- 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
This was my first RNR Half Marathon, but knowing the RNR brand I was expecting a good race - they know what they are dong when it comes to race fun & management. I have also never run a race in San Jose before so I was looking forward to the flat course and crowd support.
Starting with the expo, it was smaller than I was expecting, but it still had great vendors and a nice shopping area for the participants. I also worked the expo, so I did notice that the music was way too loud. By the end of the expo I barley had a voice because I had to keep talking over the music. But it was super easy to get my bib & shirt, there was not a long line as there were plenty of volunteers there to help out. The race shirt was a nice tech shirt, gray with blue & yellow and a guitar on it. I didn't care much for the design but so many people put them on as soon as they go them, so it is safe to say I think people liked them.
On race day I walked from my hotel to the start line. There were a ton of runners but everything was all very organized and it was easy to find my corral and get where I needed to be. I easily found my friends that were at the race as well, and we all ran together. The course was pretty flat, there was one "hill" as you went under an over pass - then coming back to the finish you ran that "hill" again. The community was so cool at this race! There were people out there with waters for us, I think I even saw shots at one house...which was a little much for me. Along with the on course entertainment (which was great by the way) there were people out playing in their driveway or from their porch. I thought that was super cool. You can't have bands at every spot in the race, but RNR does a good job with their placement and having the community add to that was really helpful! The aid stations were great, too. They lined both sides of the streets and had water and gatorade at each station - with green cups (gatorade) and white cups (water) it was easy to get what you needed for hydration. My only request would be that they add in a few more stations. They seemed a little sparse.
The scenery is what you would expect running through a city. I personally love running city streets so it was cool to be able to take in the views. San Jose is a beautiful place! We ran through some really nice neighborhoods - not sure of the names, but if you know of the Fab 40s in Sacramento, they were similar to that. Beautiful houses, wide tree lined streets, for sale signs that were as nice as the houses (a friend pointed that out). Much of the course was shady from buildings or trees - I LOVE when cities have lots of trees! Towards the end of the race, as you head into the downtown area you're running right into the sun. That kinda sucked because it was warm on race day. However, at that point there are a ton of spectators out there cheering you on so it was a nice little extra kick to get you across the finish line. Personally, I haven't run a sub 2 hour marathon in over 2 years (I've been injured) so it was nice to be injury free and find a fast and flat course to run, and finally get in that sub 2 hour time!
As soon as you cross the finish you're greeted by volunteers with medals, water, chocolate milk and food. Again, all of this was very well organized. I hate to say this, but this year's medals were ugly. It is some kind of animal, I think a gorilla, playing the drums. I get the whole Rock N Roll thing, but I think they could have done better. Why a gorilla? Perhaps I'm missing something...do gorillas have something to do with San Jose?? Anyway, the post race area was nice. There was food, drinks, merchandise, lots of areas to sit and relax and of course a stage with a band playing. This year's headliner was Letters To Cleo.
If you're looking for a fun & fast race I would definitely recommend RNR San Jose. I had a great time and look forward to checking out more San Jose races now.