The Carlsbad Half Marathon course is my absolute favorite. This was my third year participating. Out of the Triple Crown series, Carlsbad is the best. Once the course goes along the coast it’s absolutely beautiful. Since I train on hills weekly, I had no issues with the hills on the course, but I would advise someone coming from flatter parts of the country to get in some sort of simulated hill training, such as stairs (for example). There were plenty of volunteers along the race, plenty of water and electrolyte, plenty of restrooms, too. Post race (the first time I ran Carlsbad in 2009) there were volunteers watching out for runners who needed assistance as they crossed the finish line. A volunteer noticed I was looking sick and escorted me to the medical tent, where the doc and nurses took very good care of me and monitored my vitals for an hour. The post race “festival” area needs some improvements, though. The band was great, but they do need to get permitted for a beer garden and offer more food concessions. Post racers are wanting something to eat once they cool down. I also heard that the gear check was a mess this year. I haven’t used gear check at Carlsbad since my car is just in the adjacent parking lot, but some of my friends had issues. Kudos to the organizers at Carlsbad for sending out apology notices right away. I know that doesn’t change the mayhem at gear check, but at least it was acknowledged. Kudos for having traffic control in the parking lot area at all of the parking lot intersections — this made a HUGE difference getting out of the parking lot, eliminating the cluster of traffic we experienced the past two years. All in all, it’s my favorite. I’m signing up for next year’s Carlsbad Half Marathon as soon as registration becomes available.