Rock N Roll Marathon – San Diego Edition

I ran San Diego once before. It was in 2007 as part of the then nascent series of Rock N Roll events.  When I did it way back when, I had yet to run a sub-4 race.  So it was nice to come back and run this modified course (I swear in 2007 we ran onto a military base for a finish but maybe I’m confusing it with dreams of Top Gun… I also kinda recall running past a volleyball game so, yeah, probably Top Gun influenced memory, yeah?).

I was faster than I was in 2007 but a far cry from my BQ/PR days.  Nonetheless: I came, I ran, I finished.  We take the victories whenever possible.

Three notes on “pre-race.”

This is the Mushroom Swiss burger I had at Key and Cleaver as my carbo-load dinner:

And this is the course elevation.  There may be one greater sin than spectators shouting “you’re almost there” at mile 20… because obviously there’s still 6.2 miles to go.  And that’s when spectators tell you you’ve done the long hill when in fact the longest, roughest hill is still two miles ahead of you.

Thirdly, who was the genius to design a course in San Diego that does NOT go along the beach/coastline?  And, no, running over the San Diego River does not count.

Ahem… thus knowing the above… here are snapshots from along the course:

The course itself started downtown (and thus would make leaving after the race a series of snafus when google maps had me avoiding road closures by routing me to a closed road… this is how AI will kill us all eventually.  Not because some computers develop sentience but because they’re fallible and, as has already repeatedly happened, we blindly follow along, right off the cliff).

Don’t you hate it when they misspell your name?

Somewhere around the mid-point we diverted onto a bike path along and over the San Diego river.  Maybe this is the water feature of the city but like a lot of Rock N Roll courses, it ultimately lead to a highway section.  I suppose it’s fun to run on a road that is designed exclusively for cars but it also creates this concrete vision of sadness, a highway hypnosis that can make miles seem endless.  And because RnR caters heavily to their half-marathon clientele, the whole vibe in the longer distance is more akin to a smaller camaraderie of sparse spectators and spartan runners.

And then we get to the hill… after as I said above we were told by some of those sparsely spaced spectators that we had passed it previously.  Sigh.

From there just a “short” three miles to the finish.  And while I’ll allow “you’re almost done” chants post-hill, let’s be real, folks… three miles to the finish is NOT almost done.

When you can see the finish line, then you’re almost done.  And when you cross it, then you’re done.  Not before.

But now I am done.

For now at least.