This was my second year running this half marathon and it was fourteenth half marathon so far. This race was only in it’s second year and I could see that it was more organized than last year.
The race expo was held on Thursday and Friday at the Hilton at Universal Studios. I attended on Friday morning and parking and packet pick up was very easy and very fast. There were no lines to pick up your race bib, t-shirt, and backpack. The vendor area was small. Hopefully there will be more vendors next year as the race becomes larger. The volunteers at the expo were very helpful as well.
I rode the Metro Red Line on race morning. The start line was at Hollywood/Highland, right across from the train station. Going home, I took the Red Line again from the finish line at Hollywood/Vine and the train station was right around the corner from the finish line food area. I would definitely encourage everyone to ride the Metro. There were lots of other runners on board, so we all went to and from the race together.
I love the fact that the race starts at 6AM. It was a little cold at that time and I found out that gear check was at the finish line, nearly a mile away from the start line. I found this to be frustrating. Hopefully next year, the gear check can be at the start line like most other races. But, the race started exactly on time and there was plenty of space for runners in each corral. The corrals were sent off about a minute apart, so there wasn’t much wait from the time the race started to when you actually crossed the start line and started running.
The course had plenty of music and bands. It also had plenty of challenging rolling hills. Clif shot gels were around mile 7 and there were plenty. There were also water/lemon lime Gatorade stations about every mile or every other mile. I didn’t see mile markers at every mile. I didn’t see any other food or drinks on the course. Overall, the course was better than last year, but it still is quite a challenge with all of the turns and rolling hills. Some streets near Silverlake were quite narrow and had a lot of cracks in them, so you really have to watch your footing.
There wasn’t too many spectators on the course, except for families of the runners and some residents who live along the course. I liked the fact that the finish line was organized and volunteers kept runners moving so you could get out quickly. However, I was disappointed in the selection of food. After running 13.1 miles, I was looking for more than just a water bottle, fruit, and a bagel. There was several vendors handing out very small amounts of their juice, but the lines were very long. I didn’t notice any other things going on at the finish line.
I did appreciate the Legacy runner bib and registration discount for legacy runners. The medal was just as awesome as last year – a large star covered with silver glitter.
I’ll probably be back again next year – it’s close to home and super easy to access via the Metro.