I ran the 2012 OC Half Marathon.
Here are some of the highlights from expo:
1. Great venue site (OC fairgrounds)
2. Maybe it was just me but I felt like there was not that many free samples. I relish the opportunity to try new products and get discounts.
3. Some of my favorite vendors were NOT at this location.
4. Packet pickup at 4pm on Friday was painless. I did hear that Saturday pickup was a madhouse.
Here are some highlights from race day:
1. READ the ROAD CLOSURES in the Race day brochure!!!! It is super hard to drive your way in and out of this race on race day! (Arrived to OC fairgrounds right before road closures commenced. I struggled leaving because the drive route I took in was closed when I left.
2. The parking & shuttle to start line, Fashion Island, was painless and amazingly fast. I would recommend getting to shuttle service way sooner than the emails from OC marathon states. (I arrived at 4:30am)
3. Decent amount of port-a-potties close to start line.
4. I was happy that the corrals started on time!
5. The course was an amazingly scenic event. I thought Surf City was great but OC is by far a better route.
6. As with most races, there were walkers/slow people in the wrong corrals, but the course was wide in the beginning giving you leeway to fly past them.
7. There was just the right amount of water stations.
8. The first aid tents were a joke (seriously – I had a friend injured and no qualified personnel manning this tent!)
9. The Cliff gels ran out fast (This didn’t bother me because I don’t use this product, but I could see how it would upset others)
10. My friend is an ER nurse and was quite upset that there was no emergency personnel the last mile or two (The ‘danger zone’) According to her, having the Ambulances at the finish line only is not sufficient.
11. The ‘goodie’ bags you get at the finish line were sparse in comparison to other halfs I have run. I was GREATLY disappointed. Smooshed banana, partially opened package of Cliff Crunch, a packet of peanut butter, and Aqua Hydrate water. Heard my friend had the same supplies PLUS got a rice crispy – boo I didn’t
12. I was intimidated by the swarming crowds at the finish line. I was pushed a few times. OC really needs to MOVE THE PHOTO AREA AWAY from the ‘goodie bag area… Honestly poor POOR design.
13. Decent amount of booths and food selections at the fairgrounds.
14. Those boys from body armor rocks!!! Thanks for the drinks!!!
15. Weather was perfect most of the race. I was so very fortunate that the sun didn’t peek out until I already finished the race.
16. Not a lot of people cheering on the runners on the route and I was surprised by this. For me this is a part of the experience and I love the encouragement!
Would I do this race again next year?
We have so many races here in Southern California. I was impressed with the route but the experience after the race made me want to avoid this race in the future. There is a lot of great races I must conquer before contemplating returning to this event.