Overall Rating
Overall Rating (12 Reviews)
3.2
(12 Ratings)(12 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
3.2
PRODUCTION
2.6
SWAG
2.8
The Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K at the Rose Bowl will begin on the premises of the Rose Bowl. Come enjoy the picturesque course through beautiful Pasadena, passing landmarks like the Colorado Street Bridge, Old Town Pasadena and Cal Tech University before a majestic finish on the field at the … MORE
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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was the 3rd year of the Pasadena Half Marathon. It is put on by Conqur Endurance Group, which also puts on the LA Marathon. Packet Pick-up was at the … MORE

    This was the 3rd year of the Pasadena Half Marathon. It is put on by Conqur Endurance Group, which also puts on the LA Marathon.

    Packet Pick-up was at the Pasadena Convention Center on Friday from 3 pm – 7 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. Parking at the Convention Center was $15, however you can find plenty of less expensive lots in the Old Town vicinity. You cannot pick-up packets for other people. Race morning packet pick-up is available starting at 5:30 am only to those who pre-purchased the option.

    The race starts and finishes at the Rose Bowl. Parking is free, however participants are encouraged to donate to the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House Charity, which is the official charity of the race. The pre-race e-mail stated to plan on arriving by 6 am (1 hour before the race) at the latest. 6 am is too late. I wish I could underline that. Arrive earlier. I arrived at 5:25 and didn’t park until 5:55. My friend aimed to arrive at 6:00 and didn’t park until 7:09. The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 am, however the start was delayed until 7:15. The Rose Bowl was built back in 1922 and sits in a residential area. While there are events at the Rose Bowl all the time, the roads surrounding the Bowl were not originally designed to accommodate large crowds all at once. Arrive early.

    Pasadena Pacers and LA Road Runners were allowed access to the Rose Bowl locker rooms before the race. Pasadena Pacers generously invited Dog Haus Run Club Pasadena to join them (awwww! thanks guys!). Wristbands could be picked up directly from the individual run club tables at the expo. It was a huge treat to be allowed access into the locker rooms and certainly made the race memorable.

    As previously mentioned, the race starts and finishes at the Rose Bowl. There are quite a few hills throughout the race, the most significant being just before mile 2. The rest of the hills are mostly small. The course takes you by the Tournament House, through Old Town, down a portion of Lake Ave., past Caltech, along Green St., past the Pasadena Playhouse and across the Colorado Street Bridge before dropping back down to the Rose Bowl. I think it is ironic that the shirt and medal both feature Pasadena City Hall, and yet the course does actually go by City Hall. This is one of the best half marathon courses I have run in Pasadena, the only improvement I would suggest is to have us run by City Hall.

    There were a total of 8 aid stations stops. All aid stations were stocked with water. All but the first stop offered Gatorade. One aid station, that runners passed by twice, offered Honeystingers. All of the volunteers were fantastic.

    The race finishes in the grassy field inside the Rose Bowl. Post-race refreshments included water, Muscle Milk protein bars, bananas and goldfish pretzels. Mylar blankets were given out. Participants could use a tear-off voucher from their bib to receive one free Angel City beer. There was a live band playing and multiple great photo opportunities.

    One of the nice perks of this race is free race photos. This year they switched from Game Face Media to Finisherpix. I was delighted by this change in vendors. Last year, none of my friends got a single “free” photo, not even at the finish line! This year it seems like everyone got at least a few photos.

    If you run the Santa Monica Classic, Pasadena Half Marathon and the LA Marathon, you can recieve the Conqur LA Challenge medal upon completion of the LA Marathon.

    I have seen several half marathons come and go from Pasadena over the past decade. I’m glad that Pasadena finally has a half marathon that seems to be taking root and will be around for years to come. While there continue to be some hiccups with parking, this is becoming a quality event that I highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    bbkins52185 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Race was well organized aside from the parking (took almost an hour to park). Wish they could have more entrances open but that may be the Rose Bowl and not … MORE

    Race was well organized aside from the parking (took almost an hour to park). Wish they could have more entrances open but that may be the Rose Bowl and not the race. Hill at the start is a bit rough but other than that a good course. Congested start, had a hard time getting to my corral. Finish is a lot of fun, great post race giveaways. Would do again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of May Chih
    Maniacmay REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was my second time running this race. It was cold at the start and I didn’t warm up until about mile 2 going up the “California Climb” Hill. But … MORE

    This was my second time running this race. It was cold at the start and I didn’t warm up until about mile 2 going up the “California Climb” Hill. But once I was warm, I started to enjoy cruising through the streets of Pasadena. My favorite parts were running across the suicide bridge and finishing in the Rose Bowl. And smile! Free race photos! You do have to pick up your bib ahead of time at the convention center. Convention center parking is pricey but it’s across the street from a mall where you can get a couple hours of free parking. Race day parking is a bit hectic – arrive early (>1.5hr) and just nap in the car. The post race expo and beer garden area is pretty small for the amount of runners there, so just get your beer and move on. I like the simplicity of the shirts (not covered with sponsor logos) and the medals are heavy but beautiful. As part of the Conqur LA Challenge, this medal has a similar look and color scheme as the other races in the challenge — Santa Monica Classic and LA Marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was the second year of the race. They learned a lot and improved greatly. you must get your bib at the expo so plan ahead. Also be sure to … MORE

    This was the second year of the race. They learned a lot and improved greatly. you must get your bib at the expo so plan ahead. Also be sure to get there by 5:30! Race starts at 7AM by 5:15 the freeway was already backed up.

    Great race. Rolling hills. Nice double sided medal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    OCSCFan FIRST-TIMER '17

    The half marathon starts and ends at the Rose Bowl and takes you through Old Town Pasadena. The highlights are running across the Pasadena Street Bridge and finishing on the … MORE

    The half marathon starts and ends at the Rose Bowl and takes you through Old Town Pasadena. The highlights are running across the Pasadena Street Bridge and finishing on the Rose Bowl field.

    There is about 600 ft of elevation gain and the biggest climb was between miles 2 & 3. There are some rolling hills along the rest of the way but nothing too strenuous.

    In course has out and backs down 3 streets in Old Town. These are probably my least favorite part of the route. It’s too bad they couldn’t come up with a bigger loop trail.

    Due to the weather, fan support was very sparse. But the water stations were well supported. Thanks to all the volunteers for braving the weather to support us.

    Parking was at the Rose Bowl. There were many complaints but road closures and congestion. But as always, these issues can be avoided by simply getting to the race a little earlier.

    Overall the Pasadena Half is a well organized event and a fun course that I look forward to running in the future. Also, there is no shortage of great restaurants for a well deserved post run meal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    LArunner Jul 10, 2017 at 8:37am

    Hey Peter...just a friendly comment that I arrived at the Rose Bowl location 90 minutes before the start of the race and the congestion was already awful. Hopefully, they will… MORE

    Hey Peter...just a friendly comment that I arrived at the Rose Bowl location 90 minutes before the start of the race and the congestion was already awful. Hopefully, they will work things out next year. LESS

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    OCSCFan Jul 10, 2017 at 8:45am

    Yeah hopefully they figure out a better way this year. Hope you run this year to maintain your legacy status! :)

    Yeah hopefully they figure out a better way this year. Hope you run this year to maintain your legacy status! :)

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    teresa FIRST-TIMER '17

    I'll preface this by saying that I realize the main focus at this event was the half rather than the 5K and also that as the inaugural event, I expected … MORE

    I’ll preface this by saying that I realize the main focus at this event was the half rather than the 5K and also that as the inaugural event, I expected some issues/room for improvement- but I also expected that as an organization Conqur had enough experience to put on a smoother first race than what I saw.

    The positive: As others have mentioned, the volunteers on the course and at the finish were enthusiastic and cheerful in spite of being out in the cold and rain. The Rose Bowl finish is a cool idea even if it was a little anticlimactic in the rain. The shirt is one of the better race shirts I’ve gotten recently. The medal design is nice. Two free Ballast Point beers is a pretty good deal even if I couldn’t bring myself to drink beer at 8AM 🙂 And I do appreciate that the 5K was also Sunday since working Saturdays means a lot of 5Ks aren’t available to me.

    Problems:
    -Congestion and parking- I have done other races at the Rose Bowl but never experienced this level of traffic. We arrived at the Arroyo exit on the 210 by 5:40 and it took over an hour to get to the parking lot, presumably because ALL other entrances were closed. Since this entrance also crossed the course (and the traffic was presumably part of what delayed the start), it seems like it would have made more sense to keep the Linda Vista entrance on the west side of Arroyo open as well.
    -The delay: I assume it was mostly due to the parking issues, but never felt like it was clearly explained. Particularly frustrating for a 5K since I spent more time waiting than running…And since I had planned to wait in the car until ~6:45-50 for a 7AM start, was dressed to be comfortable running at 5K effort in cool weather rather than standing still in the cold (admittedly my choice)
    -The narrow start chute: This start chute was SO narrow that just a few people walking abreast could completely occlude it. I signed up for this race partly because I thought the fairly flat course and cool weather gave me a decent chance at a new PR- those hopes were dashed when it took 1:45 to get through the first 0.1 miles. Not being especially fast I lined up maybe 1/4 way back through the pack- but there were so many large groups of people walking in front of me that I could not get around them. It would have been nice if either the start mats were at the turn onto Arroyo to allow room to spread out quickly like normal OR the half and 5K starts were staggered (maybe with separate finish chutes instead of separate start chutes) so that each group could use the entire starting space.

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    RoadRunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    I signed up for this as part of the Conquer LA Challenge. As a past LA Marathon participant, I was looking forward to the race. Finish on the 50 yard … MORE

    I signed up for this as part of the Conquer LA Challenge. As a past LA Marathon participant, I was looking forward to the race. Finish on the 50 yard line of the Rose Bowl!

    The Expo was a joke. Almost no vendors, nothing in the swag bags, but you had to attend or PAY EXTRA for race day pick-up. Why not let a friend get the packet?

    I woke up early, followed the parking directions, and was in the lot ready to go by 5:45 a.m. Lined up in the corral by 6:50 … and then the delays started. 25-30 minutes, standing in cold, wet weather, with no reason stated by the announcer who was sadly stalling. In weather like that, especially for a race with a total (5k & 1/2 marathon) of only 6,000 participants, the delay was inexcusable!

    Volunteers were great; water stations were well staffed. The weather ruined any scenery the course may have. Mix of incline and decline through most of the route.

    The Rose Bowl finish was anti-climactic. Display runners on the jumbo tron, get some noise going. I felt like I was running into an empty field. Maybe the weather kept activities from setting up, but the post-race experience was non-existent.

    Without major improvement, don’t waste your time or money on this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    dlu975 Jan 23, 2017 at 8:06pm

    You were much too kind. This race was awful.

    You were much too kind. This race was awful.

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    aymmer FIRST-TIMER '17

    I had a great race experience despite the weather. I arrived early & was parked by 5:20am so I didn't experience any of the traffic issues as others have stated. … MORE

    I had a great race experience despite the weather. I arrived early & was parked by 5:20am so I didn’t experience any of the traffic issues as others have stated. Yes, the 30 min delay was a bummer tho. My friend finished before me and said it was difficult to see the runners coming thru so she wasn’t able to get a pic of me. I felt along the end zone was a perfect place to have water, bars, fruit, something. Since the field was so big we stayed near the blanket give away area until we found our group. The line for the photo op was really long so I didn’t feel like waiting for that, maybe add a couple other areas since there is so much space? I didn’t even see the beer garden or anything else. But by the time I finished the rain was really coming down and we just wanted to get to our cars. I would do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
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    runforbeer FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was race #2 in the first ever ConqurLA Challenge. Packet pickup was on Friday and Saturday, I opted to go on Sat. It was very well organized and had … MORE

    This was race #2 in the first ever ConqurLA Challenge. Packet pickup was on Friday and Saturday, I opted to go on Sat. It was very well organized and had some of the usual vendors. For comparisons sake, it was a little bit bigger than the Revel Canyon City expo, much smaller than LA Marathon. Parking was a little tricky due to other events going on in the area, but I got lucky with a metered spot on the street. I got in and got my bib, t-shirt, and check out a few vendors before leaving. I really like the shirt for this since I wear a lot of black t-shirts as casual wear.

    I was running late on race morning, which meant I ended up at the back of the massive live to enter the stadium parking lot. I imagine that someone with the city of Pasadena dropped the ball here because stop lights were still functioning and police were nowhere to be seen directing traffic. Conqur group was very responsive on social media and communicated that the race would be delayed. I understand that some people were upset about waiting in the rain during the delay, but we were about to run a half in it anyway. I’m sure these issues are at the top of the priority list to improve on next year.

    On to the race itself, which started right around 0730. It was raining lightly and the wind wasn’t too bad, I estimate it was around 45-50. That’s cold for SoCal natives, but I thought it was perfect. I hate racing with the sun beating me down. The course went through a few neighborhoods before heading to Old Town Pasadena and surrounding area. Even though it was raining, there were still plenty of people out cheering us on. Around mile 9 the course crossed over the beautiful Colorado Street Bridge back down towards the Rose Bowl, where the half runners ran what doubled as the 5K course around the golf course. The finish chute started just outside of the stadium culminating with the finish line at the 50-yard line. On the field they had signs for taking pictures, mylar blankets, and water/Gatorade. Snacks were available exiting the stadium which led to the finish festival. Not many people were sticking around since the rain was getting heavier and the wind was picking up. I decided to have my free beer courtesy of Ballast Point and then head home. Traffic leaving was a bit backed up due to the single entry/exit point. The volunteers were absolutely AMAZING! They had to stand in the rain and did so with a smile on their faces and the aid stations were handled very well. Traffic and parking aside, this was a great race with a fun challenging course and a awesome medal. I’m positive the parking issue will be addressed and their isn’t anything they can do about the weather. Can’t wait to run again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
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    My Report
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    4
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    M_Sohaskey Jan 23, 2017 at 5:01pm

    Appreciate the helpful & balanced review, Brett. Bummer that the rain descended on Pasadena, but weather is what it is: the ultimate race day variable. Glad to hear you enjoyed the… MORE

    Appreciate the helpful & balanced review, Brett. Bummer that the rain descended on Pasadena, but weather is what it is: the ultimate race day variable. Glad to hear you enjoyed the race despite the traffic issues – I always root for inaugural races to do well, and finishing on the field at the Rose Bowl is a cool opportunity. And I like that the medal you posted on IG smartly matches the design of the other two races. Hopefully they're able to iron out the kinks for next year and make this a regular in the Conqur LA Challenge! LESS

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    RunKMacRun FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was race two in the Conquer LA series. Pasadena is VERY hilly so please be prepared for those! Also, this was an inaugural year so there were some common … MORE

    This was race two in the Conquer LA series. Pasadena is VERY hilly so please be prepared for those! Also, this was an inaugural year so there were some common first race issues. MANY people showed up late and they allowed people to park, which was right across the race course. So they waited for all the cars, which made the race about 25 minutes late. It was also cold and raining. But the race directors do not have control over this. They did the best they could to make it a fun finish. Mylar blankets for everyone and bottled water and snacks. I am very willing to do this race again in 2018.

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
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    LArunner Jul 10, 2017 at 8:40am

    Appreciate your comments. Not sure that most seasoned runners would give it 5 shoes for difficulty. There were a few small hills at the beginning and the rest was fairly… MORE

    Appreciate your comments. Not sure that most seasoned runners would give it 5 shoes for difficulty. There were a few small hills at the beginning and the rest was fairly flat. Just my two cents. But yeah, the delay was a pain. LESS

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    dlu975 Jan 23, 2017 at 8:04pm

    You are much to kind. This race was crazy awful

    You are much to kind. This race was crazy awful

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 23, 2017 at 5:33pm

    Thanks again Kristin, and congrats on race finish #... was that 105? Sounds like a tough morning for everyone, so appreciate your positive but honest attitude, and glad you were… MORE

    Thanks again Kristin, and congrats on race finish #... was that 105? Sounds like a tough morning for everyone, so appreciate your positive but honest attitude, and glad you were able to turn cold lemons into lemonade. Thanks too for the warning on the hills, who woulda knew Pasadena had so many rollers? Hope to see you at LA for the final leg of the Challenge! LESS

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    shawn.burke6 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I drove here last year from PA to run LA--record heat--but awesome despite that. Conquer Endurance really knew what they were doing. Boy, was I misled! They blew it this … MORE

    I drove here last year from PA to run LA–record heat–but awesome despite that. Conquer Endurance really knew what they were doing. Boy, was I misled! They blew it this time and I have never been more disappointed or annoyed with such poor planning…parking, expo, swag (was there any?), refreshments. Great finish, decent course, but everything else was not what I expected. My first hint that something was not right was the bib/name mixup, then I asked about tracking only to find out that it wasn’t working on mobile devices (numerous emails), the expo was a complete waste of time but at least I knew how long the drive SHOULD HAVE BEEN. While they can’t control the weather, there is no reason to sit for over an hour. I’d hate to see what happens when the Rose Bowl is full. Maybe you’ll get it right in 2018, but I won’t be back.

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    dlu975 Jan 23, 2017 at 8:03pm

    You were much too kind, double agree with all your comments. Thumbs up!!

    You were much too kind, double agree with all your comments. Thumbs up!!

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 23, 2017 at 5:21pm

    Wow, talk about serious dedication (or a serious need for warmer weather ?)! Driving all the way across the country is a serious commitment, sorry to hear this time didn't… MORE

    Wow, talk about serious dedication (or a serious need for warmer weather ?)! Driving all the way across the country is a serious commitment, sorry to hear this time didn't measure up. But appreciate your candid review Shawn, and gotta believe the organizers will learn plenty from this year's mistakes. Hope to see you back out here for another race soon – if you're looking for ideas, I'd recommend Surf City (next to the beach) next month, Big Sur (amazing scenic views of the Pacific) in April or Mountains 2 Beach (largely downhill marathon) in May. LESS

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    shawn.burke6 Jan 23, 2017 at 9:32pm

    Thanks for responding, Mike. You are right about doing anything to get away from winter in northeast PA. My son lives in Long Beach so we do have a good… MORE

    Thanks for responding, Mike. You are right about doing anything to get away from winter in northeast PA. My son lives in Long Beach so we do have a good reason to head west (a grandson helps.) My husband, son and I ran Surf City last year and all of us liked the Pasadena course more. Running on the PCH got old but it was a prrfect training run for me before LA to get acclimated to the heat. I think a big part of my negativity was due to frustration. Sitting in the car for an hour really soured me before the race begin. Running in the rain didn't bother us at all. We are accustomed to "black ice" and single digits. Is there a solution to yesterday's debacle? Proper planning might help. LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 23, 2017 at 9:59pm

    Totally understand, and here's hoping the Conqur LA folks take to heart comments like yours in planning next year's race. My brother lives in Long Beach as well, so hopefully… MORE

    Totally understand, and here's hoping the Conqur LA folks take to heart comments like yours in planning next year's race. My brother lives in Long Beach as well, so hopefully we'll have the chance to meet here in SoCal sometime. BTW, if you haven't run Long Beach that's a fun race as well with some oceanside views, though the race (in early Oct) has been crazy hot the past two years. Would love to hear your reviews/recommendations for PA races as well! LESS

     
    dlu975 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Ok. First of all the run was suppose to start 7am. I live no more than 10minutes from the rose bowl and run here a couple of times per week. … MORE

    Ok. First of all the run was suppose to start 7am. I live no more than 10minutes from the rose bowl and run here a couple of times per week. I left my home at 530am. I took the advised way to get there and this is where the horrible organization started… the 210 freeway wAs backed up about 1-2 miles before the exit!!! It was everyone for themselves!!! Cars were rudely trying to merge onto the exit from the highway!!! I felt as if the police should of been present starting at this point to help cars exiting the highway. Then once I got on the street there was another huge wait to drive to the rosebowl parking with more frantic and rude drivers cutting people off. Finally I parked and realized it was 6:52am. My normal 10min trip took 1.5 hrs and I felt like I had been through a driving war, completely stressed and already hating my run experience. Then The bad part started. They delayed the race by about 30minutes!!!!!! I had to stand out in the rain and cold waiting for the stupid organizers to get their shit together, probably from all the cars trying to get here and park, and I had to suffer by standing in the cold rain. Then,,, the race finally started. Large groups of walkers mixed in with runners!!!!!! It was impossible to get running until about .1-.2 miles into the race!!!! Completely ruining my measured time. Why could they not of separated the runners into waves!!!! With the walkers in the back!!!!! Now I’m trying to run through a bunch of walkers slowing everything down. pissed off about the parking, the late start, and now the walkers!!!!! 27min later I completed the run and could not leave soon enough. I didn’t stick around for the swag or beer as the mood called more for just forgetting the entire experience. The only thing that could happen to almost make things even at this time is that the race organizers read this review and send me a refund for this horrible race experience. Never again will I run in any event organized by these people. Good riddance.

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 23, 2017 at 1:55am

    OUCH, sorry to hear things went so haywire, Daniel. Yes this was an inaugural race so the organizers should get *some* leeway for that, but still there's no reason –… MORE

    OUCH, sorry to hear things went so haywire, Daniel. Yes this was an inaugural race so the organizers should get *some* leeway for that, but still there's no reason – rain or shine – for careless logistics. Bummed to hear yours was such a stressful experience. I didn't run this race, but I can vouch that the LA Marathon (organized by the same folks) is a much smoother experience. In any case, thanks for your honest review and here's hoping your next race comes up roses! LESS

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