FAQs

Frequently Asked What, Where, When and How Questions

You probably have a gazillion questions racing through your mind. Where do I stay? What time is packet pick up? How do I get to the start line? How many hills are on the course? Well, we have the answers to ease all your worries. Use this FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) as your guide. Then, two weeks prior to race day weekend, we will be providing all registered runners and walkers with detailed Race Weekend Instructions via the email address you used during the registration process.

We hope that the information provided will answer most of your questions. Remember to check the News Section on the Home Page of our www.SLOMarathon.com website or Facebook Page frequently to ensure you stay connected and get the latest news and information. If you change your email address, please let us know right away since that is our ONLY way to communicate directly to you and send you your Race Weekend Instructions.

Safe and happy training and we will see you April 25-27, 2014.


  • Is the SLO Marathon a Boston Qualifier?
  • Yes! By virtue of our USATF certification:
    Marathon: CA12012RS
    Half Marathon: CA12013RS
    Please visit the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) website to learn how to qualify. Only "Official Finishers" with verified split times will be submitted to the Boston Athletic Association after the race.

  • Are there refunds/transfers for this race?

    We adhere to standard Active.com and industry race policies. THERE ARE NO rain checks, rollovers or refunds. NO EXCEPTIONS, sorry. Transfers from one race to another or to another athlete are possible online thru Active.com until April 11, 2014. You may also transfer your race entry to another person, BUT they will have to pay their registration fee first before you will be refunded for your entry (this is an Active.com Policy). You may begin these processes by clicking the following link: https://myevents.active.com. If you have problems with your transfer, please email support@active.com.

  • When do I get my Bib Number with Timing Device?

    Packet Pick Up at the SLO Life Expo is where you will get everything you need for race day. You can get your name on your bib if you register by February 27, 2014. Your packet will include a ChronoTrack Race Bib with timing chip adhered to it, your shuttle wristband if you purchased thru the registration system, sweats drop bag, and tech race shirt. All athletes for all five races must come to Packet Pick Up at the SLO Life Expo on the Friday (Noon to 5 p.m.) OR Saturday: 5K from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and Marathon + Half from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. No Race Day packet pick-up for the marathon and half marathon is available on Sunday,no exceptions. Be sure to bring your photo ID to Packet Pick Up or you will not be able to receive your packet. You may pick up a friends or relations packet ONLY if you have their confirmation email to pick up their packet and a legible copy of their photo ID. NO exceptions.

  • What do I need to pick up my race packet?

    You must have your valid photo ID and it is very helpful to bring your confirmation email to pick up your race packet. No ID means NO race. Also, if you received the Military Discount, you must bring your current Active Military ID. Minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and will have to sign an additional waiver. Packet Pick Up is at the SLO Life Expo on both Friday and Saturday only. There will be NO RACE DAY Packet Pick Up. Bib numbers are non-transferable. No one else may wear the bib number assigned to you. You cannot sell your bib number. Runners found on the course without bib numbers will be removed from the course and disqualified. Runners caught wearing someone else's bib number will result in both parties being banned from all future SLO Marathon & Half races and all future Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions events.

  • Where and When is the SLO Life Race Expo?

    The SLO Life Expo will be at the finish line on the iconic Madonna Inn property, located at 100 Madonna Rd. in San Luis Obispo, California. The three-day expo celebrating the SLO Life will be held in Madonna Meadows at the base of Cerro San Luis and adjacent the property. Plan ahead because you are going to want to hang out with us for the day and explore all the great SLO Life services and products we produce here, taste our Central Coast wines and beers and fuel up on SLO quality foods and farm produce! See your emailed RACE WEEKEND INSTRUCTIONS for details on each day’s race clinics and special offers not to miss.

    Expo Hours

    • Friday, April 25 - Noon to 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, April 26 - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday, April 27 - 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    • Late Registration (Unless sold out)/Packet Pick-up Hours

      • Friday, April 25 - Noon to 5 p.m. (All Races)
      • Saturday, April 26 - 5K: 6:30 - 7:30 a.m./Kid's Races: 6:30 a.m.- 9 a.m./ Marathon + Half: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      • Sunday, April 27 - NO packet pickup

    • HELP! I never received my registration confirmation email! What now?

      If you registered on Active.com and didn't receive an email confirmation immediately from Active.com, please email info@slomarathon.com. NOTE! Active.com does not recognize your name, thus your registration if you use the same email address to register multiple people. Please use a unique email address for each registration. Please let us know immediately and we will work to resolve the confirmation issue and save you time and stress. Include your full name, address, date of birth and phone number in that email to us. In addition, if you show up to Packet Pick Up Friday or Saturday and are not listed there, then bring your photo ID and proof of payment (cancelled check or credit card statement) to the Packet Pick-up Tent located in the Madonna Meadows at the SLO Life Expo.

    • Can I do late registration for any events at the SLO Life Expo?

      Late Registration will be available at the SLO Life Expo for the 5K race and Children's Races on Friday, noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. for the 5K and until 9 a.m. for the Children's Races (Unless the races are sold out). However, only CASH or CHECK payments will be accepted for late 5K and Children's Races registration and late registrants are not guaranteed a shirt. To race the SLO Marathon or Half Marathon, you MUST register online by April 11, 2014 or prior to sell out.

    • Are there Race Capacity Limitations?

      YES, each race has a race cap and, due to these caps, we expect the races to SELL OUT. For the safety of our athletes, race management reserves the right to set and/or change the number of athletes allowed into each race. Race capacities for the 2014 Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K are as follows: Full Marathon: 1000, Half Marathon: 3000 and 5K: 1200.

    • Can I downgrade or upgrade to another event?

      Yes for both. Yes, you may downgrade from the Marathon down to the Half Marathon or 5K by April 11, 2014, UNLESS THE RACE SELLS OUT. If the race you want to transfer to sells out, downgrades are automatically closed. Yes, you may downgrade from the Half Marathon to the 5K, same rules as above. NOTE, no refunds or credits are available for any type of downgrade. Yes, you may UPGRADE from the 5k to the Half Marathon or from the Half Marathon to the Marathon by the April 11, 2014 deadline. If you upgrade, you will be charged the additional registration fee. Again, if a race reaches capacity the upgrading will automatically close. To transfer your race, click the following link: https://myevents.active.com

    • How will my run or walk time be tracked?

      The Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K races will all be timed using the ChronoTrack timing system. Infinity Timing offers the ChronoTrack timing chip in bib and the most accurate results. Split Mats on the course will be positioned to allow the athlete split times, and their family and friends can sign up to track them live as they run, with updates when the athlete crosses the split mats. The athlete can also sign up to "push" their results to their social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, so those who can't come to cheer them on in person, can cheer them on online. A tracking email link will be sent to all athletes in their Race Day Instructions. Boston Qualifier result times will be examined for accurate split mat tracking prior to submission.

    • How do I get to the Marathon and Half Start Line on race day?

      First of all, YOU CANNOT DRIVE to or PARK AT the Marathon & Half Marathon START LINE! Roads to the high school will be CLOSED. Please do not move the barricades to get closer to the start line. All participants for the Marathon and Half Marathon HAVE THE OPTION AND ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to take one of the official shuttle buses to the starting line of the event on Sunday morning or be dropped off. No private vehicles will be allowed at the start area. There is NO PARKING. Roadways to the start area will be fully closed to the public and all traffic from 4 a.m. onward on race day and that will be STRICTLY ENFORCED by San Luis Obispo Police Department.

      IMPORTANT! In addition to picking up your race packet, at Packet Pick Up you will also receive your Shuttle Bus wristband purchased at registration for either the full or half marathon (not the 5K) to get you onto the buses that will bring you to the race start line on Sunday. There is a capacity on the shuttle wristbands: capacity for the Full Marathon and capacity for the Half Marathon will be determined in January. 5K participants DO NOT GET or NEED a bus wristband. 5K participants will start and finish at the Madonna Property, not the same location as the start for the Marathon & Half Marathon. If you forgot to purchase your wristband through the registration process, you can either purchase them online in the SLO Marathon Store or at the Expo packet pick-up tables. Marathon runners have a unique wristband that allows them to board shuttles from Madonna Inn parking lots and Half Marathoners their own wristband specifying their shuttle service from the Cal Poly Campus. The times for and maps to the shuttles are listed on the Shuttles Page on this website and will be included with your final race day instructions emailed to you as well as handed to you at packet pick up.

      You will have two choices to get to the Marathon and Half Marathon START LINE on Sunday morning:

      • 1) Either take your assigned bus using your bus wristband(see all schedule details and a map in your packet, then feel free to ask questions at Packet Pick Up). Parking & bus loading locations on the Cal Poly Campus are available and will be assigned to you specifically at PACKET PICK UP. You will not be allowed to board the bus without your bus wristband and bib number. No spectators, friends or family will be allowed to board the bus. No exceptions. The same bus will take you back to your car post-race and those details and times will also be in your race packet. Be sure to keep your bus wrist band on you at all times on Race Day Sunday, April 27, 2014.
      • 2) Or, have a family or friend drop you off near the starting line on Race Day. Be prepared for congestion and time delays if you choose this option.

      Please check your emailed Race Weekend Instructions for details and any changes in times or locations for race day bus pick-up.

      The 5K race starts and finishes at the Madonna Inn on Saturday, April 26. There is plenty of parking at the Madonna Inn property, in the upper lots and field. There is NO PARKING at the Copper Cafe or in any of the Inn's guest parking areas as your car will be towed (parking attendants will be on duty). Please arrive a minimum of 30-minutes prior to your race as there can be some traffic congestion.

    • What Do I Do With My Race Sweats Bag?

      Every Marathon & Half Marathon participant will receive a collectible and re-usable sweats drop bag at packet pick-up to bring a change of warm clothes for the race start and finish. You must use this exact numbered bag that matches your bib number– no others will be accepted. Decorate your bag to make it stand out from the others, get creative! There will be "sweats drop bag” UPS trucks at the starting area. You will put your sweats into your numbered bag and close it tightly, then take it to the truck according to your assigned bag and bib number. Make sure your sweats tag number (matching your bib number) is attached (pinned) to your sweats bag. You might also want to write your bib number on the bag. The UPS Trucks will be organized by bib number (i.e. 1-200). DO NOT PUT VALUABLES (phones, credit cards, cash, rings, watches, etc) in your sweats drop bag! We are not held responsible for any lost, broken or stolen items!

      Then at the finish line, all bags will be in the same numbered UPS trucks where you checked your pre-numbered bag was dropped according to your bib number. Volunteers will retrieve your bag for you. Any bags left behind will be assumed not wanted and get donated into the clothing ‘donations’ bins for collection.

      Finally, consider going GREEN or RECYCLING by wearing a recycled trash bag to the race start, then disposing of it in our ‘green waste cans’ at all aid stations on the course or by wearing clothing ‘donations’ to the start. Feel free to wear gloves, shirts, jackets and sweats you want to take off and donate into the bins at all aid stations along the course. All these clothing items will be donated to a local charity and you won't have to deal with a sweats drop bag at all. At the finish line, Jamba Juice will provide a bagel, snacks and a Jamba Juice smoothie in the recovery tent.

    • How many aid stations are there on the course? What beverages will be offered?

      In addition to water and sports drink at the start and finish lines, there are 13 full aid stations on the course itself. They are spread out approximately 2 miles apart. Every other aid station offers a variety of CLIF Shot energy gels, Culligan water and FLUID sports drink. Basic first aid and Vaseline will also be at aid stations. If you have a medical need or injury, be aware we have several roaming bike certified athletic trainers on the course, in addition to medical staff stationed on course. A complete First AID Tent staffed by French Hospital Medical Center will be at the finish line. Port-o-Lays will be available at the starting line, near every aid station and the SLO Life Expo finish line. The course map with aid station and first aid locations is available on the Home Page of this website.

    • What is the BYOB program?

      BYOB stands for "Bring your own Bottle" and represents another effort our race organizers are making to produce a GREEN race by reducing the usage of paper cups at aid stations and the SLO Life Expo. If you wish to go GREEN then please carry one or more bottles on you that can be refilled at the BYOB section of each aid station along the entire Marathon and Half Marathon course. Both water and sports drinks will be offered. All walkers and runners are strongly encouraged to take part in supporting our GREEN programs.

    • Will there be someone taking pictures of me on the course? Can I buy one?

      A professional sports photography company, Sport Photo, will be at several locations out on the course and the finish line taking pictures of walkers and runners. Be sure that when you cross the finish line that your bib number is visible and that you are smiling. They will get in touch with you following the event via email to show you your pictures. There is no photographer for the 5K race.

    • How do I get back to my hotel or parked car when I am done from at the expo/finish line?

      Post-race shuttles from the SLO Life Expo will depart at a variety of times from the Madonna Inn beginning at 9:30 a.m.. thru 2:30 p.m. to take Marathon and Half Marathon participants back to their cars at Cal Poly or San Luis Obispo High School/Monterey Hotel area. You must have on your bus wristband to board the buses. Be sure to get your sweats drop bag before you leave the expo as well.

      See your "Race Weekend Instructions" that will be emailed to you for more specific times and locations or in your PACKET PICK UP Instructions.

    • Where can spectators and family view my race?

      There will be dedicated Spectator Sections on the early part of the course, as well as along the last few hundred yards of the finish line along the fence at The Madonna Inn/SLO Life Expo. Because of the remoteness of the course into the Edna Valley and our top concerns of athlete safety and traffic control, spectators will not have access to that portion of the course. The runners and walkers will get plenty of support and cheer from the aid station volunteers and course entertainment on their journey.

      This years ‘chip-less’ timing and live results will be provided by Infinity Timing Company using the latest technology of the ChronoTrack System. Your chip is now implanted onto your bib, not separate on your shoe. You must wear your bib in front of you on your chest or stomach, not on your back.

    • Will there be Awards?

      Yes, there will be Age Group award ceremonies at the SLO Life Expo Stage at 10 a.m. on Saturday for 5k and 10 a.m. on Sunday for the Half and Full. 5k race will award 10-year age groups, three deep, men, women and youth. Half and Full will award Top 3 men and women overall, as well as 5-year age group awards, three deep. Additionally, the top three men and women in the marathon and half marathon will be awarded a cash prize. Should you place in your age division, you must be present to collect your medal. No medals will be mailed after the race. No exceptions!

    • How soon can I get my results? Where can I find them?

      Results will be posted LIVE every 15 minutes on the ChronoTrack Results Monitors in the Expo area. Unofficial results will be available online Sunday afternoon at www.SLOMarathon.com/Results

    • What can I expect if I am hurt and cannot run or walk? Can I get my money back?

      Sorry, but all entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. There will be no rain checks or rollovers. No exceptions. If you are injured during the event, the medical staff will see to you and bring you back in a sag wagon to the finish line and first aid tent. No sick or injured athletes are allowed to leave the course on their own without a medics release.

    • How many hills are there on the course? And how steep are they?

      One of the many things that makes San Luis Obispo so unique and beautiful is its GREEN hills and extraordinary vistas! The fully paved course starts flat downtown, gradually moves out into hills through turn-of-the-century neighborhoods, then out into the vineyards of the Edna Valley and back into town to the Madonna Inn Property. You need to do both up and down hill training. Athletes run and walk in one fully closed lane on the road. Slower runners and walkers must keep to the right and faster runners pass on the left. Please respect and follow athlete directional signs on the course to ensure competitive runners have the right of way. Course maps with elevation profiles are available on THE RACES page of this website.

    • What is the Military Discount?

      The Military Discount is given to Active Military personnel and is not valid for their spouses or dependents. Those taking the discount must present a valid Active Military ID.

    • Can I wear headphones or listen to my iPod during my race?

      In accordance with the guidelines set by USA Track and Field and the Road Runner's of Club of America, we are strongly recommending that you do not use iPods or other audio devices during the races. You are out on a roadway and will need to hear cars, other runners, volunteers and the local authorities who will be providing traffic safety patrol. Choosing to use an audio device will result in disqualification of any athlete competing to win prize monies as well as any PREREGISTERED ELITE ATHLETE in the race. There are motorcycle Race Officials on the course who will be recording and tracking violations. It is the Race Directors final decision preaward ceremony and any competitors wanting to file a greivance must due so immedietly with the Finish Line Timing and Race Officials in order to be considered.

      All other athletes choosing to utilize music, we ask to limit use to one ear only, take full responsibility for your own safety, use good judgment and courtesy to others. Thank you. -Race Director, Samantha Pruitt