Overall Rating
Overall Rating (51 Reviews)
4.1
(51 Ratings)(51 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.2
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3.6
The Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & ½ Marathon kicks off in one of the most beautiful cities in North America. Not surprisingly, a ton of fun and excitement is in store for this historic race, an event that changed the face of running forever and put … MORE
Local Weather (May 30)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 69 71 70 72 76
L (°F) 59 60 59 61 60
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Recent reviews

    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was a well organized fun half marathon. I would certainly do it again. Expo: This is a Rock & Roll series race so it is going to have a … MORE

    This was a well organized fun half marathon. I would certainly do it again.

    Expo: This is a Rock & Roll series race so it is going to have a large well attended expo. If you want to get in and out quick and just grab your bib it is pretty easy, the Events Center is big and well laid out for these kinds of things. If you want to walk around the expo you can find all sorts of things to fit your running needs. The only annoying part of this expo location is that there is virtually zero parking in the area unless you have someone drop you off you are going to have to pay

    T-Shirts/SWAG: I was a bit disappointed in the medal and shirt for this year, it was the 20th year for the event and the shirt celebrated that with balloons but nothing on the front unique to San Diego. The finishers medal was similarly disappointing, it was meant to look like a silver colored vinyl record complete with a middle spinning disc but in the end just looks like a big silver circle with again nothing unique to San Diego about it. Other years have looked much better so hopefully this was just a one off problem. The shirt and medal are both of high quality the designs just felt like they were lacking.

    Parking/Access: Parking was going to be difficult for this race since the start and finish were a decent ways apart and parking isn’t plentiful for a race this size. I was dropped off by a friend which made things pretty easy, they were doing a good job policing the drop off area and it was an short walk to the park where I could do my pre race routine and stretching.

    Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: Aid stations during the course were well stocked and offered electrolytes and water. They were also well spaced throughout the course. The race started on the edge of Balboa park then headed to the northeast winding through neighborhoods. The elevation changes at this point were not much although the scenery of just running through neighborhoods was nothing very exciting compared to the overall beauty of what i normally think of in regards to San Diego. Eventually you head back towards the park and go up a decent sized hill entering the park, then a pretty significant downhill through the park before heading to downtown and finishing on a nice decline. The course is pretty flat overall but the few hills there are can be a bit steep both uphill and downhill which left my hip a bit sore by the finish.

    Race Management: They did a good job with this race. The corrals are well managed and the finishers area was well organized and very large, it was pretty easy to meet up with family and friends near the waterfront when I was done. An unusual thing I will give the race credit for managing was when someone went through cones and drove onto the marathon course at some point there were quick notifications and the police were all over it (this didn’t affect me in the half thankfully). This race also started really early in the day, 6 am, which was a tough start but also made sense considering how hot the weather can get especially for those running the full at a slower pace. The bands along the course also offer a welcome break along the route. The combination of the bands, cheerleaders, and start corral organization are all things that I really enjoy about Rock and Roll races.

    Overall this race isn’t particularly pretty other than when you run through the park however the management and size of the event make it fun and worth it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
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    mejayf REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race has lots of hills. But the residents of San Diego make up for it. The residents are always out cheering you on and have lots of food and … MORE

    This race has lots of hills. But the residents of San Diego make up for it. The residents are always out cheering you on and have lots of food and drinks along the way.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    spifko FIRST-TIMER '19

    In back to back years, I did the full and then the half for this race. The two share the same course for the first ~8 miles. There's not much … MORE

    In back to back years, I did the full and then the half for this race. The two share the same course for the first ~8 miles. There’s not much to see along this part of the course (wish they chose a more scenic route around San Diego, there are so many better options), but when spectators come out that adds a lot of energy. Some even set up refreshment (adult beverage) stations! After the split, the half has a much better course to the finish line. If you’re going to do a full, look elsewhere. Enjoy the half here and the concert after. I just wish they would choose more energetic headliners!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
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    1
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    3

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    bperkins FIRST-TIMER '19

    Just simply a great race. All around. Arrive early and plan for a long 1.5 mi (not steep) climb at mile 22. Get the VIP package, it's worth it and … MORE

    Just simply a great race. All around. Arrive early and plan for a long 1.5 mi (not steep) climb at mile 22. Get the VIP package, it’s worth it and not very expensive. Enjoy the after party.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
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    kellybly6 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Rock and Roll really did a great job in the starting corrals, I've done some races where too many runners start at once and waste a ton of energy just … MORE

    Rock and Roll really did a great job in the starting corrals, I’ve done some races where too many runners start at once and waste a ton of energy just weaving through. Both the half and full marathoners start the first 8 miles together and are corralled together but they had a funnel line within the corral which made it even smoother (definitely advise to sign up for a preferred corral if you get antsy not starting a race for 30 minutes or so like my friends did). Beginning of the course was great, very smooth some rolling hills that kept it interesting and made time fly. The middle section of the full took you out to the coast, along mission beach which was not only very flat, but scenic and I was surprised there was still good course/fan support out that far. The end was pretty tough though and while the elevation map showed one giant hill around 21 it started at 21 and continued to miles 22&23. But there is a good downhill finish and I PR’d! Great way to visit San Diego and have an amazing time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    dbierness REPEAT RUNNER '19

    To sum: Expo was fine, easy to get to via public transportation. Start line a little tough to get to - pay for a shuttle. Weather was low to mid … MORE

    To sum:
    Expo was fine, easy to get to via public transportation.
    Start line a little tough to get to – pay for a shuttle.
    Weather was low to mid 60s – maybe a little humid, but not much for this Miamian. Blessedly overcast.
    Course was quite nice – no industrial back lots on this half! Some hills, but in my perception, not as many as Nashville. My only course regret was that all the fun block parties were around miles 3-6. I prefer my party towards the end. 😉
    Spectator support was outstanding. They were everywhere.
    Finish line was nice – but the usual confusing scrum afterward. More signs earlier for the finish festival and activities, please. Us old timers know to keep walking for medal engraving, et al, but the new people get confused.
    Snafu with T-Shirts meant that we got them after the race, and the women’s shirts were a violently lime green with pink accents. I and another woman tried to trade the men for their nice blue shirts, but no dice.
    Hey, I PR’d on a nice day with outstanding crowd support. Liked it a lot.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    262run REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my first time running a race put on by the RocknRoll series and I loved it! The course has rolling hills, nothing steep though. The aid stations were … MORE

    This was my first time running a race put on by the RocknRoll series and I loved it! The course has rolling hills, nothing steep though. The aid stations were great. The expo was cool (I met Meb!). The volunteers were amazing! I started having IT band pain at mile 10 so I ended up running my slowest time yet :/ Yet even with that disappointment, I still had a great time at this race! Read my full review here! https://262.run/2019/06/05/rocknroll-san-diego-marathon-june-2019/

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '06

    This was too early in my running career. I thought I knew how to BQ. I didn't know that when it gets warm, I need to back off. This was … MORE

    This was too early in my running career. I thought I knew how to BQ. I didn’t know that when it gets warm, I need to back off. This was a good lesson in my career, learning how to pace and adjust.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    fabe46 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    As stated it is always great running in San Diego. Weather seems to always be just right. The bands throughout course are greAt each year. Some challenging uphills but balanced … MORE

    As stated it is always great running in San Diego. Weather seems to always be just right. The bands throughout course are greAt each year. Some challenging uphills but balanced out by some real downhill speed.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

    If you're able to make sure you do the Remix Challenge of the 5K on Saturday morning and the half or full on Sunday. Hotels and parking can be a … MORE

    If you’re able to make sure you do the Remix Challenge of the 5K on Saturday morning and the half or full on Sunday. Hotels and parking can be a bit expansive in San Diego so plan to room/cost share if you can. I’m not 100% sure but this 2018 course felt less scenic to me than past years. I’m not sure if the course had been changed or not but it wasn’t as pretty as I remember it in the past. Large race and takes a few miles for the crowds to die down. This year was the first year since I’ve been running it (about 5 years in a row) that the full and half marathon started together. So I’m sure this added to the congestion.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
    2
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    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Having run Rock 'n' Roll San Diego as a full 5 times, I am completely done with running on the 163 Freeway. I absolutely hate the current full course. This … MORE

    Having run Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego as a full 5 times, I am completely done with running on the 163 Freeway. I absolutely hate the current full course. This year I decided to run the half marathon and really enjoyed it. This was only my second time running this race as a half and first time running the current half course. While you can pick up your packet on race morning for the Saturday 5k, you must attend the expo on Friday or Saturday to pick up your packet for the half or full on Sunday. My running partner and I pre-purchased parking near the finish line and took the bus to the start. I like to arrive to the buses early as I hear the lines can get very long. Like other years, the race started at Balboa Park. I really enjoyed the course. There were some uphill portions, but the nice long downhill is what stands out in my memory. The community came out to support the race and the bands were entertaining. I was having fun the entire time and the race went by very quickly. The finish line was at Waterfront Park, which is by the ocean. If you ran the 5k on Saturday and the half or full on Sunday, you receive the Remix Challenge Medal. Unfortunately they got rid of the finisher jackets for the full marathoners. I had left the area by the time the news of the possible active shooter broke out. The incident turned out to be unrelated to the race, but police and race officials didn’t take any chances. From what I have heard, the situation was handled quickly and efficiently by all.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    regadunn FIRST-TIMER '18

    I found this to be a very difficult course -- especially miles 22-25 which are a gradual uphill. I thought this course was tougher than The San Francisco Marathon. The … MORE

    I found this to be a very difficult course — especially miles 22-25 which are a gradual uphill. I thought this course was tougher than The San Francisco Marathon. The volunteers were great and the race was very well organized.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    2

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    cheryldoubledee FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was my first marathon, and I couldn’t have chosen a better company to produce it than Rock ‘n’ Roll run! Tons of aid stations, great bands, and generally fantastic … MORE

    This was my first marathon, and I couldn’t have chosen a better company to produce it than Rock ‘n’ Roll run! Tons of aid stations, great bands, and generally fantastic support! The course was difficult, with lots of rolling hills and a nasty section of freeway, but overall it was fun. My only complaint is that finishers jackets could be purchased before the race, but when I chose to wait to make sure I finished, none were available at the finish festival, where they were supposed to have been. I was told I would be able to purchase one online, which was not true! So, I never got to buy the finishers jacket for my first marathon. Other than that, this was a fantastic experience

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    cdmauger REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon is one of my favorite races, for several reasons. I'm a big fan of the RnR series in general, and the overall atmosphere … MORE

    Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon is one of my favorite races, for several reasons. I’m a big fan of the RnR series in general, and the overall atmosphere for the weekend was top-notch. My wife ran the 5K on Saturday and I ran the half on Sunday. Boston Marathon champions Meb Keflezighi and Des Linden were on hand both days, making appearances at the expo and the 5K, and serving as pacers for the half marathon. As far as the half marathon goes, it’s not a difficult course at all, with only a few short uphills, but long stretches of downhill (including most of the last four miles). The course includes a stretch through business and main roads, parts that go through quiet residential neighborhoods, a segment through the park, and finishes up in downtown. My only beef is with this year’s decision by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon folks to make every race’s medal and shirt the same design . . . the medal is ok, but in my opinion the shirt is terrible. However, the merch on sale at the expo is really nice. Which might be the whole plan, now that I think about it. Anyway, Rock ‘n’ Roll SD is a great race, particularly for out-of-towners. One of the best!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    My Media

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was a fun little 5K. You are able to pick up your 5k bib and t-shirt the morning of the race. Plenty of parking. Depending on where you park … MORE

    This was a fun little 5K. You are able to pick up your 5k bib and t-shirt the morning of the race. Plenty of parking. Depending on where you park it can be about a 20 min walk to the start line. If you do this 5K and the half or full on Sunday you earn the Remix medal 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    bperkins REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Sign up early and this is one of the best races in San Diego. Not too difficult. Great fan support. Lot's of opportunity to spend money (parking, swag, pictures, engravings, … MORE

    Sign up early and this is one of the best races in San Diego. Not too difficult. Great fan support. Lot’s of opportunity to spend money (parking, swag, pictures, engravings, etc, etc). However, finish line location w/music is great. Purchase your registration early and use the metro for transport and this is a good value race. You really don’t get to see the San Diego’s best locations, but its still “San Diego”. HM has a generous dose of elevation so not a PR course, in my opinion. I may consider the Full in 2019.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
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    3

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    KimberlyEck FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was the first Rock 'N' Roll race I've run and the atmosphere was "rockin" (yes, pun intended)! It was hot, sunny and the course did not provide any areas … MORE

    This was the first Rock ‘N’ Roll race I’ve run and the atmosphere was “rockin” (yes, pun intended)! It was hot, sunny and the course did not provide any areas of shade, which made it pretty difficult. There was also a fair share of hills. I do wish it went through more scenic parts of San Diego, but it was still a nice course. The water stations were well stocked and there were bathrooms all along the course. At the end of the race, the snacks and drinks provided were wonderful! Will most likely run this again in 2019! 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    3
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    3

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    mkjeung FIRST-TIMER '08

    The San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon has good organization, good music and pretty nice scenery through parks, nice neighborhoods and along the ocean. It was the first large marathon … MORE

    The San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon has good organization, good music and pretty nice scenery through parks, nice neighborhoods and along the ocean. It was the first large marathon (> 5000 runners) I ran and the event seemed to run smoothly with alot of non-serious runners doing the marathon. As a warning, the year I ran it was very warm 2 hours into the race (> 70F) and might have been approaching 80F when I finished, so the heat could make it a tough race. Also, the race shirts were cotton and not tech shirts, so that could have been better.

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    bayna6 FIRST-TIMER '03

    I was not feeling well, but excited to run this race. Everything was ok. The roads banked which was hard on my knees, but what was awful was the post … MORE

    I was not feeling well, but excited to run this race. Everything was ok. The roads banked which was hard on my knees, but what was awful was the post race fiasco. There were lines that were at least 100 people long waiting for busses. I ended up having to walk the 3 miles back to my hotel….very difficult.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    2
    SCENERY
    3
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    2

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    bayna6 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The June gloom is great for running. This was a very scenic route and was a really nice race. I would definitely run this one again. Always nice to run … MORE

    The June gloom is great for running. This was a very scenic route and was a really nice race. I would definitely run this one again. Always nice to run in San Diego.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
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    4
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    3

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  2. Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon