- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
I LOVED this race! Yes, I'll admit it was hilly. But the views are totally worth it! Let me break down all the reasons why you should put the La Jolla Half Marathon on your bucket list:
*EXPO. While inside the Hilton Del Mar, the La Jolla Half expo still packed a punch. All my favorites were there. And some great deals on gear! Super quick to move through and lots of parking nearby at the fairgrounds.
*PARKING. Fortunately we had a friend drop us off but getting to the start wasn't too bad b/c they knew where to go. I did see some major traffic getting to the start so some may not have had the best experience with parking that I did. That being said, the race offers FREE shuttles in the morning from the finish to take you to the start. As well as FREE shuttles from the finish *back* to the start after you're done. So all in all, they make the race-day logistics as headache-free as possible.
*SWAG. I loved the tech shirts and drawstring bags we received. But I also had to purchase one of the $25 trucker hats! They were so awesome I couldn't pass it up. Everyone complimented me on the hat and the expo ended up selling out of both designs b/c they were so cool. The finisher's medal was also very locally themed and an impressive design.
*AID STATIONS. The aid stations were well stocked and tons of volunteers at each. Huge barrels of water so no one would run out. And volunteers even held signs to let people know if they had water or electrolytes in their hand. Plus tons of high-fives really helped motivate runners.
*SCENERY. This is a big one. Worth every penny! There were hills, yes, but the beach views and running along the coast was incredible. Even the views as we climbed the big Torrey Pines hill were fantastic. I loved all the trees and the ocean smells. A race really worth slowing down to take it all in.
*WEATHER. The weather couldn't have been better. Mid-High 60s. Perfect running weather. A little cool near the water so it was perfect. I did change out of my sweaty clothes as soon as I was done though b/c I get cold quickly (I'm from the desert, so 60s wet is freezing to me when I'm not running lol). But the sun was shining and I could've spent all day enjoying the weather in my dry clothes.
*FINISH LINE. Seriously one of my new favorite finish line festivals! Local beer. Chips & Guac. Music. And a good amount of booths with my favorite snacks (like Nature's Bakery Fig Newtons and frozen Acai). All with ocean views from high on the cliffs. Truly a great way to finish a race.
**Only two things to note. There are some hills in the last mile of the race, so that can be a factor for some people. But I didn't mind them as much. There were also a lot of downhill so that can be tough on the legs. As long as you run smart, it won't be a problem. Also, I'm a picky beer drinker and not a fan of IPAs. That's all they had available, so a pale ale or at least variety would have been more welcomed, but I certainly still enjoyed what was there!
Overall I highly recommend this race. It's very well managed and part of the "Triple Crown Series" that offer some extra bling and more when you finish all three in one year. I am definitely considering doing the Triple Crown Series next year!
Put the La Jolla Half Marathon on your bucket list. You won't be disappointed!