- 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
The 2019 Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in San Francisco featured a beautiful course that included an out and back run over the Golden Gate Bridge. The race was well attended, well organized, and featured fun post-race activities.
Runners were required to pickup their race packets during an expo held several days before the race. The expo was well organized and offered a lot of shopping and photo opportunities. race packets included your bib, shirt, and a light-up wristband that you were required to wear on race morning. There were many other race organizers present and several nutrition companies as well. The expo was located on the Embarcadero near the starting line so it was helpful to know exactly where to be on race morning. I checked out my race shirt when I got home and was surprised at the printing errors on the shirt. I noticed several printing defects and asked a friend I was running with to send me a photo of her shirt. She had the exact same defects in a different size shirt. So while I absolutely LOVED the design (I even bought a mini medal) I was bummed at the lack of quality in the shirt itself and in the printing of it.
As I mentioned earlier, on the morning of the race each runner was required to wear a light-up wristband. This wristband had the capability to light-up different colors and was synced to the entire network of other runners. At the start of the race, your wristband was lit to a particular color and when your color was called that indicated your wave was ready to start the race. The race started along the Embarcadero, then cut through North Beach/Russian Hill which is where we encountered the first incline. The race continued through Chrissy Field, out and back over the GGB, back to Chrissy Field and finished at Fort Mason. Throughout the course I also saw a number of stages setup for performers, but I was only able to catch maybe 2 live performances! I'm not sure if this was due to when my wave started or something else, but I was really surprised and a bit bummed at the lack of music on the course. There were also photographers throughout the race and at the finish line. I purchased a photo package during race registration for $20 and received my photo fairly soon after the race. It was a foggy day in SF, but I still surprised at the lack of quality photos. The quality of pics I took on my cell phone turned out way better than the professional photos.
Overall I would recommend this race to a friend, but based on my experience I would not suggest that they purchase the photo package and would encourage them to wear headphones in case bands are not performing. I recognize that photos and music have no impact on the actual race course itself, which is why I would indeed recommend the race. There's no comparison to be able to run over the GGB and through Chrissy Field and this well organized race checks both of those boxes!