Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Marathon 2010 Review
I picked San Diego for my spring destination marathon, having never been to San Diego before, I was excited. I fret about the weather too much, one thing you should know about the weather in San Diego in June, is it's consistent. The high almost every day was 68 degrees with a low of 63 and humidity around 80%.
Those are not ideal marathon running conditions, but they aren't horrible either. I've run Grandmas Marathon (same time of year) before and that's a race that has a large standard deviation, it could be ideal and in the 50's or miserable with 70's at the start and climbing quickly. With San Diego, you pretty much know what you're going to get when it comes to the weather, warm and overcast.
Went to the expo on Saturday, getting there was easy, parking was $10. I got in and out, I'm not really a fan of lingering around and shopping or listening to any guest speakers. However, the expo seemed large and runners received a nice Brooks technical shirt with registration.
The race started at 6:15am, which was awesome, the earlier the better when running a spring marathon. The marathon is run in one minute intervals, thus corral 1 goes first, then corral 2 goes 2 minutes later. This alleviates congestion, thus I was a fan of this system.
I was NOT a fan of the race course at all. In fact I would say it was the worst course that I have ever run for a marathon. The first ten miles were the best, running downtown, city streets, etc. Around mile 11, the race merged with the half marathon. I was running 6:20 pace and hit the half marathon runners who were at mile 6.
The race was designed so that the half marathon runners were supposed to have stayed to the left side of the road, allowing the marathon runners a clear path on the right. Of course this did not happen, so I had to dodge half marathon runners for the next 3-4 miles, huge pain. Also, at this point the race is being run on a highway/interstate that has a large embankment to it, meaning you're not running on an even space. After a few miles, my legs were really hurting due to the embankment.
At mile 20 the race moved off the road to a concrete bike path along the ocean, this was a really boring stretch of the race with almost no spectators, at a time when you need them most.
With six miles to go the sun came out and things got really hot. The aid stations were numerous and they also handed out cold spongers, love those.
The finish was in the Sea World parking lot, I came in 30/10,643 runners but when I crossed the line I was immediately engulfed with a parking lot full of half marathon runners, it was incredible crowded. They volunteers handed me an ice cold towel, which was well needed and I draped it over my face.
The time was now 9am, it was hot and a parking lot full of people (no trees) made for an uncomfortable place to be, post race. I got the hell out of there, ASAP and walked back to my hotel.
I know these Rock 'N' Roll Marathons are a huge hit, but I think they appeal more to the casual/average runner rather than someone a bit more serious like myself. I don't really care about bands on the course, however if it brings people out to watch the race than it's a bonus.
Overall, the organization of the San Diego Marathon was great but the course was a major disappointment in my book, especially when I had to dodge half marathon runners for 3-4 miles, that should not happen.