Race Report: 2014 San Diego Half Marathon

sdTime:  1:25:25

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.

sd-half-tshirtThe 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. 

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About runninginspired

I’m in my mid-40s and have been running for about 19 years. I have finished 24 marathons with a personal best time of 3:04. I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I enjoy running since it keeps you honest and will give back what you put into it. Work hard, but smart, and good results will eventually follow. I like to experiment with training plans, gadgets, shoes, and nutrition to find what works for me. The primary purpose of this blog is to document my training and thoughts about running in my ongoing quest to improve my fitness and health.
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3 Responses to Race Report: 2014 San Diego Half Marathon

  1. Mike says:

    Great race report! I travelled from Tucson with my dad to run this (my 40th b-day present from my wife, who stayed at home with the four kiddos). Main goal was to PR (I did by 90-120 sec), stretch goal was to beat 1:55 – stuck with the pacer until the hills, and started to pull ahead – did some good hill training in Tucson to prep. Underestimated the level stretch before the downhill finish though – hit the wall, and fell behind the 1:55 pacer. I agree, VERY well organized event. Did you think the mile markers were off? They seemed consistently farther than my Garmin distances (started it right at the starting line), but maybe that was just me.

    Good running,

    -Mike

    • Hi Mike, thanks for the comment. I enjoyed the race, but the course was a little more difficult than I thought.

      I know one mile marker was really off, think it was mile 5, but the other ones seemed to be okay – at least as far as my Garmin showed.

      Congrats on the PR – especially with the big hills!

      • Mike says:

        I started my garmin at the timing strip at the start, and stopped it at what I thought was the timing strip at the end for a displayed 13.12 mi (and 1:56:05) – think someone near me heard my, uh, displeasure at then passing the 13 mi or 13.1 sign and still having the finish line ahead… 😉 It was definitely one of the hardest races I’ve done – certainly the hardest I’ve pushed! Take Care!

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