The out-and-back marathon course is gently rolling, with much of it is along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The highest point of elevation is 308 feet above sea level reached gradually between miles 5 and 9. The race starts at the Shoppes at Carlsbad. It begins by passing the Buena Vista Lagoon in the early miles, setting the event's naturalistic tone. The course and surroundings soon pick up the beat as participants make their way through spectator-packed Carlsbad Village, a quaint but popular mix of restaurants, shops and hotels. Mile three exposes stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, providing an inspiring sight and gorgeous backdrop as rolling hills carry runners and walkers past sandy beaches and rolling surf. Participants head east on Palomar Airport Road for a 3-mile trip inland, then out to the coast and south on Carlsbad Boulevard (Highway 101) to a U-turn at La Costa Avenue, then back up the coast to the finish line.