- 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, transportation, race times, entertainment or spectators.
Expo- The expo was held in the San Diego Convention Center. It seemed smaller than last year but very organized. It had a large apparel booth from Brooks as well as the usual booths you would find at a good sized expo.
Bib pick up- Bib pick up was organized by number which you needed to know first and I got there late Saturday afternoon so it only took a few minutes. New this year was that your bib number did not indicate your corral, so you did not know your corral until after you picked up your bib. The timing chips are now also located on the backs of the bibs instead of D-tags. We then headed into another section to pick up our shirts and goodie bags. The shirts still run very small though.
Race morning- Shuttle transportation is a breeze from Waterfront Park and you arrive at the start within minutes. There were plenty of porta potties scattered throughout the park – I think I heard a volunteer say there were over 200- but as with any race with over 20,000 runners there were long lines at each. UPS trucks were available for gear drop.
The race started right on time-6:15- but with so many corrals -33- each was released a few minutes apart. I crossed the start line at 6:48 and was in corral 17.
The course- I love that the race loop you through San Diego- city streets, neighborhoods, and Balboa Park. You run through North Park and Normal Heights and back down to the waterfront. The city really comes out to cheer on the runners, some in costumes, some create their own aid stations- there’s even a mile 4.5 bar. The people are awesome. And that’s not even counting the entertainment that Rock n Roll provides for you via live music, DJ’s and having the local schools’ cheerleaders come out to cheer you on.
Aid stations- The half marathon had 8 aid stations which had water and Gatorade Endurance. This sounds like a lot but it turned out to be a warm and very humid day and the stations were having trouble keeping up with the demand from the runners as it kept getting warmer. The volunteers were doing their best but the weather was a giant curveball. A couple of stations offered SIS gels as fuel.
Elevation- By my standards this course is fairly flat, it has 2 real hills, one at mile 2 and one just after mile 10. There’s a good downhill just after 11 and a slight downhill finish line. The overall elevation gain is just under 500.
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, Goldfish, granola bar and a banana. Once again, I wish they would give you something to carry everything in. My favorite thing this time though was the volunteer just handing out bags of ice. Thanks, new best friend!
Overall, I still love Rock n Roll San Diego. The humidity level did a number on me and kicked my butt but the course and the volunteers are awesome. This is the second time I've run this race and it's a race I will keep running and I say that knowing it took me 7 hours of driving it get there. :) I'll just keep my fingers crossed for some cloud cover next year.