La Jolla Half Marathon Race Review

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the La Jolla Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I spent my birthday weekend running the La Jolla Half Marathon in San Diego, California. There are many reasons why I LOVED this race and why I recommend you add it to your bucket list.

First off, I stayed with some friends who have an amazing condo in the hillcrest area. The views were fantastic and their hospitality turned a great weekend into an amazing weekend! The area had plenty of places to grab dinner, snack, drinks, and more. All within walking distance.

The condo was also walking distance to Balboa Park, and so we joined the San Diego Frontrunners for a shake out run on Saturday. (The race is on Sunday). I also met up with my good blogging buddy pal, Smitha and fellow Orange Mud ambassador Jenn

Of course we took ALL the photos. ;) 
Between staying in a destination city and enjoying only a fragment of all the great things San Diego has to offer, it was truly an amazing weekend. Now, on to the actual race details. 

I LOVED the La Jolla Half Marathon! Have I said that yet? Yes, I'll admit it was hilly. But the views are totally worth it! I wasn't feeling on top of my A-game but still finished under 2 hours and had a fantastic time running this event. 

*EXPO. While inside the Hilton Del Mar, the La Jolla Half expo still packed a punch. All my favorites were there. And some great deals on gear! Super quick to move through and lots of parking nearby at the fairgrounds.

Stopped by the Nuun booth for some extra hydration, a cool new California bottle, and for a selfie of course.

The La Jolla Half starts by the infamous horse race track and so the expo had a fun blank horse you could right on.

*PARKING. Fortunately we had a friend drop us off but getting to the start wasn't too bad b/c they knew where to go. I did see some major traffic getting to the start so some may not have had the best experience with parking that I did. That being said, the race offers FREE shuttles in the morning from the finish to take you to the start. As well as FREE shuttles from the finish *back* to the start after you're done. So all in all, they make the race-day logistics as headache-free as possible.

*SWAG. I loved the tech shirts and drawstring bags we received. But I also had to purchase one of the $25 trucker hats! They were so awesome I couldn't pass it up. Everyone complimented me on the hat and the expo ended up selling out of both designs b/c they were so cool. The finisher's medal was also very locally themed and an impressive design.

*AID STATIONS & VOLUNTEERS. The aid stations were well stocked and tons of volunteers at each. Huge barrels of water so no one would run out. And volunteers even held signs to let people know if they had water or electrolytes in their hand. Plus tons of high-fives really helped motivate runners. 

*SCENERY. This is a big one. Worth every penny! There were hills, yes, but the beach views and running along the coast was incredible. Even the views as we climbed the big Torrey Pines hill were fantastic. I loved all the trees and the ocean smells. A race really worth slowing down to take it all in.

*WEATHER. The weather couldn't have been better. Mid-High 60s. Perfect running weather. A little cool near the water so it was perfect. I did change out of my sweaty clothes as soon as I was done though b/c I get cold quickly (I'm from the desert, so 60s wet is freezing to me when I'm not running lol). But the sun was shining and I could've spent all day enjoying the weather in my dry clothes. 

*FINISH LINE. Seriously one of my new favorite finish line festivals! Local beer. Chips & Guac. Music. And a good amount of booths with my favorite snacks (like Nature's Bakery Fig Newtons and frozen Acai). All with ocean views from high on the cliffs. Truly a great way to finish a race.

Local brews from Ballast Point Brewing!
By far my favorite was the Chips & Guac from Rubio's!
**Only two things to note. There are some hills in the last mile of the race, so that can be a factor for some people. But I didn't mind them as much. There were also a lot of downhill so that can be tough on the legs. As long as you run smart, it won't be a problem. Also, I'm a picky beer drinker and not a fan of IPAs. That's all they had available, so a pale ale or at least variety would have been more welcomed, but I certainly still enjoyed what was there!

Beginning of the big Torrey Pines climb. Tough but over after about a mile. Then rolling from then on.
Great views at the top of the climb!
Overall I highly recommend this race. It's very well managed and part of the "Triple Crown Series" that offer some extra bling and more when you finish all three in one year. I am definitely considering doing the Triple Crown Series next year! 

I am extremely thankful for all of my friends who joined me on this birthday race weekend. An most of all, I'm incredibly thankful to have had my b/f, Jason, there with me to run at my side. I look forward to many more races with this guy, and it makes me feel incredibly fortunate to have him in my life.  *cue warm fuzzy feelings*

The day after the race, we went exploring on some nearby trails for a short post-race shakeout run. Of course, another beautiful run. Every where in San Diego is just so scenic and awesome. It was by far the best birthday weekend yet!

Put the La Jolla Half Marathon on your bucket list. You won't be disappointed!


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