Overall: This is a great run and I highly recommend it! Of the Triple Crown, this is the easiest course and both years that I’ve done it, the weather has been great.
Registration: This race sells out EARLY! They are great about posting accurate updates on their facebook page and this is also a place to find a bib for transfer if you miss out.
Packet pick-up: The expo is a little hectic in that they route you through the carnival barking vendors and time share booths to pick up your shirt. Even though it’s not intuitive, you are better off to cut straight through the middle to grab your shirt. The big vendors with race-day gear are in the middle as well.
Race day parking: While it’s easy to find a spot, it takes FOREVER to get out so plan on being there a while.
Course difficulties: NONE – it’s an AWESOME course!
Support/aid: I always carry my own water but this is one course where you really don’t have to. There are so many course stations as well as local groups with stations there is plenty of water. The race organizers advertise that they have GU, but I haven’t seen it in the 2 years I’ve run it.
SWAG: The shirt is a great long-sleeve tech and I love that they have women’s & men’s sizes. The medal is great as well but the “goodie bag” is virtual so no other real swag to speak of.
Spectator information: The course is lined with people and there is info. on the website on the best places to be. It’s nice that it is an out and back course so people in downtown Carlsbad can move from one side of the course to the other to cheer twice.
Post-race party: They have a stage and band, but not much else. At the finish this year I got a bag with a banana, a mini lara bar, a tiger milk bar and some pretzels. I didn’t see water but because I had my own I wasn’t looking for it. As mentioned above, getting out of the mall is crazy so have your friends & family bring you lunch and chill out or park on the perimeter near an exit to avoid the mayhem of leaving.