On September 25th was the 10th annual Say No to Drugs Half Marathon at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
There was also a 5k option. It was a pretty small race, and I think it cost about $50-60.
It started at 7:30am and part of the course was ran around the Bowl and part up in trails nearby.
Things I liked:
- There was plenty of parking. And very close to the start.
- There’s race day packet pick up, always a nice option for smaller races.
- There were plenty of REAL bathrooms since it was at a big football stadium. No waiting in line! No squatting over a porta potty half expecting a swamp monster to jump and bite you.
- Although I got there pretty early, you don’t need to. It’s easy to get to, park, and walk a few feet to the start. It’s a prety small race with easy logistics.
Things I was indifferent about:
- There were a few Lakers Girls at the start who led us all in warm up stretches for a few minutes.
- There wasn’t any chip timing. Had it been a bigger race or I cared more about my time, this probably would have bugged me.
- There was a free pancake breakfast afterwards. I suppose this is a good thing, but I rarely find pancakes appealing let alone after a race.
Things I wasn’t so much in love with:
- The course. The first 4 miles were a loop around the Bowl. Problem was that the whole time you were weaving in and out of casual Saturday morning walkers, bikers, dog walkers, roller bladers, strollers, some are going with you and some are going against you.
I’m not completely sure, but I think the 5k walkers started at the same time so you had to do more weaving in and out with them.
This would have been fine had it only been for 4 miles. But after 4, you head up in the hills and trails and then come back to loop around the Bowl at mile 9, so you do the weaving dance all over again. What was mildly distracting at mile 4 became super annoying at mile 12.
I know it was a Saturday and this must be a popular bike path for the area, but it’d sure be nice to re-route the race somewhere else.
- There were 4 or 5 water stations total that you hit every couple miles, but the last one ran out of water by the time I ran by it. And there was only water, no energy drinks or gels.
- There wasn’t a whole lot at the finish besides the pancake breakfast. I grabbed 2 diet peach teas and 2 bottled iced coffee drinks.
- T shirt and medal were pretty standard, if a little cheap. The t shirt was cotton, definitely going to Goodwill…
- Be ready for warm weather. It was pretty hot this year so wear sunscreen, glasses, your bikini, whatever.
- Bring your own water, energy drinks and gels. They don’t provide very much.
- Be prepared for the change in terrain; the middle of the course is tough.
This is a decent race, nothing spectacular about it but no major problems either. Now that I’ve ran it, I probably wouldn’t run it again unless I was in Pasadena for some random reason. Having to dip, dodge, duck and dive walkers and strollers and pets just isn’t my bag. I’d rate it a 5.79 out of 10.
What’s the best race you’ve run, logistics and efficiency-wise? Not PR race but a well-managed race??