Fun Times at the Surfer's Path Marathon

This past weekend was the Surfer's Path Marathon in Santa Cruz, and I spent some quality time volunteering on the beach. The corresponding half marathon is called the Capitola Half because it runs only the Capitola half of the marathon course. I had a blast at the event and am now resigned to run this marathon next year! I loved the race setting, the weather, the beach finish, the medals, and the general happiness of everyone involved.

Packet pick-up was held on the beach in Capitola on Saturday, and I headed up in the afternoon to check out the beach and expo tents. They had a few vendors in tents along the beach sidewalk, and there were tons of people hanging out on the beach. I jumped in to help with packet pick up for the last hour or so to relieve others. It was a smooth process, easy to grab bib numbers and t-shirts. The race directors were available and on the ball to answer any questions. Friends Elise and Alisyn were on the race committee, and they clearly did a ton of work for the event too including volunteering all day Saturday and Sunday (not to mention the work they did in the months prior to the event.)

With Elise and Alisyn on Capitola Beach (photo credit: Alisyn)

After the expo clean up was complete, we headed to the Crow's Nest for dinner with ocean views. Santa Cruz is gorgeous; we really need to spend more time there.

View from our table.

Sunday we had an early 4 am wake up call to get to the start line for set up and registration. I was strangely awake, perhaps thanks to Alisyn making us coffee first thing. She was prepared with the coffee press! I couldn't believe how chilly it was in the morning, and I'd only brought shorts so I froze for a while. Lesson (that should already have been) learned: the coast is cold and probably windy in the morning.

Working the table for last-minute bib pick ups.

Runners ready to go.

We watched the start and then headed to the finish area on the beach to set up. The finish area was awesome! It had the same beach sand finish as the Santa Cruz half held in April, but this race packed the sand with water so it wasn't as crazy on the feet when runners hit it. Good call race directors. 

We helped set up the finish chute and then organized the awards table, and I have to say these were some awesome awards! The age group awards were surf-themed photo frames with age awards inside, and the overall awards were custom mini surfboards. Wow. You know there good because almost everyone who came by the table tried to buy them. Boy do I need to be faster to get one of these!

 Mini surfboards for the Top 3 Overall in each event.

 Half Marathon age group awards.

Marathon age group awards.

There was plenty of time to hang out, cheer at the finish, and to enjoy the beach while we staffed the awards table. I also helped hand out awards to the athletes which I loved. Essentially, I felt like I had a perfect beach day with race energy. Many of the runners who finished hung out on the beach for a while, and I fully intend to kick off the running shoes and to enjoy the beach when I run this race.

Beach finish line.

Overall, I loved being a part of this event and can't wait to run it next year! The race directors did a wonderful job with logistics and race swag. There were a couple of small issues out of their hands, but they handled it like pros. From what I could see, runners had a great time and talked about coming back. If you want to run a beautiful May race along the coast, check this one out!


  1. It was so great to finally meet you and hang out all weekend! See you soon in SF!

  2. I loved that you just jumped right in Saturday! That was awesome and thank you again for all your help!!! Loved having you there! Don't forget about our chocolate high overload Saturday night! That was my fav!!! ;)

  3. Those awards are adorable! I really need to give back and volunteer at a race. Looks like fun!

    1. Volunteering is so fun - definitely check it out if you can. I do a few races each year and love it.

  4. I am always so envious of races run in CA, the pictures always make it look gorgeous; perfect weather, perfect scenery, perfect everything. This one is definitely not an exception. And those award are super cute, I need to learn how to run faster so I can eventually win one. HAHAHA!

    1. It really is awesome here - I still can't believe I live here sometimes. So different than growing up in Ohio! I just tell myself to never take the beauty for granted. :)

  5. Those overall awards are awesome! Looks like a great day to volunteer at a race. I ran in Santa Cruz & Capitola while I have been on vacation there -- it would be a beautiful spot for a race.

    1. Such a great race place! Love it there. Come run!

  6. I have been wanting to do a run in Santa cruz for a while now, but thing haven't worked out. I am geared to mark in my calendar and run the 1/2 next year :)

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