuttle bus and the finish of the marathon. Main St. (the old part of Ventura) was only two blocks away with lots of little restaurants and gift shops. The motel was only $68.00 a night also.
Packet pickup was pretty simple, just give them you’re bib number (which was emailed to us) and they gave you your packet and tech tee. If your shirt was too small or too big it could be exchanged after the race. At 5:00pm we went to the prerace dinner that was catered by one of the local Italian restaurants. Dinner consisted of salad, pasta with marinara sauce or meat sauce, garlic bread, and cookies for desert. Food was very good and was all you could eat for $10.00 each.
We set our alarms to 2:45am so I could catch the full marathon shuttle bus at 4:00am and Donna could catch her ½ marathon shuttle bus at 4:15am. Getting up that early was the only drawback to the race. I arrived at the starting line about 1 ½ hours before the race started. They told us no propane heaters were required this year because the temps were warmer. We had perfect racing weather; temps were in the mid 50’s with cloudy skies. The race only had 1000 (maximum) runners in each race. They said they turned away 300 full marathon entries. The race started and wound its way through some of the residential neighborhoods and eventually ended up on a path equivalent to our multi use path. The path was surrounded with trees, and horse trails. As we proceeded down the course it was really pretty with all the trees, homes with lots of land and horses. At about mile 15 we were still on the path in an industrial area, but still lots of trees around us. At two spots on the course we crossed over a couple of bridges with streams flowing underneath. The course was downhill, maybe like McCulloch Blvd. in the downtown area. Mile 3 to mile 5.5 was uphill, about like McCulloch Blvd. above Acoma. Somewhere around mile 19 – 20 the course flattened out, and then we were on the beach path seeing the wave’s break. At mile 21 to 25 we were in the residential area of Ventura beach, still flat though. Then at mile 25 to the finish we were back in view of the ocean and the finish line banner.
There were plenty of volunteers working the water stations. Some of them seem to be apprehensive of handing out water, not knowing how to handle the transition. Throughout the race there was people lining the course cheering us all on.
Would I do this race again? By all means yes, but probably the halfmarathon. I don’t know if I’m ready for another full marathon at this time.