Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
4
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
4
San Diego’s newest half marathon returns for its third year! The point-to-point course starts at the newest Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Kearny Mesa. Course features 13.1 miles of fast stretches along Friars Road, minor elevation changes, views of Mission Bay along Ingraham Bridge and a finish line … MORE
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    runwalksarah FIRST-TIMER '18

    Proceeds from the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Half Marathon & 5K benefit Make-A-Wish San Diego. This is the second year of the race. Per the post-race e-mail, the event successfully raised … MORE

    Proceeds from the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Half Marathon & 5K benefit Make-A-Wish San Diego. This is the second year of the race. Per the post-race e-mail, the event successfully raised over $15,000 for the cause.

    Packet Pick-Up was on Saturday from 11 am – 4 pm at Road Runner Sports in San Diego. I didn’t realize it only went until 4 and showed up at 4:11. The volunteers and staff were very friendly, conversational and courteous. With huge smiles, they grabbed my bib and shirt, despite the fact that I was late. Free race morning packet pick-up was also an available option.

    On race morning, parking was adjacent to the start line in parking lots at National University. I deliriously set my alarm for the wrong time the night before, thus overslept and arrived to the race only 15 minutes before the start. I had no difficulty finding parking and jumping into the starting corrals (big sigh of relief!). The race started right on time.

    The course was point-to-point and started inland at the newest Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center and finished in the heart of Mission Bay. The majority of the course consisted of gentle rolling hills with several long stretches of downhill. It was extremely well marked with a plethora of traffic cones designating which lane was for the runners. The traffic control officers at the various intersections did a fantastic job of managing traffic to allow runners the right-of-way. There was a trolley crossing near mile 9. The race worked with the city to time the start of the race around the trolley schedule. Runners averaging faster than 8 minutes per mile were not impacted. Beginning at 8 am the Eastbound and Westbound trollies crossed every 15 minutes. There were timing check points before and after the trolley tracks. Any runner impacted by the trolley had this delay time subtracted from their overall chip time. Per the pre-race e-mail, the anticipated delay was 30 seconds to one minute. There was also an aid station and a volunteer with a loudspeaker at this junction. My run was not impacted by the trolley, but I was very impressed by the forethought the event put into this minor hurdle.

    The aid stations were organized and the volunteers were very supportive. The stations were stocked with water and Gatorade. They were placed every 1.5 – 2 miles. To my surprise, none of the aid stations offered energy gels or other fuel. I always carry my own, thus this did not impact me. I have simply become accustomed to seeing it available at other events.

    The scenery for the majority of the race was not particularly interesting or memorable. The highlights included running by the SDCCU Stadium and running through Mission Bay for the finish in Ski Beach Park. It was a beautiful foggy day in Mission Bay. Perfect weather for running!

    Finish line refreshments included water, bananas, Munk Pack protein cookies (yum!) and Kashi bars. The medals were high quality and very stylish (see the photo I posted). The shirts for the half marathon were long sleeve dri-fit material and featured the name of the race. 5K participants received a similar style short sleeve shirt. There was a small variety of vendors at the finish line festival selling athletic apparel, offering product samples and massage services. There were also multiple Kaiser Permanente sponsored booths promoting health and wellness. There was a separate area for Kaiser Employees, Friends & Family. I was a little envious I could not go in as there were tables, chairs and (I believe) I spotted warm beverages.

    Free shuttles transported half marathon participants from the finish line back to the start. Prior to registering, I was unaware that the race offered free race photos. I found this out while reading over the pre-race e-mail. Photos should be available in the next few days.

    While the course was not one of the more entertaining half marathon courses in San Diego, I was impressed by the quality and organization behind the event. I will be back next year if my name is not drawn in the New York City Marathon lottery (again).

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Nov 09, 2018 at 7:23pm

    Sounds like a well-run event! And especially the foresight with the trolley, nicely done. I've always enjoyed running in Mission Bay, with the exception of one course hiccup at a… MORE

    Sounds like a well-run event! And especially the foresight with the trolley, nicely done. I've always enjoyed running in Mission Bay, with the exception of one course hiccup at a different half marathon two years ago. And I'm always up for a well-organized race (check) for a good cause (check), so I'll be keeping this one in mind. Meanwhile, fingers crossed for you in next year's NYC lottery — don't know whether you saw this opportunity, but I'd keep an eye out since they may do it again next year in advance of the 2020 race: https://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2018/tcs-new-york-city-marathon-virtual-262m-and-5k-nov-1-4 LESS

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    runwalksarah Nov 09, 2018 at 9:02pm

    I also really enjoy running in Mission Bay. I wish more of this race were in Mission Bay! I did hear about the opportunity to run NYC virtual in order… MORE

    I also really enjoy running in Mission Bay. I wish more of this race were in Mission Bay! I did hear about the opportunity to run NYC virtual in order to gain guaranteed entry into 2019. I briefly looked into it, but as I remember the virtual race was rather pricey and I just couldn't afford to take the plunge. Hopefully my name will get drawn in next year's lottery. Third times a charm. LESS

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    runwalksarah Nov 09, 2018 at 11:34pm

    I was so sad when I learned they stopped that.

    I was so sad when I learned they stopped that.

    M_Sohaskey Nov 09, 2018 at 10:35pm

    Hopefully so! I was fortunate to get into NYC back in 2014, when they still had the "Three strikes and you're in" policy (meaning, if you'd been lost out in… MORE

    Hopefully so! I was fortunate to get into NYC back in 2014, when they still had the "Three strikes and you're in" policy (meaning, if you'd been lost out in the lottery 3 years in a row, they let you in for year 4). Unfortunately that was the last year for that policy, for obvious reasons. LESS

     
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