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Review of Hollywood Half Marathon by

Posted by: on April, 6 2013

Pre-race: I didn’t see anything on the website indicating that we’d have to pay for parking at Universal. $10 is pretty steep when you’re there for 10 minutes. The expo was small and it could have benefited from signage showing visitors where race packet pickup was located. We wandered around until we found it. It wasn’t the worst expo I’ve been to, though. Once we picked everything up it was pretty easy to get back out and go. For race day, we drove to the Universal City Metro Station and parked there (free) and took the train ($1.50 each way, plus $1 for a TAP card if you don’t already have one.) Get off at Hollywood/Highland station. Very quick and easy, and quite a few other runners did the same. One more thing: Gear check. We found nothing in race materials about a gear check, but we saw a gear check area marked on the finish line map (but not the starting line map). So we left our stuff in the car. Would be good to have those details specified in the race materials.

Course: Whether this course is flat or hilly all depends on what you’re used to training on. I’d describe it as gently rolling. It has some pretty significant hills if you are trying to get a fast time, but they’re certainly not debilitating. Based on my mile splits, I’m guessing I finished about 30 seconds slower than I would have on a flatter course, so take that for what it’s worth. I took my own electrolyte drink so I can’t speak to how well-stocked the aid stations were. They could use more portapotties at the start, but that applies to most races. The drummers were cool and there was occasionally music on the course. Best was the LAPD cop blasting AC/DC out of his car. Class. As for the corral system, it seemed to work pretty well. I was concerned about slower 10K runners being placed in a corral in front of faster half marathon runners, but the race is small enough that faster runners could easily weave around slower runners/walkers. If the race grows in size, though, it could be a problem. Race organizers: consider completely putting people in corrals by pace, even the 5K and 10K runners/walkers.

Post-race: Can’t say much about this because I pretty much wanted to get out of there ASAP. Post-race food included bananas and Odwalla bars. Drinks included water and Odwalla and Naked juice. I asked if anyone had drinks with protein in them, which is needed for race recovery, but nobody did. Maybe they can get Bolthouse Farms there next year — they have a great cappuccino protein drink. Even chocolate milk would work. Anyway, the race finish is right around the corner from the Hollywood/Vine Metro Station, so we hopped on a train and easily got back to the free parking lot. Make sure you have a way of carrying the TAP card with you when you run.