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Review of Hollywood Half Marathon by Kerryfan

Posted by: on April, 12 2012

There were major issues with incompetent volunteers giving out wrong numbers and the timing company whose solution to aforementioned problem to give out a random chip with no bib was a joke. The timing company said the “race organizers” sold the 200 bibs that were put aside to deal with problems. At 7 pm, I watched as at least 50 people in a line were able to purchase bibs that had not been picked up. I wondered how long that line had people joining it.
Yes, porta potties are always an issues. There are never enough at the start. This race was no exception. The line was at least 25 people long ten minutes before the start. FYI – if you are going to make announcements, you need to have speakers angled to where the runners are cued. No one could hear what was being said, so we had no idea that there were staggered starts with random groups of people. There were corrals but they were way way too small so a good 200+ were outside each trying to get in (that’s where I was trying to get into the 9 minute group).
Heard the horror stories of the bag drop not being set up and heard it from dozens but didn’t experience it myself. I knew this would be a screw up, so I only brought what I planned to run with.
Oh – I was picking up my shirt and overheard they were out of an entire size group for the half marathon (fortunately not mine). I feel strongly that what you sign up for is what you get, and if you want to switch you do it on race day and a shirt exchange post. Its only fair to those who paid the full fare to run and deserve to get the size they asked for. No one at the shirt stations was checking what we signed up for in sizes – they just handed you what you asked for.
Expo was so-so. Lots of booths for future races in the Southern California area. Not so great for out of town runners or for those who like to shop.

The downhill start was interesting. First time I’ve done that in 20 years of racing. The uphill at the end was brutal. Most of the course from miles 4-10 were downright boring. Few spectators which I would assume will improve over the years.
Seriously though….I predicted they would run out of water so I brought my belt. The good news was that they only ran out of cups from aid stations beyond the 6 mile point. This was only a problem for those concerned about germs. The wonderful volunteers were willing to dump water into our hands, on our heads, into our mouths, and give us entire jugs to run with (which meant you picked up a jug, ran with it for 10-20 yards, and put it down for the next runners).
Appreciated the GU available for runners in the second half of the pack. That was greatly appreciated.
Tons of very positive young volunteers – thank you for getting enough help to the course.

Heard the horror stories about the shuttles from a dozen people at our hotel, but I didn’t experience it as hubby picked me up. Trust that those who continued to tell me the stories were accurate so there were issues with the shuttles.

This race needs work. The only great part was the medal. But I need more than that. I need a race crew who respects my role as a real runner.