Carlsbad Marathon & Half

January 14, 2018

Marathon Information

Sunday, January 14, 2018
6:15 a.m.

Event Course

The out-and-back marathon course is gently rolling, with much of it is along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The highest point of elevation is 308 feet above sea level reached gradually between miles 5 and 9 (click here for course map)The race starts at the Shoppes at Carlsbad.  It begins by passing the Buena Vista Lagoon in the early miles, setting the event's naturalistic tone.  The course and surroundings soon pick up the beat as participants make their way through spectator-packed Carlsbad Village, a quaint but popular mix of restaurants, shops and hotels.  Mile three exposes stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, providing an inspiring sight and gorgeous backdrop as rolling hills carry runners and walkers past sandy beaches and rolling surf.  Participants head east on Palomar Airport Road for a 3-mile trip inland, then out to the coast and south on Carlsbad Boulevard (Highway 101) to a U-turn at La Costa Avenue, then back up the coast to the finish line.


Carlsbad, CaliforniaThe Shoppes at Carlsbad

Course Time Limit

6 hours (13:44-minute-mile pace) - based on chip time

Full Marathon Registration

Current price through October 18

*Price does not include processing fee.

Included in your registration:

  • A long-sleeve, top-quality, technical fabric race shirt
  • A technical fabric 1/4 zip race pullover
  • Entrance to beer garden
  • Cinch bag
  • Personalized bib number
  • Support stations and entertainment at every mile
  • Mylar blankets
  • Dazzling finisher's medal
  • First race in the 2018 Half Marathon Triple CrownSM Series
  • A Nom Nom bag filled with tasty and nutritious refueling foods at the finish line (including chocolate milk!)
  • Finish line festival with live band, refreshments and celebration!

Time Limits

All full marathon participants who are unable to maintain the required 13:44-minute-mile pace will be redirected at Carlsbad Boulevard/Hwy 101 and Carlsbad Village Drive to the finish line via an alternate route. These participants will be using the sidewalk and will be considered pedestrians. The diverted route will be marked and supported, and will equal the full marathon distance.

Full marathon participants must sign a waiver during the registration process agreeing to maintain the required 13:44-minute-mile-pace to complete the marathon in 6 hours or less. They must also agree that if they do not reach Palomar Airport Road and Carlsbad Boulevard by 9:45 a.m., they will not be allowed to continue south to complete the southern portion of the course on Carlsbad Boulevard (approximately 6 miles) and will instead be redirected back to the finish line.

Boston Qualifier

The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon is a qualifier to Boston.  Click here to learn the current Boston qualifying times.

Race Shirt and 1/4 Zip Pullover

Every marathon participant will receive a beautiful, top-quality, long-sleeve finisher's shirt, as well as a 1/4 zip pullover. Items must be picked up at the Health & Lifestyle Expo during regular Expo hours. They will not be mailed. While we will do all we can to ensure you receive the shirt sizes you request, unfortunately we cannot make any guarantees. Click here to learn more about the Expo including the Expo dates and times.

Bib Numbers/Timing Tag

We use the ChronoTrack's B-Tag. The B-tag is a disposable tag that is mounted on your bib number. To ensure an accurate time, race bibs must be clearly visible on the front of the torso and not covered by outer apparel, unaltered and unmodified (do not fold or wrinkle) and pinned in all four corners. Please note that bib numbers will not be mailed out. They must be picked up in person at the Health & Lifestyle Expo. Be prepared to show your photo ID to claim your bib number. Bib numbers are nontransferable and irreplaceable if lost, and entry fees are nonrefundable (see below for only exceptions). Click here to learn more about the Expo. 

Race Day Gear Check

Check your gear race morning inside the big expo tent using the 16.5” x 14.5” cinch bag you will receive at the expo. The cinch bag will have a white box for you to write in your bib number. If you don’t want to write your number on the bag, write it on a piece of duct tape and place it over the white box. If you forget your cinch bag on race morning, a clear plastic 11” x 16” bag will be provided for you.

As a safety precaution, backpacks and duffle bags will not be accepted. Do not check any valuables and keep in mind we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. Bags may be claimed after your race. Do not discard gear at the start line. All items left at the start line, on the course or not claimed on race day from Gear Check will be donated to local shelters.

Water Stations/Course Support

Keep yourself hydrated! Fully staffed and equipped water stations will be positioned along the course approximately every mile with plenty of water and portable toilets. Grape Ultima Replenisher will be served at approximately mile 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24.  GU Energy Gel (Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Outrage - both flavors contain 20 mg of caffeine per packet) will be available at approximately mile 4, 8, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 22.

Please help us keep the course clean and ensure this event continues for years to come by using the provided trash boxes near the aid stations and along the course. 


Tri-City Medical Center provides all of our race day medical services including a complete medical station positioned along the course at Cannon Park, a crew of doctors on bikes monitoring the course, and a field hospital at the finish line.

Pace Groups

Want to make sure you run your marathon at a specific pace or that you complete the race by a certain finishing time? Let our pace team help you achieve your marathon goals. A pace team is a group of runners led by an experienced leader who run together in the  marathon. The pace leader runs a steady pace and keeps track of that pace so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing the marathon at a particular time.

All pacers will be available at the Health & Lifestyle Expo on Saturday, time TBA, for those who are interested in meeting with their pacer before the race.  On race day, they will be holding their pace signs.  Click here for finish times.

To learn more about being a pacer, please send us an email.

Half Marathon Triple CrownSM Series

The Half Marathon Triple CrownSM is a special challenge requiring the completion of three of Southern California's best half marathons in the same year - starting with Carlsbad in January!  Both the half and full marathon qualify - learn more here.

Driving Directions to Event

The Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon start and finish is at The Shoppes at Carlsbad located at: 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92008

It is easy to get to The Shoppes at Carlsbad by car, and with over 6,000 FREE and convenient parking spaces it's just as easy to park.

Click here for driving directions.

Cancellation Policy

Event will take place rain or shine. If conditions make it unsafe or impossible to have the event our intent would be to refund entry fees as long as the cancelled event was covered by insurance. Our hope is the weather or any other unforeseen conditions won’t prevent us from having the event in which case the Carlsbad Marathon & Half will still take place rain or shine. Your entry fee is non-refundable and your bib number is transferable only during the transfer period. If you have any questions, please email

Active duty military members who are unable to participate because they are unexpectedly deployed may choose to either defer their entry to the following year's race or receive a refund less a $15 administration fee. Email request with a copy of orders to no later than 10 days prior to event day.

What is the transfer policy?

The transfer period will be available from January 1 - January 5, 2018. At this time, a transfer form will be posted on the event website and any registered participant may transfer his or her entry to another person. To transfer a confirmed entry, the new registrant must complete and return the entry transfer form and transfer authorization letter and pay a $20 transfer fee before the deadline. Please note that we do not maintain a waiting list. Registered participants are responsible for finding transferees and making sure transfers are completed prior to the deadline.

Participating with a bib number and timing tag not officially assigned to you is not permitted. If race officials discover that this has occurred, you and the original registered participant will be banned from this event and future Triple Crown events.


In recognition of their accomplishment, all full marathon finishers will receive a beautiful medal after completing the marathon. In addition, age group awards are also given.

Awards will be offered to the first three finishers, male and female,  in the following age groups: 17 & under, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80+.

Age group awards will be available for pickup after your race. Just look for the “Award Pickup” table located near race results just inside of the “big top”  tent.  

If you’re unable to pick up your award on race day, here are two other ways to receive it:

  1. Pick it up at In Motion located at 6116 Innovation Way, Carlsbad, CA 92009 during normal business hours.  Be sure to call the office at 760-692-2900 or send an email ahead of time so we can have your award ready for you.
  2. Pay the shipping charge of $4.50.  You can either call us to pay by credit card or send a check payable to In Motion to cover postage to 6116 Innovation Way, Carlsbad, CA 92009.  Be sure to include your name and bib number on your check and we’ll ship your award to the address you used to register unless otherwise specified.

Please note: age group awards will be based on net chip time and prize money will be based on clock time.

Drug Testing

Athletes who participate in this competition are subject to formal drug testing in accordance with USA Track and Field and IAAF Rule 55. Athletes found positive for banned substances, or who refuse the test will be disqualified from this event and will be ineligible for future competitions. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications contain banned substances. Call the USO Drug Hotline at 800/233-0393 for information regarding drugs and for testing.


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