Mountains 2 Beach Marathon; 700 feet of net downhill over 18 miles – not too steep but just enough to let gravity help; starting in the quaint town of Ojai, California and ending on the beautiful beaches Ventura, CA.

What I love most about this race is the fact it’s not a big, giant commercial affair. Race Director Ben DeWitt brings his experience as a triathlete and competitive runner to the event, knowing what is important to athletes and what’s not.


  • Great course with ample aid stations, porta potties, well-marked, and safe
  • Accurate timing
  • Nice tech tee
  • Cool finishers medal

Not important

  • “Pesky awards ceremony” – if you’re an award winner go right over to the marked tent at the finish to collect your award.
  • Goody Bags – You get a shirt, bib number and timing chip at packet pickup. Want all the other junk that’s in a typical goody bag – go online for the virtual goody bag and pick and choose what you want.

Maybe Important to some

  • Finish line activities – beer garden, vendors (me personally, I was in too much pain after finishing my 26.2 that I went straight back to the hotel. Read my race day experience here.)

I loved everything about this event. The location, size, nice bling and it wasn’t overwhelming. Ventura and Ojai are great little towns easy to get around in. The race director is very clear and precise in providing parking and shuttle instructions. We were fortunate enough to have my husband drop us off at the race start which was easy to navigate around the detours. Packet pickup was much smaller than expected but then I typically don’t spend a lot of time in the expo area so it was great for me. The course was breathtakingly beautiful in areas and easy to follow. Lots of support along the course with extra self-serve water stations added once they saw it was going to be exceptionally warm.

The final stretch towards the finish is lined with spectators to your right and the Pacific Ocean to your left. I’m not a big fan of having to stop in the chute to have someone cut your timing chip off – that part seems a little old school – but that one minor irritation is the only thing I can think to pick on in an otherwise great event.

If you’re thinking of doing your first half or full marathon, heck, even if you’re a veteran or looking to Boston Qualify, put Mountains 2 Beach on your race calendar. Even if your finish time doesn’t end up being what you hoped for, spending the weekend on the beach will be!