The Pacific Ocean Marathon! I love it (about: 2011)|
Joe Reilly from Orange County (12/25/11)
50+ previous marathons
| 1 Operation Jack Marathon
I absolutely love this course. Having run over 160 marathons, I can say that this venue is one of my favorites.
Operation Jack has a small hometown marathon flavor. Of the 300 participants, only 120 runners are marathoners, the rest are half-marathoners.
However, I feel that it is necessary to make a correction concerning a previous runner's depiction of the course, concerning the terrain and asphalt.
Because the marathon is run completely on a bike path, 70% of the course is hard concrete.
This concrete segment is the 4.7 mile stretch from Manhattan Beach to Ballona Creek. So, if you have weak knees, take it easy on this stretch.
Now, if I remember correctly, the Jetty Run, a 1.8 mile stretch going east along Ballona Creek to just before the Marina Freeway, is more asphalt, and a lot easier on the joints.
The proceeding is not a complaint. It is just a clarification for would-be runners of the course.
On the other hand, an advantage to concrete is that you do get great traction, lift-off.
Operation Jack is a great tour of 5 California beaches: Manhattan, El Porto, Dockweiler, Playa Del Rey, and Marina Del Rey.
Except for Manhattan, these beaches are mainly for bike riders, joggers, dog walkers, and strollers.
These are not popular beaches for sun-bathing to the extent that Manhattan or Hermosa or Santa Monica Beaches would be. Yes, there are sun-bathers, but not a whole heck of a lot.
I often tell my fellow runners that this course is more for viewing the maritime scenery of the South Bay, not for ogling bathing beauties.
'Caveat Emptor': Marathoners must share the path with cyclists, local joggers, etc. So, mutual courtesy should be 'de riguer'.
Unfortunately, I have often found that some of the cyclists are not willing to share in this concept of mutual respect. Therefore, ' Beware of Cyclists'. Run defensively.
Most important, Operation Jack, and its satellites in other states and Kabul, is run for a great cause, the fight against autism.
My hat is definitely off to Sam the Race Director who has put so much of his energy into the fight against autism
During the 1970s and 1980s, I often ran this course for my long training runs. In fact, I would start my run at Palos Verdes and then run north to the Santa Monica Pier.
The Operation Jack Marathon course is about 1/4th of that course that I ran 30 years ago. And, I still love it.