Latest reviews by Amanda TheSwagMama

(2016)
"Running for Food!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Expo - Small expo at Road Runner Sports so it was easy in and out to grab bibs and shirts. They were selling tanks and other merchandise as well. Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi signed autographs and took pics with the attendees! Sweet!
Parking - The event is held downtown near Embarcadero and Seaport Village so parking is always a little congested in that area. I parked almost a mile away and jogged to the start line.
Course - Both the 5k and 10k courses are mostly flat with scenic views around the marina and embarcadero. The 10k course had a section of an unattractive part of downtown, but it was brief. Also the 10k course became a confusing cluster of loops a couple of miles in. We had to ask volunteers a few times if we were going in the right direction. The volunteers were friendly and encouraging. I also pushed my daughter so I liked that the course was stroller friendly.
Post-race - After crossing the finish line, we received a bag of goodies and a medal. Then we were free to roam several tents that had samples and items for sale. The event had quite a bit of vendors, more than I've seen at any other race. We got a late start to the race and combined with our course confusion meant that we had to wait in longer lines at the vendor tables. Some tables were out of things which was a little disappointing. They had several fitness demos, raffles and contests occurring as well as a chance to test drive a Lexus.
The food tent (which is what is hyped up about the event) was pretty disappointing. It was just a small plate with two small samples on it.
Swag - I picked up a good amount of swag, although I could have gotten more if I had more patience to wait in lines.
Pricing- Ranges from $55-$165 depending on what events you want to participate in. They have a cocktail party Friday evening, followed by the race on Saturday and more food and fitness on Sunday. I only did the run so I'm not sure what the other days were like. They usually have a Groupon deal for this event with a significant discount so that's a plus. Also, they have ambassadors for each location that do ticket giveaways on their blogs so check there too.
Overall- I was pretty disappointed by the course (although it was fun to say that I ran in the same race as Meb and Bill) and I did expect a bigger bang when it came to the food. But I ran with a friend and we made the most of it. I also couldn't imagine paying full price for this event. If I did it again I would do the 5k so that I could avoid the confusing course and get to the post-race fun faster to grab more goodies.
You can find more details and photos about this event on my blog at theswagmama.com

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(2016)
"Fun Run with Positive Vibes"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
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The location and scenery was perfect for a Hawaiian event held in San Diego! Packet pick-up was simple and parking was free and fairly easy. The race started in waves and the DJ was good at getting everyone hype!
The course was flat and paved and the weather was warm with a slight, cool breeze. Since this was a fun run, there were lots of walkers which was difficult at times during the narrow parts of the course. If you are looking to PR or get a decent time, then I recommend starting at the front of the line. The course is unique in that there were was Hawaiian entertainment sprinkled throughout the run which it made it more fun and exciting.
Post-race: Lots of vendors and a fun band with the DJ handing out prizes. Everyone was friendly and generous with their swag and the hula skirt on the medal even moves! How cute! I wasn't a fan of the cotton shirt as it's unisex and ended up being too big. Overall, it was a fun experience and a great event for the whole family! Checkout my blog to see more pics of this race! https://theswagmama.com

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(2016)
"Great Run! Total Party Race!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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This is my second year in a row participating in this race and it did not disappoint! It feels like a party on the run! I actually volunteered at packet pick-up the day before which meant I was able to run this race for free! Volunteering was fun and fast-paced, too. I took a 4-hour afternoon shift and it included free snacks and water. Everyone was in a great mood which meant positive vibes all around. The course scenery was much better than last year's because it was held downtown in conjunction with MLB All-Star weekend events. The only downfall was the parking. Parking downtown is always a challenge and this day was no different. It took me about 20 minutes but I found a spot a few blocks away from the start line. The course went through Embarcadero, SeaPort Village, Petco Park, and finished up at the Waterfront building. Lots of great scenery and it was actually a true a 5k this year (unlike last year). My only complaint was I felt that there weren't as many color zones as there were last year and there wasn't as much swag as last year. But they made up for it with the after party! Lots of cool props for photo ops and some great food trucks for refreshments. They also included a phone-charging station which was a nice touch and the Oxi-Clean guy stayed around for pics too! I also liked that they very generously handed out water and Gatorade to all participants as well as cool medals. Even my mini runner received a medal! Overall, it's a great event to run with families and friends with high energy and happy vibes all around. Check out my blog for more details and pics!

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(2016)
"Fun Event supporting the Military Community!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
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This is a great event for the whole family and since I enjoy supporting the military community, I like that it benefits the Navy Seal Foundation. The expo was a pretty simple bib/shirt pick-up with no lines.
Event parking was also pretty easy - free and plenty of spaces available. This is hard to come by in San Diego so definitely a plus! Course Scenery- the race runs through NTC Park in Point Loma so it's pretty flat with some nice things to see as well as airplanes flying overhead. Course support- lots of volunteers throughout the race directing runners and handing out water. Post race- lots of vendors handing out swag and refreshments! There is also a beer garden, raffle, and a skydiving show! In addition, there is a Tadpole Trot for the littles where they can earn their very own medals!
Cons- the race starts at 9am, which is pretty late since it's July in San Diego. Things got pretty hot during the run! Also the kid's run doesn't start until 10:30am which means a lot of waiting around in the heat. The course is great but it's narrow in some places which makes things difficult if your are trying to run through the congestion of walkers. I also pushed a stroller, which meant running through some dirt patches and squeezing through the crowds.
The medal is great too! It's a medal, lanyard, bottle opener and magnet all-in-one! Pretty snazzy!
Overall, it's a great event for the whole family! They offer discounted race entries on Groupon or there is usually a promo code advertised which also makes it a pretty cost-effective run. The event exudes patriotism and American pride with the music and presence of SEALS. I would definitely do this run again! Checkout my blog for more details as well as extra pics! https://theswagmama.com

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(2016)
"Fun Event on the Beach - Not a true 5k Distance"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
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I have mixed feelings about this race. I really loved that it was held on the beach and the post-race party was fun and family-friendly. I found free parking fairly easy along the street and the race began at 8 am. The packet pick-up line was minimal and all of the volunteers were really friendly and helpful. They also offered a free pancake breakfast post-race along with a raffle, live band, fitness demos, bounce house, face painting, several vendors, food options for purchase, and a medal ceremony. The scenery was great as the race began and ended near the Imperial Beach Pier in southern San Diego.
Now, what I didn't like: medals were only offered to those who placed in the top 3 of each category - which I understand (not everyone gets a trophy); however, the race price ranged from $25-35 and I usually expect a medal for that price. I will add that they offered a military discount for both active duty and spouses which I thought was amazing!
I also wasn't a fan of the terrain. I have run beach races before and this particular beach was slanted and full of rocks so you really had to watch your step so that you didn't trip. And my biggest issue was that it was only 2.39 miles- not 3.1! This is a huge pet peeve of mine. There was clearly some kind of miscommunication along the way as the course was not properly measured. I feel that if I am going to pay $25 for a 5k - I expect a 5k! I'm giving the organizers a bit of a break since this was their inaugural race, so hopefully next year's event will run a bit more smoothly. It kind of dulled my sparkle a bit, but the overall event was fun and it was a beautiful day with friends! Checkout my full review along with pictures on my blog at theswagmama.com!

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