My Profile

@hjrosa

Jacksonville, FL Raving since 2023 50 States hopeful/finisher Active 3 days ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    50 States Half Marathon Club

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

    a world full of roads is there. Why not?
    I’ve ran nearly 100 half marathons of all sizes, from small towns to the largest cities, and in many countries.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Future Races (10)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Chicago, IL May 19, 2024
Half Marathon Fargo, ND Jun 1, 2024
Half Marathon Pine Hollow, UT Jun 22, 2024
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 19, 2024
Half Marathon Richmond, VA Nov 16, 2024
Half Marathon Biloxi, MS Dec 15, 2024
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Apr 5, 2025
Half Marathon Tempe, AZ 2025
Half Marathon Conway, NH 2025
Half Marathon Greenville, SC 2025

Past Races (71)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Washington, DC Mar 16, 2024
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 4, 2024
Half Marathon Houston, TX Jan 14, 2024
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 10, 2023
Half Marathon Wilmington, NC Dec 2, 2023
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 23, 2023
Half Marathon Milwaukee, WI Oct 1, 2023
Half Marathon Reykjavik, Iceland Aug 19, 2023
Half Marathon Buffalo, NY May 28, 2023
Half Marathon Chatsworth, GA Apr 23, 2023
Half Marathon Washington, DC Mar 18, 2023
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Feb 26, 2023
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 5, 2023
Half Marathon Jekyll Island, GA Jan 15, 2023
Half Marathon Madeira Beach, FL Dec 11, 2022
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 24, 2022
Half Marathon London, United Kingdom Oct 9, 2022
Half Marathon Marquette, MI Sep 3, 2022
Half Marathon Vancouver, Canada Jun 26, 2022
Half Marathon Chatsworth, GA Apr 24, 2022
Half Marathon Washington, DC Mar 26, 2022
Half Marathon Augusta, GA Feb 26, 2022
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 6, 2022
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 12, 2021
Half Marathon Savannah, GA Nov 6, 2021
Half Marathon Heber City, UT Jun 26, 2021
Half Marathon Memphis, TN May 29, 2021
Half Marathon Chatsworth, GA Apr 25, 2021
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2021
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL 2021
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 8, 2020
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Jan 5, 2020
Half Marathon Mount Dora, FL Dec 22, 2019
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL Dec 8, 2019
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 28, 2019
Half Marathon Savannah, GA Nov 2, 2019
Half Marathon Buffalo, NY May 25, 2019
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Apr 7, 2019
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 9, 2019
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 15, 2018
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL Dec 2, 2018
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 22, 2018
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Mar 25, 2018
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 10, 2018
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 16, 2017
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL Dec 3, 2017
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Apr 2, 2017
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 12, 2017
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 18, 2016
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 24, 2016
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 14, 2016
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL 2016
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Nov 26, 2015
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Mar 29, 2015
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL Feb 15, 2015
Half Marathon Amelia Island, FL Jan 17, 2015
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL 2015
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Dec 28, 2014
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL Oct 4, 2014
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2014
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2014
Half Marathon Fernandina Beach, FL 2014
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2014
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2013
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2013
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2013
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2012
Half Marathon Jacksonville, FL 2012
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2011
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2010
Half Marathon Jacksonville Beach, FL 2009

My Raves

One of my favorite races (x4) because there so much to do in DC. Also the weather is usually very nice. This year (2024) was perfect, sunny and temp in … MORE

One of my favorite races (x4) because there so much to do in DC. Also the weather is usually very nice. This year (2024) was perfect, sunny and temp in the low 50s F (low 10s C) at race time.
This is a large venue race with 12,000+ runners in 20 corrals. Plenty of porta-potties, but with so many runners, there is going to be a line.
Easy to get to the expo and start/finish using the Metro. The expo was a bit lackluster this year. Mostly RnR stuff with a few additional vendors.
Race is point to point, but start and finish are very close to each other and to the National Mall. The RnR website has a downloadable map.
The first 5 1/2 miles is easy-ish, with some gentle up and downs thru wide avenues and recognizable landmarks. Then you get to the Rock Creek Parkway that runs thru a nature park. This is the “peaceful” part of the race until mile 7.5 when you reach this “monumental” climb. It is only 0.2 miles, but is 100 ft straight up !! Save your energy because It takes power to get up there (don’t worry just about everybody walks this, even with the drill sergeant at the beginning of the climb encouraging everybody). This is the climax and hardest part of the race.
Now you’re running thru the nice neighborhoods of DC. Up to mile 9 is “rolling hills”. After that is mostly downhill picking up speed once you make the turn at mile 10.5 into N Street toward the Capitol. You got one last short uphill after mile 12.5, then is down and fast to the end.
Water stations are every 2 miles and long enough not to have to bottleneck at the first tables (but happens anyway). I was surprised not to see electrolytes drinks but only in a couple of the stations. There is one gel station at about mile 8.5 .
Lots of people cheering along the way, a few bands playing along the way, and very lively band at the end. There is simply water, granola bars/chips/bananas at the end. There is one beer/ (glass of) wine included, but you need ID (I know, who runs with their ID?!). Therefore, bring your ID to the expo to get the (I’m old enough to drink) wrist band, and bypass the screening right after the race, if you want your adult beverage.
As a plus, a few warmer than usual days before the race brought most of the cherry blossom trees in the area to an earlier bloom. Nature is spectacular !!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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FYI, review only applies to the half marathon/marathon part of the weekend (Sunday). There is a 5K/10K/kids mile the day before (Saturday) at a different venue. Nerd stuff: Its popular … MORE

FYI, review only applies to the half marathon/marathon part of the weekend (Sunday). There is a 5K/10K/kids mile the day before (Saturday) at a different venue.
Nerd stuff: Its popular name is the Donna Marathon, but the “official name” is the National Breast Cancer Marathon. It’s purpose is to support breast cancer research and patients of breast cancer during treatment. Why Donna? Her foundation started this charity race in 2008. Donna Deegan is a 3-time breast cancer survivor, and recently elected first female Jacksonville Mayor. BTW, she runs it every year!.
Now the race: It is a medium size race (2-3K runners). This is the second most popular race of the area (Gate River Run 15K in March holds the title). After several course changes over the years, the present course (since 2021) has become one of my favorites. It is flat (for real), fast, and has great support. It starts and ends in the same place. Parking is limited, but they provide free buses all-day to bring and return runners from the larger parking at Univ. of North Florida. The course goes thru the neighborhoods of Jacksonville Beach (and they come alive !!). However, you don’t actually get to run near or see the beach (not exactly bad in February). It is all in paved roads. There are a few areas where the road narrows quite a bit, but mostly is comfortable. Aid stations every 2 miles w water/Gatorade. They have gels every other station. And of course, the neighbors bring out lots of stuff (yes, adult beverages as well !). The half and full marathon run together. The marathon route is the half route twice. Medal and long sleeve race shirt are very nice. They have the usual bananas/bars/chips and water at the end. Nothing special. The runner’s finish area have tents with food and beer for sale.
A major negative. Bib/package pickup is mandatory at their expo. It is average for a race of its size, so is OK. Unfortunately, is very far away from the race area, in Downtown Jax. It is at the Jaguars (NFL) covered practice field, which is kind of cool. But if coming from out of town and staying near the race, without a car or ride, it will be a big problem. They have an option for “out-of-towners” only, to pick the package in a hotel near the race. But is not free. No pick up on race day.
I’ve been running it since 2009. I guess it goes without saying that I recommend this race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Pros: - This is in the very large race category. It is obvious that a lot of details were considered in the preparation before, during and after the race. Overall … MORE

Pros:
– This is in the very large race category. It is obvious that a lot of details were considered in the preparation before, during and after the race. Overall very well managed.
– Point-to-point course. For me that is usually a “con”, but the start and the finish are only a few blocks away. Both are easily accessible from all downtown hotels, especially near the Convention Center.
– Excellent pre-race communication. Very good race app.
– Gigantic expo with all the leading shoes and racing gear brands present.
– Post race recovery area inside the Convention Center is enormous, with multiple port-a-lets and changing area. Only accessible to runners. They include a most pleasant served breakfast! (scramble eggs, sausages, mini pancakes and biscuit) and snacks (bananas, fruit bars, cookies, ice cream) with a large section of multiple tables to sit and enjoy it. This is followed by a wide organized spectators meeting area.
– In race hydration stations were plentiful (every 1.5 to 2 miles (2.5-3.5 Km)). All having electrolyte drinks first, then water.
– Medical and security personnel all along the course.
– Very enthusiastic volunteers and cheering crowd through the entire course.
– Relatively easy flat course (but .. see cons below). No bridges. (FYI: For Race Raves lower difficulty score is better/easier).
Cons:
– Very popular and crowded race (14K for the half plus 10K (?) for the full) running together until the course splits just after 8 miles. I think is fun but don’t expect a personal best unless you are in the front corrals (some decent times for elite international runners getting ready for the Paris Summer Olympics).
– Not exactly a “scenic” route. There a some beautiful neighborhoods in the mid part of the race. Not much shade. But because is January this isn’t usually an issue. Bring your sunblock and running shades, though.
– Hydration stations only in one side of the road which create some confusion and bumping with such a wide field of runners. I’ve been in other very large races having signs about a quarter mile before the oasis, letting runners know that hydration is ahead to the left or right. This race doesn’t have such signs.
– The area immediately after the finish line was quite narrow leading to very slow and chaotic flow of runners into the post race area.
– Race shirt and medals were just too ordinary. You can barely make that the medal is from Houston. You get your T-shirt in the post race area after completing the race, I guess because the expo is so packed.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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