The Rose Bowl Half Marathon is a truly unforgettable race experience with a one of a kind finish line on the field at the world-famous 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 …
The Rose Bowl Half Marathon is a truly unforgettable race experience with a one of a kind finish line on the field at the world-famous 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.
• Rose Bowl Bib
• Finisher Medal
• ASICS Finisher Shirt
• Finish Festival Entry and Drink Ticket (21+)
It was 49 degrees that day cold
Pasadena was 49 degrees at 5am and rained all day saturday race sold out too everyone one was shoulder deep I signed up for the half and decided to run … MORE
Pasadena was 49 degrees at 5am and rained all day saturday race sold out too
everyone one was shoulder deep I signed up for the half and decided to run the 5k it was cold and damp that morning
Well-organized fun but hilly half
I participated in this race as part of the Conqur LA series and it turned out to be one of my favorite halfs! The race was extremely well-organized starting with … MORE
I participated in this race as part of the Conqur LA series and it turned out to be one of my favorite halfs! The race was extremely well-organized starting with pre-race instructions and emails. I liked that there was remote packet pick-up at several locations instead of an expo. I had to go to the mall anyways so it was very convenient to get my bib along with some shopping. If you spend less than an hour at the Westfield Century City parking is free so I shopped quickly. I got to the Rosebowl very early about 5:15 and parking was pretty smooth but there were already a lot of cars there so I wasn’t as close to the start as I thought I would be. I was very impressed by the organization of the corrals and the start of the race. I am a middle of the pack runner and was put in corral 4 out of 8 which seemed right. Other than a few people who snuck in the wrong corral everyone was running a similar pace to me and the corrals were sent off in waves so I didn’t feel like I was constantly having to run around walkers like I have in all the other large halfs I’ve done. I really enjoyed the race course. Pasadena isn’t super exciting but it is super pretty. The course had the right amount of water stops and all but the first had Nuun (electrolyte drink) and there was also honeystinger on the course. The views of the mountains from the hill were amazing. The worst part was definitely the uphill around the Rosebowl but it was worth it for the downhill finish. My last mile was one of my fastest. As a sports fan I loved ending at the 50 yard line in the Rosebowl such a cool experience. Overall the course was nicely challenging with the hills but manageable. I would recommend studying the course elevation and making a game plan about when to conserve and when to expend energy running if you want to PR which I did. The race is very expensive for a half but it was so well-organized so the price is understandable. However the Swag wasn’t the best. The medal is really nice but the T-shirt was just fine and not a tech shirt. There really wasn’t any other swag. The post-race festivities also didn’t seem as exciting as some races but I usually just leave and get brunch afterwards anyways. There are also free photos and free parking which is a plus. I would definitely recommend this race and if I wasn’t moving out of California this summer would definitely run it again. I may come back to visit LA on an MLK weekend to run it again
Nice Medal + Finish, Alright Course
This is my first time running the Pasadena Half as part of the Conqur LA challenge. Overall, I had a good time, but it was kind of a meh race. … MORE
This is my first time running the Pasadena Half as part of the Conqur LA challenge. Overall, I had a good time, but it was kind of a meh race.
There wasn’t a whole lot of swag in the race packet at all… just a coupon for Big 5. There was no expo. They had remote bib pick-up, but almost all the sites were on the West Side anyways… it’d be nice to have some options in the South Bay. The shirts they handed out on race days were a nice design, but just plain cotton. I would expect tech fiber from an event like this. Besides that, I got free socks from SRLA and that was about it. I give it 2/5 because the medal was absolutely gorgeous. **EDIT** Apparently we get free pictures. This is way better than any other kind of swag. I’d bump it up to 4/5.
The course was of moderate difficulty, mainly because of hills. I didn’t have too much trouble because I’ve been training for them, but I heard lots of talk about them post race. Overall about a 600 ft elevation gain.
The course scenery was.. okay. Pasadena is not a terribly exciting town, but running around the Rose Bowl was great and finishing on the 50 yard line in the stadium was a cool experience!! I know they also highlight suicide bridge, but I didn’t even realize I was running over it until we passed under it. Mountains in the background were also nice. However, I don’t think that makes up for the relatively monotonous course. The crowd support was also rather sparse, but I am appreciative of the people that came out. There was a few Elvis impersonators.
I will commend Conqur on the race production. Besides parking, which took about 25 minutes at 5:30 am, the event went smoothly (I can’t blame them for parking too much because the Rose Bowl is just notoriously terrible to park at). I was placed in corral 2, which was perfect for me. The race began on time, I didn’t feel crowded and there weren’t really any walkers. The water stops were plentiful and stocked with plenty of water and nuun as well as honey stinger gels at miles 4 and 7.
A Smooth Race!
As a Pasadena native, I was proud of this one. Between the Rose Bowl, the arroyo trail, the homes, the bridge, and Old Town, an out-of-towner could run this race … MORE
As a Pasadena native, I was proud of this one. Between the Rose Bowl, the arroyo trail, the homes, the bridge, and Old Town, an out-of-towner could run this race and really get a feel for Pasadena. Packet pickup was at a variety of spot around LA. I got mine at the Rose Bowl on Friday, and it was a breeze. We parked at a friend’s house 1.5 miles away and walked in, arriving at about 6:30. It was a relaxing start to the whole thing, unlike the stopped dead traffic on Linda Vista. That looked like it sucked. Breezed through shirts, gear check, and the potty, and in the corral at 6:50. Race started pretty much on time, and we got running quickly. While the route featured some hills, interestingly enough none of them got me until the side of the Rose Bowl Loop. I feel like I left a chunk of my soul there. Cool finish onto the field of the Rose Bowl! Huge, heavy, detailed medal. I was disappointed with a mass marker brewer as the beer sponsor. This felt like such a nod to Pasadena that this seemed like an oversight. I wonder if they scrambled to find one, though- they announced them super late in the game. I PRed amazingly, which helped my mood. Definitely running this one next year!
The Little Old Lady From Pasadena
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.
Freeeeezing but well run
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!
Better without the rain
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.
Race 2 in Conquer LA Challenge
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.
Rainy inaugural race
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.
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.
-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.
Amazingly poor execution!
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.
Overall good race (time delay sucked)
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.
Fun race, with a few early hiccups
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!
HILLS! and a challenge medal series!
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.
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.
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.