The Hip Hop Run is a new race series—so new that the San Diego event would only be their second one (the first having been in San Jose.). With new races, the expectations aren’t as high and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After checking out their social media pages, I knew at the very least, I would have fun. Anything on top of that would be a bonus. This race has two distance options, a 5K or a 10K. I ran the 10K.
After running this race, I would say that it has the potential to be an awesome event—there was some things that we done right and some things that have some definite room for improvement.
In my opinion, some of the things they did well were:
They had two packet pick-up options—one the day before and one on race morning. I opted for the day before which happened to be at one of my favorite running stores. (Although I definitely love having the race day pick-up option). Getting my bib was easy and you got a fun shirt with your registration. There as also a discount coupon for the running store and I picked up a few things.
Kids Run Free
Yes—you read that right. Kids run free and it was awesome to see so many families out there getting their hip hop on.
Pre-Race/Post Race/Course Entertainment
The pre-race and post race entertainment was so much fun! Before the race, they had people leading a warm up with the best music and the fun continued after the race with more music and live performances. There were also three DJs set up along the course providing the perfect soundtrack for a Sunday morning run.
The medal is so much fun! Medals aren’t the only reason I run, but I definitely love a good medal.
At the end of the race, they had food trucks set up where runners could purchase food. There was a good variety of choices—I got a Thai Tea with boba and it was delicious. (The only opportunity here would have been the location of the food trucks—although we ran by then during the run, I’m not sure a lot of people knew they were there.)
I had fun at the Hip Hop run—it was a beautiful morning and the energy was awesome. But as I said, there was definitely some opportunities. In my opinion some of the things that could be improved to make the next event better are:
Leading up the race, all communication stated that the 10K started at 7:00am. At around 6:40am, an announcement was made stating that the 10K would be starting at 7:30am, with no explanation as to why. (I’m guess it had to due with road closures or something, but that’s just a guess) I know it was only 30 minutes, but that’s a big difference for people who may have made plans for after the event or people like myself who plan their fueling around race start times. The above mentioned entertainment was good and kept the energy up, so it didn’t seem like a long wait, but it still wasn’t the best first impression of an event.
I will admit that I rarely look at course maps, so I had no idea where this race went. And I didn’t know that it was a 5K course that the 10K runners would be running twice. The start and finish were at Balboa Stadium which was great for easy parking and the starting point. The course left the stadium for an out and back course through a part of downtown San Diego—this wouldn’t have been bad except that we were running with traffic and I am not a fan of running along side of cars and their fumes. Not only did I get to run this one, but twice as the 10K made a second loop. The second loop had a few points of frustration—since we had started later with the 5K not started far behind us, there was some congestion at several points during my second loop. The course did have the perks of some hills—with every uphill run came a downhill and that was probably my favorite part. I’ve run several 5K or 10K events in San Diego and this is the first time I’ve run this course. I’m curious as to why and how this particular route was chosen. My Garmin also showed the course as short and after talking to a few people, we all had different distances so I'm not entirely sure I ran a full 10K.
Prior to races, one thing I usually look up is the water stations. One of the run’s Facebook posts stated their would be three water stations for each distance and one showed one water station on the course (I’m not sure if they were considered the start and finish line to be a water station). Because of the inconsistency, I brought my own hydration. I’m glad I did—there was one water station on the course. The first time I ran by it, it didn’t have anyone working it and there was no water out for the runners. The second time I ran by it, there was water.
Overall, I did have fun at this event. The race’s theme is fun and every runner I saw seemed to be energized about it. The things I think that could be improved come down to organization, but again I recognize that this is a new event and still in it’s learning stage. I would run this event again and it was a fun way to start my Sunday.
Have you every run a race that was new? What was your experience like?
Until next time, happy running.
Until next time, happy running.