- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
Thanks to a partnership bt BibRave and the RNR Series, I got a comped entry to RNRSJ here in SJ for the 13.1 race. While I knew I wasn't going to be racing it as a HM run, I couched the 13.1 into my planned 20-miler for the morning and really had a blast with it, despite the unseasonably warm weather for October (90+, pure sun).
Admittedly, I do not particularly enjoy RNR races and haven't run one in years, mostly due to the enormity of the events, the high price tag, and just kinda the over-hyping of the race/race weekend. Having just moved to SJ in Dec '13, though, I wanted to give RNRSJ a chance, and after I ran the entirety of the course a few weekends ago, I quickly learned that the course could make for an extremely fast race, if desired. If nothing else, it's a pretty course and shows off some really nice areas of town...and some really flat portions!
The course starts downtown and winds runners through parts of downtown, near the SJSU campus, Japantown, along the Alameda, through some quite mansion-filled neighborhoods west of downtown, and back, so it is a bit turn-y but still has plenty of straightaways. Lots of HS volunteers managed the aid stations well, and there were tons of cheerleading groups on the course on both the front and back end, which just added to the positive and fun environment. RNR usually markets itself as having tons of bands lining the course, and there were, though probably more on the front end than the back end (and a bonus: the bands were actually good!). With the really warm weather that we had, RNR also did a good job of managing things as well as they could by having several hose/misting areas and cold sponges available for runners. Ultimately, it's up to runners to run within their abilities--and to run intelligently--when the conditions dictate a change in plans, but it's also nice to see a race be proactive like this, in an effort to help runners not be idiots and seriously harm themselves on a blazing hot day.
The 10k and HM runners split on the Alameda, and while things could have gotten really ugly (bc the 10k runners were instructed to run in a lane demarcated by cones, while the HM runners stayed to the right of the cones), things were actually surprisingly controlled, even when I came through and came upon a ton of 10k walkers and HM run/walkers. Obviously, if you're gunning for a PR, it can be super shitty to have to trudge through a ton of slower-moving runners or run/walkers, but the system seemed to work pretty well.
All told, really well done, and I was pleasantly surprised. As is the norm with RNR races, the expo was enormous and had tons of stuff for sale; the medal was heavy and race-specific; and the premium, a tech short-sleeve, was nice and emphasized the CA/SJ connection to the RNR race series. I enjoyed the experience far more than I anticipated I would, and by the looks of it on course and on social media afterwards, many other people, too, had a blast out there--toasty temps be damned. Thanks again for the race opportunity, BibRave!