Ventura Hammer Half Marathon & 5K

Sunday, February 10, 2019 • Ventura, CA • Course Map

runsignup-blueSet for its 19th annual running here in this Southern California city just outside Los Angeles, the Ventura Hammer Half Marathon & 5K takes runners along the Ventura River Trail, a rails-to-trails project that connects with the Ojai Valley Trail to offer one of the region’s more popular urban biking, walking and running trails.

Opened in 1999, the Ventura River Trail unfolds along just over 6 miles of what once was the railbed for the former Southern Pacific Railroad that ran through this part of Southern California.

Today, the trail connects with both the Ojai Valley and the nearby Omer Rains Trail to give bikers and runners 17 miles of uninterrupted paths, from Ojai’s Fox Street all the way to the Ventura Pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Runners in the event’s half marathon and 5K races follow an out-and-back course that starts and finishes to the northeast of the city just off the Ojai Freeway, at the park near the intersection of Stanley Avenue and North Ventura Avenue.

From there, runners head out on a course that winds around the park’s perimeter and then merges with the trail, which runs roughly parallel to the freeway as it winds its way northward.

The course brings runners northward along the trail, passing through Foster Park (twice, as runners pass through it again on the return route) all the way up to the half-way turnaround point, which lies just north of the intersection of North Ventura Avenue and Sulphur Mountain Road.

There, runners then turn around and head back along the route they’ve just run back to the starting line area for the race finish.

Thanks in part to its small size field (just a few hundred runners), the race offer both a friendly, low-key atmosphere as well as a fast course, which unfolds along a very gradual uphill incline from the start to the half-way point, and a very gradul downhill slope during the second half back to the finish line.

Bear in mind that if some of the scenery is familiar while you’re in town, that’s because you’ve likely seen it before, at least in the movies — Ventura has served as a filming location for movies as varied as “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Chinatown,” “The Aviator” and “Erin Brockovich” in recent years.

Race Weather & Climate

Located along Southern California’s Pacific coastline, roughly 65 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, the city of Ventura typically experiences cool (and occasionally cold) to mild weather conditions in the late winter, and usually sees its wettest weather of the year in February.

On race day (Feb. 10), the average low is 47ºF and the average high is 66ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Ventura Hammer Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:30 AM – half marathon
  • 8:00 AM – 5K


  • $60 – $90 for the half marathon
  • $35 – $50 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2019 running of the Ventura Hammer Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at here.


Official Race Website


Ever run in the Ventura Hammer Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: California