Rock n’ Roll SD Marathon or 25 Miles and A Hell of a Hill
I planned to arrive right at 11 on Friday and I had to wait in a long line but only because I was early the expo wasn’t open yet! I parked at the convention center-it was $10 but I mainly just wanted the convenience of getting in and out without circling looking for street parking. I thought the pick-up process was organized, easy to navigate. I liked the expo offerings (free granola!) and the retail line went quickly to buy a t-shirt.
Rather than hassle with public transportation or having to walk to the start, I opted to purchase the parking pass. It went perfectly smooth, I got right into the parking structure and walked to my shuttle and boarded without having to wait. Granted, it was 4 a.m. And now I was at a dark Balboa Park with 2 hours to kill! It was fine, I made a friend.
Weather was perfect, nice cloud cover and even a little sprinkling.
The porta potty lines were long but they told us to expect that. The gear check was easy. I found my corral and jumped in, no problems.
This was my first marathon so I don’t have many courses to compare to but I felt this one was challenging. To me there were lots of hills and then The Biggie, the 163 Monster at Mile 20. It was an extremely taxing push up the hill, it took out many of the runners alongside me who slowed to a walk. My take on it was: We don’t sign up for a marathon expecting things to be easy. A girl just before the hill was holding a sign that read: “It’s a hill, get over it” and that became my mantra as I powered through. They had motivational signs up on the hill and a band in the middle for inspiration and it felt great cresting the top to see people applauding on the bridge overhead.
It was all downhill from there and those last five miles felt breezy.There was a steep decline into the finish line that made you feel like you were really booking!
I loved the little pockets of spectators along the route, Hillcrest was lively although I thought the people along Friars were the best. I felt like the people along the route were truly pulling for everyone, even strangers, which was so encouraging. It’s amazing how far a smile or thumbs up from a stranger can go. My favorite part was when the course narrowed going up Washington and both sides were lined with cheerleaders with pom poms! Awesome.
The medics seemed to be super-attentive for people that needed help. The volunteers were great quickly getting runners water, Gu, Gatorade, wet sponges, salt and what I think were gobs of vaseline?
And in light of Boston, I felt very safe.
Medal, bagels,Gatorade, fruit, water, wet towels all at the ready! Easy to find my family in the meeting area. My family was saying how messy the finish looked with towels and trash strewn everywhere but I honestly was too tired to notice. The Furs sounded great inside the park but I didn’t partake.
I had a great time and would do it again! Be prepared for that hill!