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4975 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 27, 2011 5:06 AM by japfaff
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Apr 26, 2009 11:50 AM

La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

Share your experiences with the La Jolla Half Marathon below Back to event details page.

  • Steven Babb Rookie 5 posts since
    Jun 23, 2008
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    1. Apr 26, 2009 11:50 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    This is a great race but they definitely need more porta potties for the runners.

    Like at mile 3 or 4 instead of 5 and then another at mile 8. The one's they had at mile 10 for the 5k run were 'just right'. This cost me more than 15 minutes on my race time.

  • Therese Jackson Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 11, 2008
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    2. Apr 27, 2009 9:23 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    The course is scenic, beautiful and really made this race worthwhile. Sponsor and community support were not as strong as at Carlsbad or the AFC but the few cowbells and the La Jolla resident with the water hose was greatly appreciated.  Running up the hills through Torrey Pines and up from La Jolla Shores in mile 12 was challenging but running downhill to the finish was alot of fun. Hope there are more recovery munchies available next year, I found the beer but no food.

  • Joy_75 Rookie 1 posts since
    May 12, 2008
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    3. Apr 27, 2009 10:49 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    More community support would've been nice. During the AFC and Carlsbad, there were bands playing and people cheering, which were great motivators. It seemed unusually quiet during this race, especially running along the boardwalk in La Jolla Shores. They also may want to reconsider having race packet pickup in La Jolla. Traffic was a nightmare. All in all, great race. I trained  hard and it paid off! Special thanks to the volunteers -- they did an amazing job!

  • Katherine Krantz Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 20, 2008
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    4. Apr 27, 2009 2:29 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    The course itself was beautiful, if not difficult with the hills. The organization of the race left something to be desired. The pre-race expo was disorganized, and the very early pick up time for bus transportation to the race start left us with almost 2 hours to wait out in the cold with no place to go.

  • ryanandamyrun Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 3, 2008
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    5. Apr 28, 2009 9:16 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    I am beyond disappointed with my experience with this race! I would NEVER do this race again for the fact that the race organizers were Horrible!


    My husband and I do several races a year - he works on the weekends and I always pick up his race packet - however - at this race I was forced to pay $20 to have him pick up his own packet at VIP the next day - if this was the only bad thing that happened - I wouldn't be complaining - but this is just the start!


    We get to the race the next day - no one knows where the VIP station is - there is no signage - no people to help - it was a disorganized mess!


    I am 3.5 months pregnant with my first child. My doctor advised us to walk the race not run - I've never walked a race - but have seen many people do it - and I thought the experience would be fantastic. WRONG! About half way through the race they had closed up all the water stations and there were no directionals - it was a million degrees - we had no water and our only saving grace was there was a course map on the back of our bibs.


    When we finally reached the finish line - it is published that you have until 12noon to finish - and we got there around 11:50AM - they were packing up - and had no finisher metals for us! We went to the race organizer and they said they only pass out metals to people who finish within 3 1/2 hours. There was a man who apparently was the DIRECTOR of the race who happen to have a metal in his pocket - he gave us ONE to share between my husband and I. ARE YOU KIDDING! Then he decided to have a heart and give us one more...oh thank you kind sir for making us BEG!


    Lastly - we went to get out T-shirt that we could only pick up after the race is you are a VIP - and the volunteer there said - "Wow - you're a little late" - it was 12noon! I said I'm pregnant and we walked! The lady replied - "Well, there was a woman who was 5 1/2 months and ran the whole thing!" - THANKS LA JOLLA HALF MARATHON!!

  • Nutrition Tara Community Moderator 41 posts since
    Jul 17, 2007
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    6. Apr 28, 2009 9:38 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews


    I was a bit disappointed with the La Jolla Half.  Although the course was stunning and the weather perfect, the organization was poor for a race in it's 28th year. 



    The expo was disorganized and I was suprised that the shirts were cotton and not even pre-shrunk.  I feel kind of bratty for complaining about that but when you pay $65 + for a race I would like technical fabric so I can actually wear it running.



    During the race there were lines at each of the water stations and, from what I heard, they actually ran out.  I found this surprising because the same thing happened last year so I would have thought that they would have taken extra precautions.  There was also very little community support.  I'm not sure if anything could be done about this but it made for a lonley run.  Special thanks, however, to those that were out there with cow bells and the one guy with the hose:)



    After the race I somehow missed the food and water and when I tried to go back and get some I was not allowed in.  Perhaps having this available on both sides of the exit shoot would be an option next year? 



    Again, the course was beautiful but I probably would not do this race again unless there were some significant changes in the organization.  



    "Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow."



  • pearlpeachy Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 17, 2008
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    7. Apr 28, 2009 11:38 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    The course was very beautiful and not as difficult as I had expected.  There is one large hill of about 3/4 miles long that ascends into Torrey Pines, I had to speed walk this, but was able to run the rest of the way. 

    I brought my own water bottle filled with a Clif Shot sports drink, and was very glad to have it, as there really weren't enough water stations.  I highly recommend bringing extra water.

    In response to the reviewer complaining about the course time limit, there is ample warning that the race has a 3 hour limit and that the roads will open back up to traffic after that point, you must maintain a 13:44 pace throughout the race.

  • trunks6 Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 3, 2007
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    8. Apr 29, 2009 7:47 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    I am going to have to agree with most of these reviews that the race was very poorly organized.  For me it began with the bib pickup at the expo.  They had one list of names for people who never received bib # in the mail, it literally took 25 minutes in line to find out my bib # and there were only like 30 people in line.  The next offense was the carb dinner.  i appreciate the fact that they organized this and all, but I arrived at 6:10pm and proceeded to watch them shut everything down by 6:20.  The website said they would be serving until 7pm. 


    I am going to have to agree about the port-a-potty situation as well.  At the fairgrounds there were like 30 units for 6500 people.  do the math and understand that 220 people per toilet right before a race is unusually cruel. 


    My last point is about the bag check at the fairgrounds and recovering them in La Jolla.  I checked my backpack in and it took me 20 minutes of rooting through a fedex van to find it amongst all the other runner's bags.  it was literally the last thing i wanted to do after finishing the half.  


    On a positive note, I think this is one of the most beautiful races in SoCal and am really happy to have run it, but unless the organizers get it right on the 29th try I don't think I will run it again.

  • Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 28, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 2, 2009 11:57 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    Wow...I'm surprised about all the negative reviews.  I guess I read some negative  reviews prior to running this race, so my expectations were low.  I did get my bib number on time, had no problems picking it up at the expo.  The expo was a little bare - no goodie bag, and only a few vendors.  Did not go to the carbo dinner since it's free with the race registration, so I knew it couldn't have been that great.  On race day, I'm really glad my husband dropped me off at Del Mar rather than taking the bus from La Jolla;  I arrived there about an hour before the start.  The course itself is beautiful but very challenging;  I was fully expecting to get my butt kicked up Torrey Pines state park (and I did), but wasn't expecting the steep elevation near the end of race (@12mi).  There was plenty of water and vitalyte when I went through the stations.  There was dearth of portapotties on the race course, but luckily, I pushed through without needing to use one.    Gotta be careful at the final stretch down La Jolla Cove since its a steep downhill and I almost twisted my ankle in one of the many pot holes/cracks. The finish area was a mad house, but it's like that pretty much at every race.  There were some food and acai smoothies that I took advantage of, but I didn't get everything.  I did not go to the beer garden.  Overall, the race was better organized than I expected, I'm pretty happy with my time.  The race has a time limit stated explicitly everywhere (3hrs); it's not for walkers.  Gotta read the directions!  Not sure if I would run it again next year, but I would make sure I did some serious hill traning beforehand.

  • Harold Vance Rookie 7 posts since
    Oct 10, 2007
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    10. May 4, 2009 11:51 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    I have done this race several times and really wish I could continue to recommend it.  It is a lovely, if challenging course.  But the problems start well before the start.  This is the 28th year of the race, but it still appears to be run by amateurs on the cheap.  The expo is in a city park deep in downtown La Jolla.  Please be aware that La Jolla is a high end resort beach town along way from the freeway with very few roads in and out.  The town controls traffic by using stop signs in the downtown area.  The traffic getting to the expo can take over an hour.  There is no parking at the expo.  You must have your bib number to pick up your bib - but they do not post the numbers.  You must stand in line at the "trouble desk", but there is no sign telling you where it is.  The line is out the door.  There are several volunteers behind the tables, but only 2 are taking customers.  If your name is not on the list, the customer helping you stops and waits for the supervisor to clear you up.  She will not help anyone else while she waits for him.  The race start at Del Mar fairgrounds is easy to get to and has plenty of parking, but be warned that 6000 people are there and there are nowhere near enough potties.  There are very few potties on the course.  Thre used to be bands on the course, but there is no longer any entertainment at all.  Water is good.  The race is very, very crowded and lane closures are minimal.  Most places 6000 people are funneled into 1 lane with traffic roaring by at your elbow.  Expect to be tripping over people the entire distance.  The finish line is in a small city park right near the beach.  The traffic to the finish line is as horrible as the day before.  The parking situation is terrible, be ready to walk a very long distance, uphill, after the race.  There might as well be no potties at the finish.  The finish area is a zoo - you will struggle to get fruit or water after the race.  You will have trouble getting anything from the booths, but you will see faster racers and spectators with CARTONS of free stuff.  The volunters will not sell you a souvenir singlet until after 11:00 a.m. to insure there are enough for the pre-sales - apparently they will not reserve enough shirts and sell the rest.

    The race is a classic and is part of the San Diego "Triple Crown" along with the Carlsbad Half and the America's Finest City Half.  Both of those races are extremely well organized large events.  The La Jolla is not managed to their standard.  I recomend skipping the La Jolla and entering the San Dieguito in February.

  • activetina Rookie 8 posts since
    Sep 19, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jul 28, 2009 11:47 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    Beautiful, challenging course. Althought I never look forward to the Torrey Pines hill and one in LA Shores, I still register year after year. I did not run into the issues that others faced at the pre-reg expo in the new location, and have always been able to easily get my gear at the finish line (that I gave to fedex truck at the start).

  • Charles M Demott Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 14, 2009
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    12. Mar 10, 2010 10:17 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    I love this race! Have always had a great experience from picking up my bib to getting on the bus for the trip to Del Mar (Can get cold over there so dress the part and you can send your clothes back to La Jolla with no issues). The run is awesome as well as the support from the Volunteers. AWESOME! The finish is awesome and I have never found it to be so crowded that it was uncomfortable. No problems finding a bathroom or porta potty.

    Anyone out there willing to give up a bib? The race was sold out this year and I am out of luck. If anyone who is interested in selling their bib I am interested in buying yours.

  • RMDriscoll Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 16, 2011
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    13. Apr 18, 2011 10:22 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    My second half marathon and a good one. Weather was perfect if not a little cool. The hills were a great challenge both physically and mentally("princess street" is anything but). Lots of water stations and well placed points along the route. Some narrow spots on the route made me change my pace a few times but not bad. The one problem I had was with the confusing race start. there was a 8 min or faster start then another start 5 minutes later. It was completely unclear where the second group starters should line up so everyone just begin moving to the starting line at the first gun. There was no clock at the starting line so unless you were wearing a watch it was hard to figure out how far behind the official time you were. Really annoying. How do you mess up the start of a race?! Not as bad as last years AFC half screw up where the gun went off with half the racers still wiating in the parking lot.

  • japfaff Rookie 2 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Apr 27, 2011 5:06 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: La Jolla Half Marathon Reviews

    Wow what a total disappointment.  The race  itself was beautiful.  Stunning views, challenging course...But that where the positive ends.  This is hands down the most poorly organized race I have ever taken part of.  It starts with the expo.  No Saturday pick up.  Ever tried to get into La Jolla on a Saturday....90 mins stuck in traffic.  No tech T's, you get some cheap cotton T'shirt.  At the expo there are literally 4 vendors and isnt worth your time.  The start line was at the Del Mar fair grounds so it was nice and open and plenty of room.  The finish line seemed to be them trying to jam as much stuff into as small of an area as possible.  Putting the finishing photo's in the chutes was insane and it took you a good 20 mins to wade through the bodies just to get out of the park and onto the bus to take you back to Del Mar.  Just a total bad experience of a race.  I would only recommend doing it if you are going for the triple crown.  If not pass on this race and go with Carlsbad or AFC both are equally impressive with the views, but both are run way better

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