Submitted by lbclove
September 24, 2013
I don’t know where to start with this race maybe because I have ran too many half marathon this year and I am starting to become immune to bad events. So I will just start at the beginning. Pre-race was weird it just kinda started without any warning or countdown so we hoped in from the parking lot and got going. Right away the course was not marked clearly and most everyone went the wrong way which tacked on extra mile and lead us out of the park.
We were then taken out on the road shared with cars. I am no stranger to running on the road I hate sidewalks I run in oncoming traffic all week long but this was on a very narrow road and it was hard for cars to see us. In my opinion it was unsafe. Not only that we had to wait for cars several times so right away it made running for time a huge issue.
Next we were taken on to a steep dirt trail with loose gravel with lead to a creek. Runners formed a single file line and had to cross on the rocks hoping not to fall in. A few girls did fall in a the volunteer nearby was nice enough to yell ” no swimming” as joke. I am sure those ladies appreciated running in soft dirt with wet shoes for an additional 9 miles. The best part was that you got to cross the creek twice during the race.
This race course snaked around parking lots several times through a campground and up steep hills it was just all over the place.I saw runners out just wrecked looking defeated and hopeless. I saw many jumping the course and cutting it short because it just snaked around the parking lots and they just said forget this. Because the course was not clearly marked and I followed other confused runners my Garmin distance was 14.48. I am not screaming the course was long and Race Grader does not have to to post an article about how GPS isn’t always accurate. This was just a poorly marked course and easy to get lost on. I had many WTF moments out there. I just wish I had been better informed about the course and worn trail shoes. I like hills and dirt but not so much when I am prepared for it.
When I finally crossed the finish line they had ran out of everything expect water. They also had stupid song playing over and over on a loop and we had listen to for hour while we waited for the rest of out friends. I saw someone collapse at the finish line and they had no first aide/medical on site. The paramedics were pretty quick and took her away.
I never saw medical on the course once and that was pretty lame considering runners were on trails most the time. They did not had Cliff shits or GU which was fine with me I brought my own. I saw they had an electrolyte drink but also saw people spitting it out so it must have been pretty nasty.
The medal was really nice and I really appreciated the nice tech tank for a change but that’s all I liked about this race. I know if I want an awesome race with great course support that is well organized then only run big events like Surf City and Long Beach. I can still appreciate these small events I just don’t like paying $85.00 for a mess. I felt bad for a lot of runners out on the course. I saw many ladies running it as a first time half marathon and not having the easiest time out there. I saw the looks on there faces as they crossed and I just hoped they knew not all races suck like that and don’t give up just go out and sign up for another one.
Submitted by kseiler99
September 23, 2013
Whenever I do race reviews, I try to keep the size of the race in mind. This is my 9th half this year, and while I love all the bells and whistles that come with a well-established race like the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, it’s important to note that smaller, less-established races have other factors to consider. Even with that being said, this race needs some major tweaking.
Pre-race: I paid $15 extra to pick up the packet on race day. While I question why they charged for this (there weren’t all that many people participating and they could have easily done race-day pickup for everyone), I appreciated not having to drive out there twice. Parking was easy, but cost $10—something that should either be free or included in the race fee. That did cause a bit of a backup at the gate.
Course: The course was beautiful and challenging, and I appreciate not running through a parking lot for miles like some less-established races tend to do. However, I think there are some things that the organizers should be upfront about. I asked the FB page how hilly it was and to have an elevation profile—they said there were no major hills, but there were numerous steep hills on this trek (including running downhill on loose dirt), and sometimes that’s hard to tell this from an elevation profile. Also, having to cross a stream over small rocks (TWICE) was not mentioned. I would suggest that the organizers are much more upfront about this. It was interesting going across it at the beginning of the race and more of a nuisance than annoying, but having to go across it again with tired legs towards the end was bad. My shoes got wet on both crossings, and running in wet shoes is NO BUENO. Additionally, the stream crossing caused a backup and those of us who were running for time, not just to complete the race, were upset by this. Perhaps this should be advertised as an “Adventure Race” so when things like lots of running hills, over streams, and running downhill on loose dirt come up, we’re not as surprised. As far as the mileage goes, there was a lot of cross over between runners coming and going. I actually quite like out and back races, but with the numerous zig-zags it was A) easy to get lost (many runners complained about running extra miles) and B) very easy for people to cheat. I would suggest to race organizers to utilize cones for those cross over areas. I still don’t know exactly how much I ran that day or if I even went on the right path. Not closing down roads was an additional issue, and I was delayed numerous times in waiting for a car to move or trying not to be run over.
Post-race: Was okay, I suppose. There wasn’t much going on. I would have appreciated volunteers passing out water after we crossed the line, but that’s not a big deal. I can say that there were plenty of water stations and the volunteers seemed very friendly. The medal was also great, and I enjoyed getting a sleeveless tech-shirt for a change.
I don’t think I would run this race again, but it definitely was not the worst I’ve done. If they advertise this more accurately, they will probably get a different type of runner who can appreciate a more adventurous run.