AFC Half Marathon Race Recap

Guys, I’m so far behind on these recaps, you may not still be interested but I’m going to try and bang them out!

After Tushars & Bigfoot, Sean & I had discussed that he was going to run Kodiak 100.  He hurt his Achilles at Tushars so we finally determined that he would skip Kodiak and we decided to run AFC half instead.
We had already run Carlsbad back in January & then La Jolla in April so all that was left was AFC (America’s Finest City).  I really wanted to get it done and finish up the triple crown.

We signed up the week of the race so we paid a bit more than what you would pay if you sign up in advance.

Packet pick-up was at the Sheraton across from the airport.  They had it set up really well with free parking in a lot near the hotel, which was really nice because the hotel charges like $15 to park in their lot.  Then we walked to the back of the hotel to the meeting space where the expo was at.

We picked up our packets, got our shirts, which are cheap looking techy style shirts, looked around the expo & took a few photos.  The race started pretty early & you had to park at Balboa Park and take a shuttle to the start at Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma.

We got there relatively early so we didn’t have to really wait too long to get parked & on the buses.  The buses though were a total joke.  They had 3 bus lines, but the buses weren’t able to get through the stop lights so it took quite a bit to actually get on the bus.  We did finally get on and were finally off.  Funny story, the driver didn’t even know what we were doing and about 2/3s of the way there he finally asks, you guys are going to run back down?

We finally made it to the Monument where we hung out until the start.   The one thing all 3 of the triple crown races do really well is porta potties.  There are tons of them!  We hit them up, got some water, watched the sun rise, ran into a friend who we chatted with for a while & then got in line again.  By that point the lines were really long, but we made it and headed to the start line.

We were going to bring finish line bags, but we weren’t sure if that was a thing for this race since the cars were relatively close to the finish line so we ended up leaving our change of clothes in the car and just took what we needed instead.

We’d done 6 weeks of races so I really didn’t know how things were going to go so I just lined up with Sean to start and then was going to run by feel.  My only goal was to get to the finish line & earn my triple crown medal.

The race started out by running us through the National Monument and cemetery, which was a little uphill.  I stuck with Sean for about a mile or so before he took off and I just hung back.  After the first 2 miles there was a nice section of downhill until we got down to Harbor Drive.  The race kind of reminded me of running San Diego Half in reverse.

We took a turn down towards the Sheraton & Harbor Island.  I had to use the restroom here so I lost quite a bit of time during this mile because I had to wait a few minutes for another runner.  After that stop, I felt a little better, but it was hot and I was literally dumping cups of water on my head every water stop, after drinking one cup & I had my pack on too.

We eventually made our way down towards the Star of India & then Pacific Hwy, near where San Diego Rock & Roll finishes.  I remember dowsing myself in water here and almost losing my contacts, oops.  Then running down Pacific Hwy in the shade before heading to the final & brutal climb up to Balboa Park.  In SD Half, this hill is downhill and is so much fun, climbing up it, not quite as fun lol.

I made my way up, run/walking and then made the turn towards Balboa Park!  We were almost there!  Having not run the race before, I wasn’t exactly sure where the finish line was, but it was probably about 1/2 – 3/4 of a mile from the climb.

And just like that I was done!  And I was spent! Those 6 weeks of racing & traveling had culminated in a decent race but I was exhausted!

I finished in 2:06:25 which wasn’t too bad considering how hot I was and all the racing.  My first 10k was an 8:41 avg and then I jumped to 9:18 for the second half of the race & considering I ran/walked the mile & a half hill towards the end, I’m pretty happy with that.

We finished the race, they handed out bottles of water, had goodie bags and then there were a bunch of vendors in a little expo style finish line party.  We got our Triple Crown medals & a few photos and then headed  back to the car to get changed & head to breakfast. We headed to Better Buzz to fuel up on  Acai Bowls and coffee.

Final thoughts:  All in all a well put on race, outside the ridiculousness with the buses.  Nice medals, nice course and great volunteers.  The only negative in my mind is that the race shirts are really cheap looking & not very wearable in my opinion.  Other than that I think everything was pretty good.