If you haven't run the Carlsbad Marathon or Half Marathon, I highly recommend it! This year's event took place on Sunday, January 16th. I ran the marathon and had a great experience!
Everything from the Expo to the finish line was well-organized and well-planned. The Expo is just feet away from the start/finish line. You park at the shopping mall and walk to the start--very easy! There were tons of porta-potties--there was no wait! I did the early start, 6:30 am, for those of us who need 5 or more hours to finish. (You can start at 5:30 am if you're a walker.) And for you fast folks, you don't need to weave in and out of people, because you can start at 7:30 am!
I enjoyed the early start because it was very mellow. Everyone there was just cruisin' along, slow and steady. By Mile 8, the elites were passing me by! (Yeah, they got there in 40 minutes. It only took me an hour and 40 minutes!) It was an inspiration to watch them run--especially because I never get to see them up close. I saw familiar faces, too! I crossed paths with Todd B. and Tawni G. and that was lots of fun! It's always fun to get a sweaty hug mid-course!
The course was very scenic, much of it along the coast. It was hillier than I thought, though, with several rolling hills. The water stations were well-staffed and stocked. (They had a contest for the most enthusiastic water station!) There was even a medic on bike who rode by to see if anyone needed medical assistance or a coupleof painkillers. The weather was nice and cool, in the 50s, to start and warmed up some as the day went on, but it wasn't too bad. I was excited to get a personal best of 5:27:03!!!
All in all, I really had a wonderful time and encourage you all to experience it next year, whether it be the marathon, half-marathon or 5K. You'll be happy you did at the end of the day, with your medal and long-sleeved tee!