Your Race Weekend Participant Guide is here! You can read it below or download a printable PDF.



November 9 – 11, 2018

Welcome to the Monterey Bay Half Marathon’s weekend of events.
Race weekend is coming up fast! Here are the complete details for your race.
Please read through this document carefully, even if you are a seasoned participant!



  • The Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey
  • Friday, November 9, from 12 to 6 PM
  • Saturday, November 10 from 9:30 AM to 6 PM
  • Bib, shirt and packet pick-up
  • Free race clinics on Saturday
  • Tech Happy Hour on Friday from 1 to 5:30 PM and Saturday from 3 to 5 PM
  • Official race merchandise
  • Expo is FREE and open to the public


  • 12 Noon: Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners, with Fitz Koehler, M.S.E.S.S
  • 1 PM: Science in Sport: Separating Fact from Fiction, with Gretchen Reynolds
  • 2 PM: Let Your Mind Run, with Deena Kastor
  • 3 PM: Olympic Memories, Olympic Dreams, with a panel of past Olympians and Olympian hopefuls


Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove on Saturday, November 10.

  • Packet pick-up and new registration (if available) begins at 6:30 AM. Note: if you are doing the Ocean View Challenge 5K, only your 5K bib will be available race morning. You’ll need to return to the Expo to pick-up your Half Marathon OVC bib and shirt.
  • 3K begins at 8 AM
  • 5K begins at 8:30 AM in two self-seeded waves (those doing a sub 10:00 minute-per-mile pace and those doing over that)
  • 5K awards ceremony begins at 9:30 AM


Del Monte Avenue at Figueroa Street on Sunday, November 11

  • Race day packet pick-up at the Harbor Dental parking lot on Del Monte Avenue beginning at 5:30 AM.
  • The race starts at 6:50 AM for elite/seeded women, than men. Corrals A – L start at 7 AM with 1.5 to 2 minutes between corrals. There will be a Military corral for Active Duty Military and Veterans between corrals B and C.
  • The awards ceremony is at the finish at Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park at 10 AM.


  1. The Monterey Bay Half Marathon takes place next to the Monterey Bay, not in Big Sur, and runs a different route than the April Big Sur International Marathon. The Half Marathon is managed by the non-profit Big Sur MarathonFoundation.
  2. The Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K and By-the-Bay 3K are held on Saturday, November 10, the day before the Half Marathon.
  3. Race bibs are not mailed. Bibs and shirts are distributed at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday of race weekend or on race morning.
  4. The Half Marathon starts at 6:50 AM on Sunday, November 11, beginning with elite/seeded women. There are 15 wave starts; the last wave begins at 7:23 AM.
  5. The Half Marathon course is limited to three hours and 30 minutes, a pace of 16 minutes per mile.
  6. There are eight aid stations on the course with Gatorade Endurance served first, then water. GU Energy Gel is available at two aid stations (miles 5.9 and 8.3).
  7. There is one BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) personal bottle refill station at the turnaround at mile 7.75.
  8. For your safety, please do not wear iPods, ear buds, or headphones.
  9. Entries are non-refundable and non-transferable. You may not give or sell your bib to anyone else.
  10. For interested friends and family, online registration ends on Friday, November 2 at 11:59 PM. In-person entry will be available at the Expo and race day for the 3K, 5K and Half Marathon if not sold-out. Registration for the Ocean View Challenge is NOT available race weekend.

View Course Maps


Pick up your race bib with attached timing tags, participant shirt, race program, and gear check bag (optional) at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, November 9, or Saturday, November 10. The Expo is at the Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. A photo ID is required for pick up. Hours are noon to 6 PM on Friday and 9:30 AM to 6 PM on Saturday.

The bib number assigned to you will be emailed to you in the week prior to the event or you can find it at My Events at You may also look it up at the Expo in the bib pick-up area.

You must pick up your bib and race packet in person; no one else can pick-up for you unless a Packet Pick-Up Authorization Form has been filled out. There is race morning pick up between 5:30 and 6:45 AM. The pick up tent will be located on Del Monte Avenue at Cortes Street in the Harbor Dental parking lot. See the start area map. You must know your bib number in advance and bring a photo ID or a copy of one. We cannot guarantee your shirt size if you pick up race morning.


The race starts in waves from 6:50 to 7:23 AM. Half Marathoners will be in designated corrals “Elite/Seeded” and “A” through “L” based on the predicted finish time given during registration. For 2018 there will be a special Military Corral for Active Duty Military and Veterans between corrals B and C. Your corral letter is printed on your bib. Look for signs at the corral entrances with the letter of each corral. A map of the start area is on page 7, on the website, and in your race program. The race will start in 15 waves, approximately 1 to 3 minutes apart. The last wave is at 7:23 AM.

For those in the Ocean View Challenge, the 5K and Half Marathon bibs will be separate, but they will share the same bib number.

Be sure to fill out your emergency information on the back of your bib. There are two timing tags on the back of your bib; do NOT remove either tag or you will not receive a time. Timing is provided by SVE Timing.


There will be three gear check areas at the start on Del Monte Avenue and at Figueroa Street near the entrance to Fisherman’s Wharf. After the race, gear bags will be available in the lot next to the runners’ food tent. Gear check drop-off closes race morning at 6:30 AM.

If you opt to use gear check, use only the bag provided to you at the Expo during packet pick-up or race morning at the start. Use the adhesive-backed tear-off “Gear Tag” found at the top of your race bib and affix it to the gear bag. Please do not put anything of value or any heavy liquids in your gear bag. We are not responsible for lost or stolen property. Items of clothing discarded at the start, on the course, or in any unclaimed gear bags will be donated to charity.


There are eight aid stations on the course. See the course map for exact locations. Water and Gatorade Endurance are available at all stations, and GU Energy Gel will be at the stations at miles 5.9 and 8.3. GU flavors are Triberry and Vanilla Bean (caffeinated), and Strawberry Banana (non-caffeinated). As part of our green initiative, all cups on the course are compostable. If you take a GU, be sure NOT to put the empty packet into a cup as we are composting all cups and food waste separately. Porta-potties and medical personnel will be at all stations. The BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) refill station will be located at the Half Marathon turn-around just past Asilomar Beach at mile 7.75.


We support walkers and slower runners but they are subject to the 3-1/2 hour course time limit, a 16-minute-mile pace. The course time limit begins when the last person crosses the timing mat at the start. To help everyone finish under the limit, there are three “cut-off” points on the course:

  • If you reach Ocean View & Fountain Avenue (approximate mile 3.75) after 8:25 AM you will be directed to bypass the loop through downtown Pacific Grove and continue on Ocean View.
  • If you reach Sunset at Pico Avenue (approximate mile 7.1) after 9:20 AM, you will be turned around there.
  • If you reach the intersection of the Recreation Trail and Cannery Row (approximate mile 11.9) after 10:30 AM, you will not be allowed to continue onto Cannery Row but instead will continue on the Trail to the finish.
  • There is no early-start option.
  • You will receive a finisher’s medallion and official time ONLY if you finish under 3:30 (chip time).


After crossing the finish line, you will be given a finisher’s medallion. There will be a picture opportunity with MarathonFoto with the beautiful Monterey harbor in the background. Following that, you will pass through the food tent and then pick up your gear bag if one was dropped off at a gear check area at the start. From there, you will proceed to Custom House Plaza-Monterey State Historic Park where you can unite with family and friends, enjoy the Beer Garden and hot soup, view results, visit the Treadmill Recovery Zone, and check out race merchandise for sale. The Lost & Found area is located at the info booth near the merchandise tent on the Plaza. There will be live music on the awards stage next to the Dali17 Museum. Be sure and stop to ring the “PR Bell” if you set a personal record. Bike Valet and Gear Check will close at 11:30 AM and all bikes and gear bags must be removed by that time. View the finish area map.


Participants in the Waves to Wine Challenge are recognized as finishers of an April Big Sur Marathon event of 12K or longer OR the June Run in the Name of Love 5K, AND the August Salinas Valley Half Marathon. Finishing the Monterey Bay Half Marathon will complete the Waves to Wine and net participants a beautiful medallion to recognize their accomplishment.

The Ocean View Challenge (OVC) category is for those registered to run Saturday’s Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K and Sunday’s Monterey Bay Half Marathon. If you registered separately for the Half Marathon and 5K, this is not considered an Ocean View Challenge registration. Online registration for the OVC ends on November 2; there is NO RACE WEEKEND REGISTRATION FOR THE OCEAN VIEW CHALLENGE.

Both challenges will have special stickers on their bibs to make them identifiable to race personnel at the finish. Waves to Wine and Ocean View Challenge participants can pick up their special finisher’s medallion at the Waves to Wine/OVC tent in the finish area. Waves to Wine raffle drawing prizes will also be available there.


The Awards Ceremony begins at 10 AM in the Finish Village. Prize money is available to the top eight overall male and female runners. A total prize purse of over $30,000 will be offered and will include a gender Equalizer Bonus. Female elite runners will be given a head start of 9 minutes and 5 seconds. The first three to cross the finish line, male or female, will receive a bonus of $3,000, $1,500 and $500, respectively, in addition to the open prize money. There will be an additional bonus of $1,000 for a new course record. The current course record for men is 1:02:32 set by Ian Dobson in 2006. For women, the record is 1:09:43, set by Belainesh Gebre in 2010.

Cash awards are based on GUN time. Divisional awards are based on CHIP time and go five deep in five year age groups after ages 9-15 and 16-19. Prize money winners are not eligible for divisional awards (no double dipping). To be eligible for awards, you must record course split times at all course timing mats.


There are several coffee shops available within a block of the start or finish. We do not supply or sell coffee before or after the race.

MarathonFoto is the official race photographer and will be at the start, along the course, and at the finish. Please make sure your bib is visible on the front of your shirt or shorts.

A Beer Garden featuring Lagunitas beer is available for race participants age 21 and over only. You must have your bib number visible to be served. One beer per entrant. Beer will be for sale for $5.

Post-race features include a variety of refreshments, hot minestrone soup, the Treadmill Recovery Zone, and a merchandise tent. See the finish area map for locations.

Bandits (non-registered runners) are not permitted on the course! You may not give or sell your bib to another person or forge a fake bib. No eBay or Craigslist sale of bibs is permitted. Bandits present a liability and safety issue as well as a disservice to those who have paid their entry fee and so will be removed from the course.

Pace teams are available for goal times every 15 minutes from 1:30 to 3:30. Sign up online for free or stop by the Treadmill Pace Team booth at the Expo.

 Donate your “gently used” shoes in the collection bins at the Green Team/BlueStrike Environmental booth at the Expo.  All donated shoes go to a local charity.

 Free Bike Valet is available in the Wharf Parking lot near the Finish Village between 5:30 and 11:30 AM.


Parking Map


The Garages are located on Franklin between Washington and Alvarado Streets. To park here you MUST ARRIVE by 5:30 AM. Parking is free until 11 AM.

If southbound on Highway 1, take the Monterey exit 401A. Go through the traffic light and continue west on Fremont Street. At the intersection with Abrego, turn right. Abrego becomes Washington Street. Continue on Washington to Del Monte and turn left. Turn left again on Tyler to enter the parking garages.

If northbound on Highway 1, take the Munras Avenue exit 399B. Munras turns into Abrego at Fremont. Continue on Abrego and follow the directions as shown above.


There is parking available on city streets. Many meters and surface lots ARE enforced on Sunday.


All day free parking is available at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC). Free shuttles will take runners from MPC to a drop-off near the race start every 10 minutes from 5 to 6:15 AM. If exiting to Monterey from Highway 1, take exit 401A and turn left onto Aguajito Rd. at the traffic light at the bottom of the exit ramp. Turn right at the entrance to MPC and then right again onto Via Lavandera. If coming down Munras Avenue from exit 399B, turn right on Fremont and proceed to the intersection of Aguajito and Fremont, then turn right. Follow signs inside the Monterey Peninsula College parking lot. Plan on arriving no later than 6 AM.


All day free parking is available at Del Monte Center (DMC). Free shuttles will take runners from DMC to a drop-off area near the race start every 10 minutes from 5 to 6:15 AM. Take exit 399B from Highway 1 to Munras Ave. Del Monte Center is immediately on the right after exiting. Follow signs and directions for parking. Plan on arriving no later than 6 AM.


Return shuttles to both MPC and DMC depart from Figueroa Street at the Recreation Trail (near the race start area) from 8:30 AM to 12 Noon. See the map for the departure location.


The designated runner drop-off location for private vehicles is on Pacific Street between Jefferson and Madison (in front of City Hall). It’s a short five minute walk from here to the start on Del Monte.


Free secure bicycle parking is available for runners and spectators in the Wharf parking lot near the Gear Check area between 5:30 and 11:30 AM. See map  for location.


The Half Marathon begins on Del Monte Avenue at Camino El Estero in downtown Monterey. You will run east on Del Monte and then turn right on Camino Aguajito and turn right again on Third Street. After crossing Camino El Estero, Third Street becomes Pearl Street. You’ll continue on Pearl until Alvarado Street, where you’ll turn right, and then make another right onto Franklin Street. You will turn left on Washington Street, cross Del Monte and pass through the Custom House Tunnel, which will feature a fun light and music show!

After emerging from the tunnel, you’ll veer right onto Foam Street. From Foam it is a right turn onto Drake Street and then left onto Cannery Row. From Cannery Row, you will turn right on Wave Street which becomes Ocean View Blvd. in Pacific Grove. At Fountain Avenue, you will turn left and proceed to Lighthouse Avenue in downtown Pacific Grove and turn right then take another right at Central Avenue. At 17th Street, you will turn left and continue down to Ocean View Boulevard and Lovers Point.

The next six miles are run next to the Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Ocean View becomes Sunset Drive just past Asilomar Boulevard. You will turn around just past Asilomar Beach and then return the same way but in the ocean-side lane. At Lovers Point, you will turn onto the Recreation Trail and proceed east. You will turn left onto Cannery Row and again run down the Row to Drake then return to the Recreation Trail for a flat final half-mile.

The course begins and finishes at sea level and is mostly flat with gently-rolling hills. The total elevation gained and lost is 370 feet. The largest climb is about a 1/4-mile steady grade from 40 to 104-foot elevation at mile 3.7.

Please note the following:

  • Be sure your bib number is pinned to the FRONT of your shirt or shorts and is visible to course officials. Be sure to fill out the emergency information on the back of the bib.
  • If you turn around early during the race, be sure to let the timing company or a race official know after you finish the race.
  • We strongly discourage wearing headphones for your safety.
  • No unofficial runners, strollers, baby joggers, pets or bicycles.
  • If you take photos during the race, be considerate of other runners, check your surroundings, and move to the side of the road.
  • No littering! Be considerate of the environment and please pack out any gel or energy bar wrappers you use during the race.
  • Note to GPS wearers: We find almost all GPS watches read at least one or two percent long on any certified course. You will run a certified and accurate 13.10938-mile course but final GPS readings of 13.25 – 13.35 miles or more are not unusual. Plan your pacing accordingly.
  • Some course entertainment will not begin until 8 AM to minimize disturbance to nearby residents



Both races start and finish on Ocean View Boulevard at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. View the start/finish map.


The 3K begins at 8:00 AM and the 5K at 8:30 AM in two waves. Wave 1 for those expected to run under a 10-minute mile pace and wave 2 for over a 10-minute pace.


Bibs and participant shirts can be picked up at the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, November 9th. A photo ID is required for packet pick up. The Expo is located at the Portola Hotel & Spa at 1 Portola Plaza in Monterey. Hours are noon to 6:00 PM on Friday. If you are unable to pick up on Friday, there will be race morning pick up at Lovers Point Park beginning at 6:30 AM. If you are running the Ocean View Challenge, race morning pick up will be for your 5K bib only; you’ll need to pick up your Half Marathon bib and shirt at the Health & Fitness Expo between 9:30 AM and 6 PM. There are no gear check provisions for the 5K or 3K.

Online registration will end on Friday, November 2, and, if not sold-out, in-person registration is available Friday, November 9th at the Expo from noon to 6:00 PM or race morning at Lovers Point Park beginning at 6:30 AM. Race shirt availability or sizes are not guaranteed for new registrants.


For safety reasons, please leave the dogs, strollers/baby joggers, and headphones, iPods, or earbuds at home. Thank you.


There is parking available in the public lots in Pacific Grove or on the city streets. Be sure to note any parking enforcement signs and hours of enforcement.


Both the 5K and 3K courses begin just west of Lovers Point Park on Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove and are out-and-back. On the outbound section, you are in the water-side lane; after turning around, you are in the land-side lane. 5K runners turn around at Point Pinos near Lighthouse Avenue. 3K runners turn around at Coral Street. View the 3K/5K course map.


There will be two water/aid stations on the 5K course at 1.2 miles and 2.3 miles. The 3K station is on Ocean View Boulevard after the turnaround at Coral Street.

There will be water and post-race refreshments after the finish in Lovers Point Park.


The 5K awards ceremony begins at 9:30 AM at Lovers Point Park. Awards go three deep in five-year age divisions after 5-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-19. Awards are also presented to the overall male and female winners and masters (age 40 and over) male and female winners. Awards are determined by chip time.

The 3K is timed but non-competitive. There are no overall or age division awards in the 3K.

All 5K and 3K finishers receive medallions.

Pacific Grove Kiwanis sponsors a $5 pancake breakfast and MY Museum will offer interactive activities for children and youth.