- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
This is a great race for those looking to run San Diego in a more relaxed setting, with plenty of on/off-course support and a wonderful Gaslamp finish!
I signed up for the half marathon, while my mom decided to join for the 5k. We took the train down from LA and arrived the same day as the expo. While this expo was much smaller than larger race organizations such as RunDisney or Rock n' Roll SD, the bib pick up was quick and easy -- we were in and out in less than 5 minutes! After leaving the bib pick-up area, we made our way to the tents, featuring merchandise, samples, and upcoming race advertisements. My only complaint here was for the lack of signage directing runners to the expo entrance. We, along with a number of other runners, roamed around the area for a few minutes before a volunteer pointed us in the right direction.
On race morning, since we did not drive to San Diego, we opted to Uber. We were nervous about trying to get to the starting area, since it was in front of the convention center, but we were surprised to find that drop off was relatively easy due to the fact that only one side of the street was closed off for the race. The pre-race atmosphere was fun and festive, complete with music and a group of announcers to hype up the runners!
The 5k racers were sent off first, followed by the half marathoners. Due to the numerous waves of 5k runners, a majority of half marathoners were released as the sun was rising -- which meant we were in for a HOT run. The course started in front of the convention center, running along the water toward Harbor Island and the airport. From there, we turned right and headed along the north side of the airport and curving around heading east. Around mile 8-9, we climbed a HARD uphill climb in Hillcrest before turning back south and running along the west side of Balboa park and finishing in the Gaslamp District.
On course support for water and medical care was fantastic! There were plenty of volunteers ready to help. I had to stop at the medical tent at the 10k mark to address some knee pain and the volunteers were prompt, helpful, and knowledgeable.
After crossing the finish line, we were all given our medals (gorgeous, and with bright blue rhinestones!) in pre-packaged goodie bags containing water, snacks, and other coupons/codes/advertisements. From there, I went to meet up with my mother, but, like at the expo, we ran into difficulties finding the runner exit due to a lack of signage.
- Prepare for the heat! Dress accordingly and don't skip the hydration stations if you aren't carrying your own supply!
- Plan to either take public transit or a rideshare service to the starting line, as parking was not easily located as far as I could tell.
- While at the starting line, watch out for traffic in the opposite lane, as the road is only partially closed.
- Be on the lookout for volunteers if the signage is unclear -- they're super helpful!
Overall, this race is a perfect option for returning runners looking to see the sights of downtown San Diego, new runners wanting to tackle a bigger race without "mega" race pressures, or anyone interested in making a mini "race-cation" out of this event. With a fun expo, lively start, and fantastic Gaslamp finish, this race has something for everyone!