Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon Course Announced

So the new Rock'n'Roll Marathon course for San Diego was announced!!!


My initial course thoughts:

Brutal hill in that marathon!  Going up 163 the other direction is nasty and steep and the exit ramps are even worse. Gonna be a battle there at mile 20 to 21. Gonna be a suffer fest that adds new meaning to the term "hitting the wall", but this is mitigated somewhat by the wonderful descent (2nd time in the race) down Park Blvd to the finish at Petco Park. Other huge gains: No Fiesta Island!! The race still runs on the pedestrian pathway along Mission Bay, which is rough because it is narrow and cement, but at least that is not worse than last year. I would expect this course to run faster than the previous versions most likely, and it is certainly more enjoyable than last year's course by far. Mostly flat (1 massive hill, and a smaller one to cross over I-5 from Mission Bay to Morena Blvd) or downhill.

We are looking to set up a Wednesday evening Training Group (EVERYONE IS WELCOME FROM ANY TRAINING PROGRAM) to run up Bachman Place (replicating the hill of 163).  Details to come!

The Half Marathon, on the other hand, is amazing. A scenic tour of Uptown, which hopefully Competitor Group does a good job of selling to the local communities as a means of attracting potential new business to the areas!

Some of my favorite haunts, old and new, are on the course now!  Blind Lady Ale House, Tiger! Tiger!, Flavors of East Africa, Luigi's Pizza, and more! The course is at worst gently rolling upwards and at best (which is often) gradually declining to the finish! I would encourage anyone running the 1/2 Marathon to visit these neighborhoods before race day for a meal or a stroll. I think that would create a greater awareness of how wonderful these communities are in the grander scheme of San Diego. So explore and discover and RACE!

One of the keys to making an urban marathon work is the combination of disturbing the general populace with engaging the general populace. Actively recruiting businesses and community groups in the uptown area could make the treks along Adams Avenue and El Cajon Blvd simply AMAZING. We look forward to this course and what it can do not just for the event, but for the community of San Diego (both runners and non-runners alike).


A true urban race that does not shy away from major roads and works its way through many varied neighborhoods!  Great work to both the Competitor Group and the City of San Diego on this one.

Run well!


  1. They keep pumping up the Petco Park finish when is really looks like they will use the parking lot at 13th and J. Pretty misleading if you ask me. They make it sound like you will be in Petco but you are 1/2 mile away.

  2. The marathon in the rock and roll series is popular for first time racers.... this course will make a first timer never want to do a marathon again. Why is SD RnR trying to compete with the difficulty of the san francisco marathon? Personally keep the old 163 drop to morena, and have the finish go down san diego ave / india st to the finish

  3. I am a legacy runner of RNR SD (15 yrs). This course change with 163 hill from mile 20 to mile 21 is a poor decision by CG. The old course going up 163 from downtown was a gradual ascent compared to this ascent on the other side of 163.
    It is sure to produce "runners down" as well as many medical patients. I would be surprised if it is a faster course. Sorry, cant agree with this as a good change. Hope the weather is typically June, but remember 1998 RNR was HOT.


Tell us what you think!