- 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
Registration- Available online up until a week before race day. There was some limited registration available at the expo.
Race Communication- about one email every few weeks until it was closer to race day then the emails increased. All were very clear in providing helpful information about hotels, parking, race times, entertainment or spectators, and wave starts. The day before I headed down to the race, we received an email letting us know there was a delay with the half marathon shirts and we would have to get them after the race instead of at the expo.
Expo- The expo was held in the San Diego Convention Center. It had a large apparel booth from Brooks as well as the usual booths you would find at a good sized expo. I arrived pretty late on Saturday but it was still packed. I was able to pick a few things I had forgotten at home. Oops.
Bib pick up- Bib pick up was organized by number which you needed to know first, they went paperless this race, so runners claimed their race numbers via the Rock n Roll app. Timing chips were located on the backs of the bibs.
Race morning- I always book my hotel near the finish line and pick up one of the race shuttles to the start. There were plenty of porta potties scattered up each side street along the length of the corrals.
The race started at 6:15 with a wave start. Marathon and half marathoners start together. Instead of crossing the start all together- the waves feed into smaller funnels to disperse people. I am on the fence if I think this helps.
The course- I love this course. It takes you through North Park, Normal Heights and Balboa Park. The town comes out to party and cheer you along as well. There has been a mile 4.5 full bar every year I've run it. There are a variety of pop-up aid stations as well. Rock n Roll has a few music booths out on course and we run through a disco tunnel towards the finish.
Aid stations- The half marathon had 8 aid stations which had water and Gatorade Endurance. It was warm and pretty humid and the stations were always well stocked and ready to go. A couple of stations offered SIS gels as fuel. They were having a bit of trouble keeping up with the demand but I was able to take water at every station.
Elevation- I love hills- well hate them but my body loves them- so I don't find this course to be very hilly. I think I am alone in that though. The only hill to worry about is just past mile 10 in Balboa Park but you get rewarded with an amazing downhill to fly down.
Finish- There are multiple photographers around the finish area as you finish. You are handed your medal then funneled towards finisher’s photos then towards the food. Offered was a bottle of water, Gatorade Endurance, Chocolate milk, Cheese-Its, granola bar, a banana, Pringles and fruit snacks. For the love of Pete, give me something to carry everything in!
The Finish festival happens in Waterfront Park just a few blocks down from the finish line. Matt Nathanson was the headliner this year.
Picking up the race shirt after the race was kind of a mess. They did their best but everyone seemed to want their shirt at the same time and it was chaos. Women's shirts were a neon green color and the men's were blue. I got a men's shirt because that was where I ended up in the crowd and well I like blue better anyways.
I love this race, I really do. This was my third year running it in a row. and if I have my way I will be back again. They really do it right here.