San Diego Holiday Half - T-Shirt


22 down only 30 to go.


This was one of the more disorganized races we have done and yet, it was glorious. No rain! It was cold. At the start it was almost as cold as last weeks race. We had been watching the forecast and knew it would be unseasonably cold so we were dressed for it.

San Diego Holiday Half

Flannel shirt, wooly hat, gloves, we really are in San Diego

Looking around it was obvious that this was not a typical San Diego morning. It was amusing to watch locals act like they had just been dropped into Alaska.

San Diego Holiday Half

Some people were more prepared than others

The first sign that the weather was not what the locals were used to was at the bus parking lot where the volunteers were huddled together rather than directing cars to parking places. It made for some chaotic parking. We were bused to the parking lot in front of an Albertsons where the race began. At first the Albertsons employees tried to keep people from huddling inside and from using the indoor bathrooms but they soon gave up. The Starbucks manager was having a fit because the bathroom line was blocking something. She was acting like an enraged harpy, which I thought was stupid because Starbucks probably sold more coffee that morning than they did the rest of the month. She really wanted the bathroom line to know that she was in charge. Everyone just ignored her.

A super nice group of volunteers were handing out hot tea and coffee before the race. It really helped take the chill off.

The race started late because a bus got lost. The race also started in a slightly different place than last year so there was all kinds of confusion as we were headed to the start. The drop bag system was also a mess. They had a key locker system that got so backed up they abandoned it. To be fair this was only the second time this race had been put on and only the first with a bag check.

This was a holiday race with some good holiday spirit.

San Diego Holiday Half

My favorite tech shirt

The race started on city streets but soon we were on a bike path that lasted most of the race. This is the first time we have been in a race where the bike path was closed to non race traffic. It was nice not to worry about being run over by the spandex monsters.

So – an annoying thing I have never seen during a race before. A group of religious fanatics were out with a megaphone preaching at runners as we passed. Ugh! They yelled at me about Jesus so I yelled back asking if they should really be working on Sunday.

This was not the most scenic race as the bike path was along the freeway but it was paved with asphalt (not concrete) and the race had a net downhill. And did I mention it was not raining, so I was happy. The day got slowly warmer and more pleasant as the race went on. I felt great. I talked to a few people but mostly I just ran.

About mile 9 I realized that I was on pace for a 52-T-Shirts project PR. I didn’t know it at the time but Tim was having a PR day as well. I also started to feel my blister coming back. I think tim got his biggest blister of the project during this race.

San Diego Holiday Half

Tim should also be a foot model

I pushed really hard and beat my PR by over 2 minutes. Tim beat his PR by over 3 minutes.

Tim came out and ran with me towards the end. When I told him how close I was to my PR he yelled all kinds of encouragement to me at the finish line. It was great to have him encourage me towards the end because I was so beat that having my mind on anything but how much running hurt, helped.

I hear the end of the race was quite confusing. There was a really long line for food and water with no directions. It was chaos. I only know this because Tim told me. I sat on the curb trying to breathe. Water or food was not even on my mind.

San Diego Holiday Half

Our fastest HM since 2011


  • Chaotic parking
  • Starbucks manager (I think she was the manager) yelling at people in line for the bathroom
  • Race started late
  • Confusion about where the race started
  • Religious crazies yelling at runners
  • Long food and water line after the race
  • Bag check was a mess
  • T-Shirts fit weird


  • Nice volunteers handing out hot tea and coffee before race
  • Great MC at start
  • At least they had a bag check
  • Donated discarded clothing
  • Net downhill on asphalt bike path
  • Closed bike path for runners
  • Frequent aid stations
  • Good after race band
  • Nice medal

It is hard for me to know if I should recommend this race or not. It was pretty disorganized but I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I enjoyed it so much because it was a good race or because I was feeling good and all I saw was no rain. It is a beginner friendly race with a good vibe. It had a net downhill, lots of aid stations, and no chance of getting lost. Unless you were walking there is little chance of coming in last. I hope they get the details of this race figured out because it has potential.

Please leave a comment or ask a question. I love feedback.


  1. Michelle Abbey

    Haha, I was going to say I really like this race shirt….til I see that it fits funny. We actually moved to this area last December, so I actually ran the couple of miles out to the 56 bike path to spectate…but I got there way too early, haha. Turned around and came home.

  2. CONGRATS on those PRs! Glad to see the sunshine gave you a boost! I kinda dig that shirt, too bad it fits weird. See you in Turner on 1/18!

  3. Sharon, I thought I had left a comment but in checking it looks like it didn’t send.
    Anyway, I love reading all this and so glad you are out of Oregon with rain and cold. It was 20 degrees here Saturday morning though but we know it is only temporary!
    Keep running! Remember, the race is not just to the swift but for those who keep running.
    Love to you and Tim,
    Jane and John, too

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