This race bit off more than it could chew when it allowed 6,000+ runners to register for the half marathon. It was evident even at the race expo that there could be some problems the next day. What this meant for my own race experience was that the race was not even able to provide me with a race bib but, instead, merely a race chip. This has never happened to me before in 100+ races and I predicted that they would have insufficient aid on the course, which turned out to be exactly the case, at least when it came to drinking cups.
I was also bothered that I was unable to get a response out of the race in the week leading up to the race. I bought a voucher on Facebook last summer for $37 to do the race and tried to register, without success. It was only after online registration was closed that they put up the list of confirmed entrants and I did not see my name listed. I e-mailed three separate times, wrote on the Facebook page of the race and looked, in vain, for a phone number, yet couldn’t get a response. Meanwhile, however, the race director, Ken, was all too ready to post Facebook updates on the days leading up to the race yet my Facebook posts were never responded to or simply disappeared into thin air after a while.
The course difficulty did not bother me as what goes down must eventually come back up on a point to point course. This wasn’t entirely point to point, but nearly so. I liked the course well enough…it did go all the way to the eastern most side of Hollywood which is not so great but, still, to have the opportunity to run on Hollywood Blvd. was great. Also, the last quarter mile downhill to the finish was great and it was nice to run alongside the 101 Fwy and be able to see that we would be hitting a peak and have a downhill to the finish. I was still able to set a very minor PR (30 seconds) despite the difficulty of the course, so a PR is not 100% out of the question and it still is a slight net elevation loss given that we didn’t return all the way back up to Universal Citywalk.
Post race was pretty good with good post race nutrition and lots of massage tables. I took advantage of this while waiting for my wife to finish her own race and was treated to a nice, complimentary, 10 minute massage.
I would do this race again if the price was right and providing it remains an early start. I never quite believed the hype or else I’d probably be more disappointed with the race. But, it is definitely a welcome addition as there are not enough half marathons of this size in Southern California.