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Review of America’s Finest City Half Marathon by

Posted by: on September, 4 2013

America’s Finest City was just that — fine, as in average or meh. The weather was nice, but the announcer wasn’t too enthusiastic and the pre race vibe was odd.

This race would benefit from a wave start. Despite lining up at the 1:55 sign, it was near impossible to get under even 10 min per mile for the first two miles due to crowding and the paces of the crowd. If I was attempting a PR at this race I would have been frustrated and disappointed. Fortunately, these first few crowded miles were very scenic, so that made up for it – a little.

The start was wacky, no gun, just people who started moving forward, some from the staging area and some from a second area with corrals, see above re pacing and crowding. It was not clear that you were crossing the start until you were on top of the timing mat, which was also a little wacky.

Much of the course had only partial street closures, resulting again in crowding.

After the half way point you basically run around the airport, which was not very pretty, and then the last two miles are uphill into balboa park. Admittedly, I am not from San Diego, so I guess I don’t share San Diego’s enthusiasm for ending all (ok, many) of their events with two miles up hill into balboa park.

The finish festival was nice though, easy to get through the finish line and medals, and many sponsors with tables giving out full size samples of drinks and snacks.

Overall, for an event of this size and price, I expected a little more. I think this run is great if you’re looking for a fun run, a training run, or want to do the triple crown. I would not suggest this race for a first timer or someone looking for a PR. Honestly, I’m now rethinking whether to do triple crown next year, because I don’t really want to do this race again.