City to the Sea Half Marathon & Seaside 5K

Sunday, November 21, 2021 • San Luis Obispo, CA • Course Map

More than 2,000 runners and walkers come out each year to run the long, scenic point-to-point course from San Luis Obispo to the coastal town of Pismo Beach at the City to the Sea Half Marathon & Seaside 5K Run/Walk, which has become a local road race tradition over the past decade in this Southern California town.

Thanks to what is only a slight change in elevation over this USATF-certified course, the event is considered particularly hospitable to runners of all abilities, from beginners to experienced half-marathoners. Proceeds from the race go to support the track and field teams for Cuesta College, which is based in San Luis Obispo.

From the starting line at the corner of Higuera and Osos Streets in downtown San Luis Obispo, the race starts runners off on a course that follows a southwesterly direction, taking the field along Higuera Street and South Higuera Street for the race’s first few miles.

This stretch of the race includes a number of areas that are particularly scenic rural roads through the California countryside, and feature a variety of terrains, from asphalt roads to dirt trails through unspoiled creekside areas.

After a brief turnaround area off San Luis Bay Drive onto Monte Road, the course continues southward and eastward along Shell Beach Road, as the last couple of miles of the race unfold along a slightly downhill stretch that showcases stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Runners then continue along Shell Beach Road toward the finish line at Avila Beach, at the Park at Dinosaur Caves on Cliff Avenue.

Course time limit: 3.5 hours. The race is open to runners, walkers and wheelchair competitors, but those thinking of walking the race need to keep in mind that race organizers limit the course time to 3.5 hours, so they’ll need to finish the race within that time limit to have their times officially counted in the race results.

Race Weather & Climate

Located along the California coast, about halfway between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, the city of San Luis Obispo enjoys mostly mild to moderately warm and very dry weather in September, where temperatures range from the low 40s to the low 70s.

On race day (Nov. 21), the average low is 46ºF and the average high is 67ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the City to the Sea Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

7:00 AM – half marathon, 5K


  • $75 – $100 for the half marathon
  • $30 – $45 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of San Luis Obispo’s City to the Sea Half Marathon, 5K or Kids’ Fun Run, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the City to the Sea Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: November, California

2 comments… add one
  • David Dantzer September 19, 2017, 11:01 pm

    I would like to know if there are any awards other than the finishing medals. If so, what are the age classes for males?

    Thank you.

  • Dana Hodgkinson October 13, 2015, 10:40 pm

    I wanted to find out how many were in my women’s age group for the 5k? I don’t see where I can find that along with the times?
    My group was 46-49 yrs old female for the 5 k. Thank you


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