Carlsbad..La Jolla...the other one :) America's finest city 1/2 marathon?
Does anyone else take hot showers even when its hot?!?!? or is it just me?
The three half marathons that you listed are part of the "Triple Crown" series of San Diego half marathons. If you enter and finish all three, you will get a special additional medal (Triple Crown) when you cross the finish line at the last one (America's Finest City). I ran the Carlsbad one in January, and I will be running the other two in April and August. However, I know what I should expect based on what other people told me.
Just about everyone agrees that the La Jolla Half Marathon is the hardest. If you look at the course map, it's not hard to figure out why. At about mile 6, the elevation increases 420 feet in about half a mile. Of course, whatever goes up, must come down. At around mile 10.5, it's a big drop for about a quarter of a mile. This is hard on the knees for most. You need lots of hill exercises to prepare for this one.
The America's Finest City (AFC) Half Marathon is probably next hardest for most. The elevation increases and decreases quite a lot here too, but it's not as much and far more gradual than the La Jolla Half. It's also tough because it takes place in the August summer heat.
The Carlsbad Half Marathon is pretty flat, with a "high point" of 75 feet. It is beautiful and fast. Plus, a "cold" January race date is just about perfect weather for running. (Remember, this is San Diego weather we're talking about.)
You can look at the course maps of all three races that I included below to get a better idea of what you're getting yourself into.
Regardless of how "tough" they are, they are all glorious in that you're running along the ocean in each one. Good luck and I'll see you at the finish line!
Aberdeen Athletics Club (UK)?
I have run all three at least once! I concur that, by far, the La Jolla 1/2 is the toughest. That long uphill section is a real killer. You can normally add about 3-4 minutes to your normal expected finishing time at La Jolla. The AFC half's most difficult section is the 6th Ave hill going up to Balboa Park. That hill is at appoximately 11 miles and is 1/3-1/2 mile long and then it's basically flat until the finish. Lots of good downhill at the AFC from about mile 3 to mile 5.5. However, the August high humidity can take it's toll. Carlsbad has only some small rolling terrain and lots longer flat sections. I personally love the AFC for the challenge, large field of over 5000+ runners and their finish area in Balboa Park.
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