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Review of Hollywood Half Marathon by

Posted by: on April, 9 2013

I ran this race last year and although I did not experience any problems (I always bring my own water, GU etc to half marathons 🙂 I was aware of them so I carefully read and re-read (like I always do anyway) the website and all pre-race instructions that all runners get. We were told about the parking fees at Universal for the Expo (actually website said $15 and on Thursday afternoon when I went we were told free if out in 15 or less minutes, $8 for an hour or $10 unlimited-we opted to go to CityWalk so I paid $10) we were encouraged to take the Metro to avoid race day parking fees of $10-25, the HOST hotel listed on the site was the W, not the Hilton and I wondered why shuttles were being provided for people at the Hilton with the Metro at the bottom of the hill, nice, but not necessary IMO. The course was described as “mostly flat” and fast so there was a clue that there might be some hills! I feel to complain and grade a race about any of those things that you could have taken the time to know about ahead of time is unfair.
Onto my experience this year….as I said I paid to park at the Hilton for the Expo (tried to park free at Metro park n ride at the bottom of hill but it was full) The Expo was smallish, but there were some fun vendors and my kids had fun spinning the wheel and El Capitan and sampling the Odwalla, Naked Juice and Clif goodies, we got our free RUN Hollywood tattoos from Alpha. I think the Expo will get bigger and better as the race gets older.
Race morning, parked at metro park n ride at Universal station. Took Metro 2 stops to the finish line to check my gear (gear check info was also in the pre-race instructions, apparently a lot of people complaining about that didn’t read theirs) then walked less than a mile to the starting line, easily found the port-a-potties and got in my corral. I was a little frustrated the pacers weren’t’ in the corrals yet and no volunteers knew the est. finish times for the corrals as I couldn’t remember what time I put and I really wanted to run with a certain pace group. Would be great if that info was on the website next year! Start was well organized, I was in corral 7 and energy was great still as our foghorn sounded. Course, not so pretty sure, it’s Hollywood. I guess if you’re not from here you could be expecting more glitz and glamour but what it was didn’t surprise me. Nice and flat for the most part with some short but slightly challenging hills around miles 6-7. Pretty views of the reservoir in that section. Great downhill finish last mile. Not as many on course entertainment and spectators but I think that too will grow with the event. The finish did bottleneck a bit due to the short chute and the photo op being right there; hopefully that can be spread out a bit next time. Enjoyed the full water bottles, bananas, bagels, protein drink and protein bar. Line was long but went fast. Fun band and entertainment post race too. Grabbed my gear, short walk around the corner and rode the Metro back 2 stops with lots of other happy racers.
I am giving the race an overall of an A because I believe that the Race Director is truly committed to solving every problem that people had this year re: the shuttles (which weren’t his fault) The communication with the Legacy runners has been AMAZING! He even gave us his cell # if any of us had issues on race day! Hosted a reception for us when there was some issue with the printer re: the Legacy bibs. He really puts his all in the events (and his lovely wife does as well) and I believe once the kinks are out this will be an A+ race that many people who won’t give it another chance will be missing out on in the future 🙂