Categorized | Primary, Ultra Running Races

The Valley Crest Half Marathon Race Review

Posted on 02 November 2010

Race Review provided by Nancy at

The Valley Crest Half Marathon is held each year on the second Sunday in June in beautiful Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park in the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The race course traverses up and down historic Mulholland Drive fire road and offers panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley on one side and glimpses of the Pacific Ocean on the other.  

2011 will be the 10th anniversary of the Valley Crest Half Marathon; a Road Runner’s Club of America Regional Championship Race. Race director’s Larry Dervin and Nancy Shura-Dervin developed this race as a new venue in 2002 and have managed the event since then.  Larry and Nancy are veteran marathoners and ultra marathoners who have completed more than 200 marathons and ultra marathons between them.  

The weather in June is typically cool “June gloom” morning that burns off into sunshine by early afternoon.  Temperatures average in the 60s-70s on race morning.  Race day check in and registration goes from 6:00AM to 7:50AM.

The entry fee is $60 through January 31; $65 thereafter through March 31; $70 thereafter through June 10; $75 on race day, space permitting. Runners receive a colored unisex race shirt, four aid stations on the race course, snack food at the finish line, free entry into the Sponsor’s Raffle and finishers receive a finisher medal.   Prize Purse to Top Three Males/Females Overall, as follows: • First Place Male/Female = $300 Cash + Sponsor Gifts • Second Place Male/Female = $200 Cash • Third Place Male/Female = $100 Cash • Sponsor Gifts & Awards three deep in 5-year male/female age divisions.

The Valley Crest is known as “The Friendliest Race in L.A.” and our runners say they love the Volunteers, the home grown atmosphere of the event, the great organization, and the feeling of accomplishment at finishing a challenging mountain half marathon.  The race course has not changed over the years.

The Valley Crest started as a small home grown trail race that has grown to over 350 runners each year. 

The majority of runners come from Southern CA but we do get a handful of runners from out-of-state and are beginning to get some international runners as well.

The race is in a rural setting of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy but the general area is within driving distance to all of Los Angeles County’s tourism including beaches, Hollywood, and theme parks that make it a great place for tourists to visit.

The race starts and finishes at the same place.  The race begins with a .20 mile leg followed by two different out-and-backs before taking the same .20 leg back to the start/finish line.

A sufficient number of porto-potties are placed at the start/finish area; there are no toilets on the race course.

Mulholland Drive fire road is a wide fire road that has long up hill and down hill climbs. There is approximately 1700’ of ascent and decent over 13 miles. The running surface is rough but not technical.  The course is clearly marked with large gymsum arrows place on the ground.  Additionally, race monitors are placed at turns and turn-arounds.  In nine years, no one has ever run off course. The entire race course is closed to vehicular traffic. 

The Valley Crest is a hilly yet run-able half-marathon; perfect for the newbie trail runner but don’t forget to train!

Four aid stations on the race course offer water, electrolyte drink, salty snacks, candy, oranges. There is no pre or post dinner however fresh fruit and bagels are served at the finish line. Full services approximately 4-miles from the race. There is no race expo.

Budget Items for summary of costs:

  • Race entry Fee = $60-75 depending on entry date
  • Hotel = $100.
  • How many dinners/ meals to buy = depends on length of visit
  • Transportation flight cost or gas = depends on distance of travel
  • Rental Car Requirements = depends on length of visit

Cell reception is likely but not guaranteed. Beautiful race photos on the race course are provided by

Additional Resources for Participants:

  • Two airports, Burbank and LAX, are within 30-miles of the race site.
  • Warner Center Hilton (818) 596-4500
  • Courtyard Marriott (818) 981-5400
  • Comfort Inn (818) 347-8080
  • The Valley Crest Half Marathon is a perfect little trail run for the athlete who is looking for a fun mountain run with great support, in a beautiful location that is easy to get to.  The Valley Crest really caters to runners by offering finisher medals, race shirts, awards in 5-year age divisions and prize purses to the top three males/females. If you’re still not convinced, go online and read some of our Runners’ Comments:

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