It's race week for the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon. Congratulations to everyone who's made it this far and running next weekend! This is a lot of info and it is SUPPLEMENTAL to the information provided by the Race (see more below)
You've spent a boatload of weeks training, logging hundreds of miles running. Spend the next 10-15 minutes reading it, in addition, to check out the links.
This is our “Race Information Summary” which consists of the most frequently asked questions over the last several years of doing this.
Final Race Info
I will be reviewing a lot of this stuff on Tuesday but review it in advance and have your questions ready. In general, there is a TON of info on the race website:
Course Map Half: https://www.sandiegoholidayhalf.com/course
Last Minute Bibs
Need a Bib? There have been a few last minute posting in our Facebook Group, and you will likely find some on Craigslist.
Have a Bib? If you find yourself still with a bib by later this afternoon, then you should take your efforts to craigslist. You will still have to pick up your bib race pickup or expo to do the transfer, etc.
**For newbies – PLEASE DO keep in mind that it is technically not allowed to sell/transfer your bib, though it is quite commonplace in the running community. Just keep a low profile at/near the expo and the like. And . . . do NOT WIN the race (it’s happened before)
If you haven’t already, confirm your entry now. True story . . . A few years ago, one of our runners for the Rock n Roll Marathon one year failed to do so and found out on Saturday afternoon at the expo that she was never confirmed. In a nutshell, it was a mess.
Expo & Bib Pickup
The packet pickup and expo will be hosted at Road Runner Sports and you can go Thursday before the pasta dinner or Friday. The parking lot for Road Runner Sports gets packed and recommend getting to the expo as early in the day as possible. The busiest times at the expo are after 3:30pm
- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022 (3PM - 7PM)
- FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2022 (11AM - 7PM)
Picture ID must be presented to receive your number. You may have someone else pickup your number, but they must have a photocopy of your picture ID.
Race day bib pick up is available for an additional fee. Please refer to the REGISTER page for additional information. We will NOT mail bibs this year.
Training - How Much to Run? (Final Week)
You have received the “Race Taper” info as part of articles in week 10 post. The most frequent question asked is how much and when to run during the final week:
During the final week leading into Race Day, you should have a good, easy run on Tuesday. If you don’t get out again on Thursday, you should plan to run Friday an easy 3-4 miles at most... And VERY EASY. You WILL NOT get any training benefit by doing anything other than a very easy jog. It's more to keep your body loose, stretched out, and things flowin’.
And if you don’t get out on Friday, plan on doing A VERY EASY jog for 15-25min. You will not “tire out” by running a mile or two, followed by a good stretch routine.
Nutrition, Food & Hydration
Eat hearty during last few days, but DO NOT eat a huge meal after 7pm Saturday night before the race - plan to eat big early. Then a snack before bed. Most of you should plan on eating a small meal, or a small snack at least, VERY FIRST thing when you wake up on Sunday. Don't wait too long, however to eat. Should have at least 90-120 minutes to digest most solid meals. Snacks and liquid supplements can be taken closer to race time.
Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate. Do NOT wait until Saturday evening to start drinking more fluids. It actually started days ago. You should not wait until Sunday morning to put down an extra Gatorade for breakfast - it’s actually not very effective by that late in the game. Start hydrating now, if not 2 days ago. Drink lots of water and supplement with things like Amino Vital, Gatorade or other sports drink, preferably ones with lots of electrolytes, etc.
Speaking of eating . . . every meal is important, but no meal is more important than the one before a race. Eating the right pre-race meal at the right time ensures that all your hard training doesn't go to waste. Check out these guidelines on which foods are best to eat before a big race:
Nothing New Food-wise!
DON'T do or eat or drink or wear anything new, or that you're not used to. One of the reasons for the Saturday long runs is to practice and get used to "race conditions" . . . what to eat/when, drink/when, how much coffee should I drink. Should I get on the pot before I leave the house, or wait for a blue toilet? DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.
Getting to the Race & Parking
Half the battle with race day has nothing to do with running. It’s UPS’s tagline - “Logistics”.
PLAN TO GET TO THE RACE EARLY! Parking is available at the start and finish areas, however parking is very limited near the finish. If you plan on parking in the finish area parking lot you will need to arrive before 5:30am. Northeast Torrey Pines parking lot opens at 5am. Additional, but limited parking is available along N. Torrey Pines Rd. There is limited parking in the neighboring areas. BUSES WILL BE PARKED ALONG CARMEL VALLEY RD. No parking on Carmel Valley Rd.
Additional parking is available at the former Haggen parking located across the street from the Start Line and Carmel Mountain Plaza at 11144 Carmel Mountain Rd San Diego, CA 92128. Limited parking is available in the neighboring areas near the start.
Arrive at: 5:45am
With all of that, I recommend you plan to arrive at the parking lot by 5:45am. Any earlier and you’ll have that much more time to chill out in your car. Any later and you run the risk of getting stuck in alot of traffic and crowds.
Meeting Area, Time & Group Picture
We do the same every race . . we designate a spot to meet up. Begin meeting up approx ~1-1.5 hours before race time. We then take a Family Picture EXACTLY 30min before race time, then you’re off on your own to use the porta pottys, change, drop your bags, etc. We do NOT do any formal warm-up, etc.
WE WILL MEET IN FRONT OF THE START LINE. Once we're ready to go, we'll head across the porta potties and around to the Corral Start. Keep and eye out for the Black Flag.
- 5:45a - arrive and relax in your car
>6:30a - Plan to start making your way to find the BFRC group, rest, relax, hit the porta potties.
7:00a* - GROUP PICTURE - IN FRONT OF THE START LINE.
7:15a - Bag Drop, hit the porta potties again, Head to Corrals.
7:30a - Race Start
*We'll be taking a GROUP PICTURE at 7:00a SHARP (30 minutes prior to race time) Please adjust your Porta-Potty visits accordingly. I know some of you will miss the picture, just don’t let it be you ;)
Bag Drop & Gear Check
Most races include a “Bag Drop” area and operate the same way. Sorry, we won’t have the Key or Clothing Tubs to hang onto your keys.
From the race: “Check your gear race morning inside the big expo tent using the ORANGE 16.5” x 14.5” CINCH BAG you will receive at packet pickup. The cinch bag will have a white box for you to write in your bib number. If you don’t want to write your number on the bag, write it on a piece of duct tape and place it over the white box. If you forget your orange cinch bag on race morning, a clear plastic 11” x 16” bag will be provided for you. As a safety precaution, backpacks and duffle bags will not be accepted. Do not check any valuables and keep in mind we are not responsible for lost or stolen items. Bags may be claimed after your race. Do not discard gear at the start line. All items left at the start line, on the course or not claimed on race day from Gear Check will be donated to local shelters.”
Keep an eye on the weekend weather. Here are some links and general notes:
Winter & Spring Mornings are typically cloudy / overcast, even if sunny day.
Summer & Fall mornings are typically full-on sun, assuming it’s a sunny day
Coastal Races (Carlsbad, La Jolla, etc.) typically experience more humidity in the earlier hours.
Sunshine is just as brutal as Heat. Wear protection (Sunscreen, Hat/Visor, Etc.)
Dress as if it were 10-20 deg Warmer than it actually is (everyone will vary)
Most races allow you to strip & dump clothing on the course. Wear long sleeves/junk mittens/gloves if cold and dump them.
Rancho Penasquitos: https://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/weather/california/rancho-penasquitos
- Looks like it could be in the mid-40's at the start
Specific Race Information, Course & Maps
There is a ton of information on the race website:https://www.sandiegoholidayhalf.com
Half Marathon Info: https://www.sandiegoholidayhalf.com/course
Live Tracking & Results
This race offer free live tracking so your family and friends can track you during your race. On race day, there will be a link to live tracking located on the homepage
General Racing Info & Tips
Final Race Preparation
Here are a few good online articles on your final Preparation. For Half Marathoners, keep in mind some are geared towards the FULL marathon, but most of the concepts apply:
Aide on The Course
There will be plenty of water, aide and even GU on the Half Marathon course. Taken from the guide: “Fully staffed and equipped water stations will be positioned along the course approximately every mile with plenty of water and portable toilets. Grape Ultima Replenisher will be served at approximately mile 2, 4, 6, 9 and 11. Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Outrage (both flavors contain caffeine) GU Energy Gel will be available at approximately mile 4, 8 (and more for the full marathon…)”
So, plan on leaving your water bottles, belts and CamelBacks at home - run light, run fast!
Aaron’s Secret Spectator Spot
The one bad things about this race is there is some limitations for spectators as the majority of the course is blocked off. Best shot to see runners is near the end of the race and has easy access in and out at:
You can park along the road and walk down to the course. If you are going to use this as your spectator location note there is a fairly steep hill leading down to the course and you will need to access this spot by exite Del Mar Heights Rd off of the 5 freeway.
Leaving The Race & Buses
Leaving always sucks. Be prepared to have some patience. Leaving will be just as ‘fun’ but you won’t be under the stress of getting to a race. Plus you’ll have recently finished!!
Busses will take you back to the start between 9:00am -12:00pm
The busses will pick you up on the North side of Carmel Valley Rd just outside the finish area.
The last bus will leave at 12:00pm
That's it for now . . . And should be it for the rest of the race weekend. GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL, AND CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN FOR MAKING IT THIS FAR!!! Please let us know if you have any questions!