The first year of the Pasadena Marathon, it was supposed to run in November. That week wildfires ravaged the foothills around Pasadena. Smoke filled the air for days but the race organizers sent out an email to everyone less than 12 hours before start time letting everyone know that the race was on as of then and that a final decision would be made 4a, 2 hours before start time. When 4a rolled around conditions hadn’t changed (note that no one in the world expected them to change, there was a snowballs chance in Pasadena that they would have changed in that 12 hour span yet they held off cancelling until the last minute inconveniencing the runners and incurring all sorts of costs for the race itself that could have been saved) air quality was not safe and surely the title sponsor Kaiser Permanente didn’t want people passing out on the course or running in a smoky haze. The race was eventually re-scheduled for March 22nd. Runners like me who got nothing more than a t-shirt out of our $90 entrance fee were told we could sign up again, this time for $45. meanwhile, new people who didn’t get a t-shirt or have a weekend ruined could pay $90. so I proceeded to pay $135 for a race many others would pay $90, does that seems fair?
On to march. I had a friend who followed the directions to the race and was stuck on an off ramp from the freeway for half an hour, he was less than 2 miles from the start line 90 minutes before race time yet missed the official start. I got off 2 exits early and easily found street parking close to the start line.
The race starts on time but with no announcement or gun or anything, 4 or 5 people nearby counted down 3, 2, 1 and we started- strange way to start a race with thousands of people in it.
The course is VERY hilly, there was a hill that lasted a couple of miles and a nasty one at mile 21.
From mile 22.5 to almost mile 25 is a steady uphill that would not be great but not too bad if you hadn’t already run 22 miles, this was tough.
highlight of the day was the announcer at the finish line who had a stoners enthusiasm for the runners finishing the race which was actually amusing and quite welcome at that point.
i encourage everyone i know to stay away from this poorly organized event.