Overall: 51 / 6,025
Division (M 40-44): 12 / 379
Gender (M): 46 / 2,659
Of all the half marathons I’ve run, this one is toward the top as far as quality and organization. It was a bit more than I needed, but they seemed to have gotten everything right. There was a good sized expo at a ship cruise terminal and picking up the bib was pretty flawless. Normally, the t-shirts they hand out at races are not of the best quality, but the SD Half Marathon t-shirt is really nice.
The race starts downtown next to PETCO Park. I found some free city parking behind the convention center, about a five minute walk from the start line – saving me about $10 or $15. I got to the start area around 6 am and the race started at 7:20 am. Most importantly, there were plenty of port-a-potties, I didn’t hardly have to wait. Around 7:00 am they ask you to get into your corral. The weather was a little warm for my liking (high-50s) and sunny. I prefer it be colder, but it was still good running weather. After the formalities, Bart Yasso kicked off the race promptly at 7:20 am. They have a number of waves that started about two minutes apart.
The race takes you through the Gaslamp District onto Harbor Drive along the bayfront, then though Liberty Station and the Marine Corp Recruiting Station. This is the flat portion of the course and my plan was to average a 6:20 pace for this 8 mile stretch. I think at this point I was averaging around a 6:18 pace. I passed the 10K point at 39:13. I was feeling pretty confident that I might get a PR, then the killer hills started between miles 8 and 10 to Hillcrest. I knew there were hills coming, but just didn’t realize they were so steep. I lost a good minute or more on these hills and knew at this point that my PR was probably not going to happen. However, the last two miles are downhill from Balboa Park to the Gaslamp District finish and after catching my breath I got a second wind and made an attempt to make up for the lost time, but came up a little short, missing my PR by 13 seconds. Oh well, I’ll attempt it again later this year on faster half marathon courses.
This was the first time I have run this course, so I will probably do things a little differently next time. I think I started a little too fast, that’s why the hills took more out of me than they should have. Also, if you look at my splits, I started to slow a little between miles 6 – 8. This was a very flat area, so I’m thinking I should have been faster during this segment of the race.
After the finish, you get your medal, water and nice refreshment bag. They have a block party in the Gaslamp District for the finishers, but I didn’t stick around too long, but looked like a nice time.
Overall, great race on a moderately challenging course. Really nothing negative to say, big thumbs up to the organizers, real professionals. Definitely plan to run it again in the future.