Race report by Tammy-Leigh DeMent
As if there aren’t enough races on the East Coast, I decided I needed a plane ticket and an Elvis costume to run my 8th marathon. With the astoundingly low price of airfare these days, who could resist the San Diego Rock-n-Roll? Add a few Elvis impersonators, the barefoot running guy, and the nut who plans on running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, what did I have to lose?
This is a great marathon. I’m not talking about scenery – yeah Balboa Park is pretty, and so is the bay when you get to it around mile 18. And of course running downtown is always pleasant, but the CROWDS of spectators are AMAZING. The only part spectators can’t get to is along the path in miles 20-22. Of course that’s when you need them the most but at mile 23 there they are singing and cheering and telling you you’re almost there. Of course I wanted to strangle the people telling me I’m almost there at a mere 23 miles, knowing we’re going to hear it the rest of the way I had to dig down and relinquish my soul to Elvis (I counted 12) and pretend my Nike Pegasus’ were really blue suede shoes. (Come on, I wanna be your Teddy bear!).
Apparently there were 45 bands along the course. (I only remember about 15) but there were tons of people and cheerleading squads and Team in Training purple shirts. It helps to wear something to single you out so people cheer you on. Seriously, the crowds scream and yell and encourage you the whole way! My Wanderer’s singlet was apparently too much to ask so people glommed on to my Phillies hat. “Go Phillies” occasionally brought me out of my Gu-induced stupor to give them a weary smile and thumbs up. The best part of finishing the RnR Marathon? Never hearing Jail House Rock again!
The weather is always great in San Diego for the race. Mid 60’s and May Gray/June gloom. A little misty. Perfect. It starts a little too early – 6:30, but it ends early too., and is very well organized. And while the Moroccan winner took it in a measly 2:11, I happily crossed in a non-PR-but- good-enough 4:35.57. Out of 15,000 people it put me in the top 50% and the top 3,000. Quick, someone get me to Vegas!