RaceGrader - Authentic Race Reviews - Swim, Bike, Run

Review of San Diego Holiday Half Marathon by

Posted by: on January, 1 2014

This was my first half marathon, so I didn’t really know what to expect other than what was stated on the website and my experience with shorter runs.

Packet pick-up: Pick up was simple and similar to many other runs in San Diego that have pick up at Roadrunner. With registration, I was prompted to choose pre or post race transportation; however, since I registered months prior, I forgot which I selected and my packet did not indicate my choice. I decided to park at the start and get bussed in the end.

Pre-race: Parking at the start was easy; however, the parking was technically only for customers. I am not from that area and I didn’t know where else to park and there was no clear sign, so I decided to risk it and, thankfully, my car was still there in the end. I wish there was clarification on where exactly to park. I prefer not to think too hard prior to a race. There was a row of Porter Johns available, but I still had to wait in line 25mins just to use it.

Course: Where to go next was clear and hydration was appropriately spaced out. Loved the mile markers. They were large enough to read from a distance (I was that odd person that touch each one throughout the course). I loved where the photographers (including the remote controlled aerials helicopter photographer things) and spectators were spread along the course to keep the motivation going. The website indicated that the last 4 miles of the course was flat… NOT true. The last mile was pretty much uphill. And the “rolling hills” were more frequent than I imagined. Not bad at all, just not expected. Though I’ve driven the general route before, it’s much different running it. The approach to the finish could have been MUCH more eventful. I knew the finish was in the parking lot, but I did not see the finish sign until I was closer (the curve into the parking lot where the finish was located blocked everything). Usually, I get a huge adrenaline rush when I see the sign or something that states something along the lines of “almost done” or “100 yards left”, but there wasn’t anything before the curve.

Post-race: I almost didn’t get a medal since a few people finished around the same time… I had to ask for one. The volunteer apologized for not giving me one and I didn’t mind. Just thought that was odd, then again my mind was not 100% yet. The shindig at the end was normal (vendors and music) and the buses were easily accessible to return finishers to the other lot.

Overall: LOVED the race, the people who participated, and the experience. The tech shirts look and feel great. So happy to finally do a half, especially an inaugural event. I should have worn something more holiday friendly for the event! See you all next year!