The first half of this course is a B+ but the second half of the course is like a C-minus and almost as bad as the second half of the OC Marathon. Running up North Raymond and on Washington west of Lake takes you through a couple of the less scenic parts of the city and it makes no sense to have this stretch in the race. Would be much better to travel east on Mountain and then north on any street east of Lake Avenue.
I did not care for the Expo at Santa Anita Park and it makes no sense to have it there. It’s very unusual to have an Expo in a city other than the race city and it was a minimalist expo so not worth dragging runners out to Arcadia to attend. It’s one thing if there were horse races going on but it is stupid, otherwise, even with the free parking.
While I appreciated the post race concert, it was wasted given that it was set back so far from the race finish and by the fact that there was neither an accompanying beer garden nor a shaded area for runners to enjoy the concert. Nobody was willing to stand up in the scorching heat so the band may as well have been rehearsing for a real gig since no runners really came anywhere near the stage to listen.
This race is getting too old not to be developing into a better race. In its very first year, the Rock N Roll Pasadena Half Marathon was FAR superior to this race in every way and I do hope RNR Pasadena will add a full marathon option. The mid February date is the much more logical choice for a Pasadena race than a mid may date that meant temperatures were already approaching 80 degrees by the finish for 4 hour marathon runners and probably approaching 85 degrees for 5 hour marathon finishers.