Sunny California did not disappoint and we were able to see a lot of people and do most everything we wanted to within a short 39 hour time span.
Fri. May 30
7:05 am Check in for Southwest flight. Actually, if you're A-list or have automatic check in, you don't have to worry too much about checking in 24 hours in advance of your flight. Finish packing, print and fill out your race registration check in sheet, wrap up work stuff, and get to bed early 'cause tomorrow and the next are going to be two very long days.
Sat. May 31
5:00 am Depart for the airport. It's early on a Saturday morning so fortunately you usually don't have to worry about traffic at that hour unless they're doing road construction. It never hurts to leave a little bit early just in case. Arrive at the airport, park the car, wait for the shuttle to the airport.
5:30 am Go through security (again, it helps to be A-list on Southwest) although there aren't that many people in line at that early hour. Head to the gate and see who we know shows up at the gate - in this instance, we met up with two other racing couples in the Oakland airport.
6:00 am While making small talk and catching up on each other's races, Jennifer mentioned that she was planning to renew her CPR/AED/First Aid training the following weekend. Susan jumped at the chance to renew her certification and was extremely pleased with the Healthcare Provider's class taught at Pulse Check CPR in Hayward. Jeremy not only told the class what to do but also took the time to explain why it worked. Susan learned more in this American Heart Association class than any other class taught by the Red Cross or online.
7:05 am Typical of Southwest, the plane departed on time and we were well on our way to starting our race weekend.
8:30 am We land in San Diego where the weather is perfect and catch a cab to our hotel. Drop off bags with the concierge and head to the race expo at the San Diego Convention Center Halls G-H. Competitor group offered a perk to TourPass holders this time around and let them into the expo a half an hour early. We didn't get there in time to enjoy this benefit. Maybe next time!
9:00 am We just took a photo with the course map and haven't even stepped into the expo yet when our next set of friends from RnR Saint Louis call out to us. We befriended them last year when we stopped and asked for directions which turned into drinks at the hotel, meet and greet at the race start, Facebook friends, and the rest is history.
Let the Expo adventures begin! First stop, the Competitor RnR gear where Susan picks up yet another pink shirt to add to her growing collection (She doth protest: "But this one says, 'California' on it!") Yeah, right. Out trip just wouldn't be complete without saying high to Darlene and Grace. (Yes, Susan shops that much that we now know the Competitor group employees by first name!)
|We thought Shayne held her own well against an onslaught of tangential questions.|
7:10 am We cross the start line and another memorable race has begun. Somewhere along the course, Ron snapped this selfie. He was in front of Susan pretty much the whole race helping pace her to a new personal record (PR). Apparently, we're usually quite chatty on the race course because TNT Coach MaryAnne had to share with us her wardrobe malfunction story (BTW, the shorts ended up being a good choice given how hot it ended up being that day.) Stephanie wanted us to slow down so she could take a picture (Thank you Steph for the words of motivation to help Susan keep up with Ron at that 11:19 pace!) Then we bump into Louie Soriano and Dave Mari and have even more catching up to do. (Louie, thanks for sharing with us that adorable mash up photo of you as a baby and your 4 month old daughter. You both are so cute!) Anyway, back to the race and the PR story...
If there is such a thing as "FaceBook jealousy" then we've got it bad. Caryn posts amazing photos of her runs in San Diego every week and we just drool at the scenery. We were treated to a driving tour of San Diego and saw things that we never knew existed in San Diego. While there were many hills involved, we chose to drive them this day. We'll leave running those hills to Caryn and her crazy running group friends!
Next year and beyond on our 50 state half marathon quest at non-RnR races, we don't expect to know nearly as many people as we saw at RnR San Diego. It's friends who made this 48 hour count down that much more special.
Otherwise, you're just there to do a half marathon and what fun is that?
Rock 'n' Roll San Diego is the longest running event in the Rock 'n' Roll Series. 2014 marks the 17th year of the race. It originally was only a full marathon, adding a half marathon specifically for Team in Training in the mid 2000's and officially opening the half to general registration a few years later. This year there were 5325 finishers in the Full Marathon (median finish time of 4:43) and 16884 finishers in the half (median finish time 2:21). The half marathon course is one of the fastest in the country. Last year, Bernard Koech set a non-sanctioned record of 58:41. The elevation drop for the race prevented him from claiming an official record.
The course had not changed since 2013, starting in Balboa Park and heading northeast through University Heights, Normal Heights and Felton Heights before coming back on El Cajon Boulvevard, Pershing Drive and finally finishing down 13th Street with a long downhill into Petco Park. Weather this year was slightly warmer (60 F to start) with temps climbing into the high 60's by mile 8.
This was Susan's 64th half marathon and her all time PR walking or run/walking. This was Ron's 62nd half marathon and the second time he's walked faster than 2:30 in three consecutive half marathons. Both of us earner our 4th Super Six Heavy Medal to stay on track for Rock Idol this year. We hope to pick that up in our home town at Rock n Roll San Jose along with the brand new Cali Combo medal for doing San Francisco, San DIego and San Jose.
Since we bought the 2015 Tour Pass, we've already signed up signed of for next year's RNR San Diego. This should surprise no one :)