I’m still recovering from this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in San Diego, but I am so excited to share my experience from all of the festivities! The Expo itself was quite the party (see previous post) and that really should have given me an idea as to what was in store for the remainder of the weekend. I decided to participate in the Remix Challenge – this means you get an extra dope medal if you run the 5k on Saturday and the Half or Full on Sunday. So here are the deets on the 5k!
Parking: The event was held near Balboa Park, which is a pretty large area – so the website listed which roads would be closed and where a free parking area was located. We figured everyone would park in the advertised free lot so we decided to park near the San Diego Zoo and walk about a mile through Balboa Park to the starting line. It was actually a nice and relaxing walk plus it was nice to walk through the park before it opened and filled up with tourists.
Course: The 5k started at 7am and had about 6 or 7 corrals and they were released about every minute or so. We took our time walking up to the event so we were kind of towards the back. The announcer was super enthusiastic and getting everyone pumped. The weather was typical “June Gloom” weather for San Diego. Cloudy and chilly with a bit of a dampness in the air. Terrible for hair, but great for running! 😉
The course was pretty smooth with a couple of rolling hills – honestly the hills felt like speed bumps compared to the La Jolla Half Marathon so they really weren’t that bad. It felt like a nice relaxing run around the outside of Balboa Park! The energy was great, lots of fun people and good vibes. There was even someone dressed like Forrest Gump and juggling footballs. Everyone kept yelling “Run, Forrest, Run!” as they ran by him. It was a mix of funny and annoying. There was also a couple dressed up like a king and a queen. Their costumes were pretty amazing, I’m not sure how they ran in them. There were a few groups of spectators along the course and also a water station.
Finish Line: We were met at the finish line with water, bananas, Cheez-Its??? Why?!, and our race medals! Then we headed to the beer garden. Usually at beer gardens, they check your I.D., but the guy at this one checked our timing chips attached to our shoes which had our ages on them. That was a clever idea and kept the line moving much quicker than waiting for people to pull out their I.D.’s. I also liked that they were giving out Michelob Ultra rather than craft beer. I’m probably the only person in San Diego that feels this way, but I just never hopped on the craft beer wagon. There weren’t really any vendors at the post-race festivities, but there was a medic tent and a live band. The band was pretty hype….they sang “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa with heart and passion. And I appreciated every minute of it. 🙂
So what was the SWAG?!
Really the stuff at the top of the photo was from the Expo. The only they gave out at the 5k was the Cheez-Its. Never in my years of running have I ever finished a race and thought, “Wow, I wish I had some Cheez-Its.” But whatevs, someone voted on this and that’s what we got. The shirt is a pretty cute 20th Anniversary tech shirt and the goodies from the expo were decent. Then, of course the medal!
The 5k medal is pretty nice! It’s a little smaller than the Half/Full marathons and doesn’t spin like they do, but I like the sunglasses with the little scene in them.
Also, for some reason my timing chip didn’t register correctly. I’m not sure if I had it fastened incorrectly or there was a glitch. I did email them and they are looking into fixing my time.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race! I thought it was fun and I liked the course and the medal. It is a bit pricey for a 5k – I paid around $50, but if you register early you can get a better deal. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do more to commemorate the 20th Anniversary, but overall I thought it was a well-organized race. I definitely would recommend signing up early to save money and to carpool the day of the race to make parking easier. Also give yourself extra time in the morning in case you have to walk a bit to the start line. I loved the medal and the beer and I would totally do this event again!
Check back later this week for my review of the half marathon! 😉
“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. I paid for my own entry into the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”