Irvine Half Marathon & 5K

Saturday, January 7, 2023 • Irvine, CA • Course Map

Take a run around the course known to locals as “inside the loop” at the Irvine Half Marathon & 5K (known before 2019 as the Southern California Half Marathon & 5K), which celebrates its 29th annual running in 2023 as the official warm-up road race for other California races like the Los Angeles Marathon, the O.C. Marathon and the Surf City Marathon later in the year.

Following a route through the area known as the Woodbridge Loop, the Irvine Half takes runners on a mostly flat (though occasionally hilly) course through suburban neighborhoods, city park areas and along the waters of the San Diego Creek.

Runners begin their race with a starting time of 8:00 AM at the Woodbridge Village Shopping Center on Barranca Parkway and Lake Road, and follow a loop course that takes runners along the Irvine bike trail system.

Along the way, runners will run along the waters of the San Diego Creek for the first half of the race, coasting slowly downhill for the first four miles. At this point, they turn onto the Walnut Trail, where the course begins its gradual uphill climb for the next three miles. With an elevation change of 130 feet in 3 miles, the climb isn’t an especially arduous one but is still the only big hill runners encounter in this race.

After this hill, the second half of the race is a gradual descent with the occasional rolling hill mixed in. Along the second half of the course, runners will run past or through parks and green space areas including Valley Oak Park, Oak Creek Community Park and the Woodbridge Community Park, and will run entirely on paved surfaces (both streets and creekside trails) throughout the race.

Race organizers allow a three-hour time limit for those running in the half marathon to receive finishers’ medals and have their results counted in the race’s official statistics. For those who prefer a shorter race distance, the event also hosts a 5K run (around the neighborhood known as the “Yale loop”) and a one-mile run for children, around North Lake.

The race has seen its popularity surge in recent years, growing from a field of about 950 runners at its inaugural running to a field of more than 5,000 runners in both races combined at its 2016 running.

Race Climate & Weather

Located about 10 miles inland from the Southern California town of Newport Beach, the city of Irvine tends to experience mild to moderately cool conditions in the mid-winter season, as well as wetter than average weather compared to most of the rest of the year.

In January, temperatures average between 41°F and 68°F, while rainfall amounts average just under 3 inches for the month. On the day of the race (Jan. 7), the average low is 41°F and the average high is 67°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the Irvine Half Marathon course map here.

Starting Time

  • 8:00 AM – half marathon
  • 8:15 AM – 5K


  • $79 – $120 for the half marathon
  • $34 – $60 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the winter 2023 running of the Irvine Half Marathon or 5K, register online at here.

Official Race Website

See more races in: California, January

4 comments… add one
  • Andrew Le December 29, 2019, 7:43 pm

    Hello, my name is Andrew Le and I represent La Quinta High School American Cancer Society as their project chair. Our club is filled with many young and enthusiastic adults who dedicate their time into serving the community. We have assisted with various events before and would like to know if your organization needs any volunteers for the Irvine Half Marathon on Saturday, January 11th. I would be able to provide around 15 members who would love to participate in helping with this event. It would be absolutely wonderful if you would consider our assistance and reply back through this chat. when you are able to do so, or if you have any questions.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, we would love to hear back from you!

  • Scott January 15, 2019, 3:57 pm

    I ran the 2019 version now run by a race management company versus Woodbridge HS. They changed the course so that 90% of it was on sidewalks and the bike path along the creeks in the area. Parts of it were flooded from rain earlier in the day. One stretch past mile 2 on the bike path had water pouring down on it form the street above, even though it was raining. No thought was put into how the course could handle rain, even though January is the rainy season out here. There was a huge mudpit/pool of water around 6.5 miles that we had to basically had to stop and try to get though the shallowest part. Neither section had any course marshall there to warn/advise. It was obvious no one checked the course the day of the race. The new course led to reduced crowd support as it took you to places far from the start/finish area and had fewer loops on the roads like the old course did. I assume most of the road sections were eliminated to save the organizers money, even though the entry fee was raised $30 and there was no race day number pick up unless you paid an extra $20. Out for money for sure. Also all the mile markers were off. I confirmed my suspicions with multiple runners. Some miles were several hundred yards long, others were short. There is no excuse for that with GPS. One mile I ran 6:30, than per the markers my next two were 7:30 pace, then back to 6:40 for the next mile. On a flat course, no way would my pace vary that much. The Students Run LA skipped it, likely due to the increased fees. Participation numbers were definitely down. I will pass on this race in the future as it is not worth the $85 entry fee.

  • Mike February 6, 2015, 11:57 am

    This 2015 race gave out a medal that said 2014? LOL. What a joke.

  • Makayla Hobbs January 12, 2015, 6:24 pm

    The medal says 2014 instead of 2015. This is a special race for me as I ran it with my dad. Is there some way to get a medal that says 2015? Also, when I picked my bib up in Laguna Hills last wedneday, they told me that there were no goody bags, but I talked to some folks who picked theirs up on Friday, and they got goody bags. This was a real disappointment. Is there some way that I can get a goody bag? I live in Irvine and go to Irvine High. Thanks,
    Makayla Hobbs


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