My family and I decided to visit San Diego for leisure, and fortunately, there was a half-marathon taking place while visiting! We (husband and myself) spontaneously decided to sign up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll on Sunday June 1st. Living spontaneously can sure be spendy!!!
Packet pick- up took place on Friday May 30th and Saturday May 31st at the San Diego Convention Center. The Convention Center was kind enough to allow participants to park in the garage for the generous fee of $15! The event also encouraged purchasing transportation tickets to be shuttled to the starting line for a fee of $20. We paid the fee because many roads and exits were scheduled to close during the event and we did not want to hassle with the logistics of parking and closed roads. Furthermore, the starting line and the finish line were about 3 miles apart, and since we would be able to park our cars at the convention center, which was close to the the finish line, we dished out the $20.
Our alarm clock went off at 3:15 am and it was a rough wake-up. We were exhausted because our little one did not fall asleep until 11pm. We had spent the night at a friend’s house because they were going to take care of our 10 year- old and 20 month old, and their house was approximately an hour away from the convention center. When we left, we realized we had no food in our bodies since dinner the night before and stopped by an Am/Pm and purchased pastries.
We arrived to the convention center at 4:25 am, parked, waited in line at a pedestrian bridge and rode to Balboa Park, the starting line of the race.
Of course we had to relieve ourselves and headed straight to the portable bathrooms. We stood in line for over a half hour before we could finally go!
The marathon start time was 6:15 and half marathon start time was at 6:45. We thought we had about 20 minutes until our start time, so we walked around for a few minutes and checked in our gear. They were actually being placed on UPS trucks that were going to be driven to the finish line!
We lined up to our appropriate corral (11) at 6:45, but had to wait about 15 minutes for corrals 1-10 to cross the starting line before we could start the race. I had consumed a 1/2 packet of Sports Beans around 6:30, and decided I would consume the remaining half after the first 3 miles of the race. Our corral came next and we took off. Except we didn’t. We spent mile 1, mile 2, mile 3, mile 4, and mile 5 passing at least 2000 people. Apparently, not every racer started in their respective corral or overlooked that fact. The five miles were a complete zigzag of weaving past people who were walking or going at a considerable slower pace. I was attempting to enjoy the race regardless, but it required extra physical effort to maneuver past people and therefore extra mental effort not to let it get to me.
Then there were the water stations. Because of the quantity of runners (over 30,000), the water stations became traffic jams and slipping hazards. There were Dixie cups all over the floor, along with elbows reaching for them on table or in front of you after cups were tossed to the floor.
In all honesty, I didn’t consider the course scenic. It was windy (zigzag) at times, making immediate left turns followed by immediate right turns. I do have to admit there was great music and fantastic support from volunteers and spectators, but I don’t feel like the course showcased the beautiful city of San Diego. We started at Balboa, but didn’t run Balboa Park. The glimpse of Coronado Bridge was great, and I enjoyed running under a tunnel that was illuminated towards the end, but don’t recall too many other landmarks.
I enjoyed running in San Diego, especially with my husband, because it is the city where we met and where he proposed. Running a half marathon in San Diego has always been on my bucket list, and it felt good to be able to cross it off the list with my life partner. Our overall finish time was 2:01:17.