2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon Race Report

October 11, 2012 — 2 Comments

This past Sunday, I ran the 2012 edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon. I was on and off about this race, but ended up deciding to run it in prep for the 26,000+ crowd anticipated for the Honolulu Marathon in December. This was my first RnR event, which drew a total of 11,879 participants – half: 9,813 and the mini-marathon (5 mile): 2,066.

The weather was great: clear skies, mild temp, and no wind to speak of – the way it’s supposed to be when ya run!

The flat and fast course made its way through downtown, portions of the Rose Garden area, and then back downtown to finish at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Course marking was excellent and there were volunteers everywhere to make sure people stayed on course – especially at the split where the mini-marathon and the half separated.

As this was my first RnR, I wasn’t sure how the bands and cheer squads worked, but they were great! It was nice to have some music along the way – there were even a few “unofficial” bands, including one guy playing blues on his guitar in his driveway somewhere in the Rose Garden area. The various cheerleader squads from area schools did a fantastic job as well! I will say that, reflecting on the race, the most memorable sound I heard was somewhere on mile two along 11th Street: nothing but footfalls…hundreds of them…and no other sound. Even now, I can distinctly recall the sound. It was actually very peaceful – almost serene and even mesmerizing.

At the finish line (which was very organized and flowed extremely well), there was a great selection of food and drink for runners. There were tents from various organizations as well as RnR merch for people to buy. You can tell RnR/Competitor Group has this down to a science. One cool thing they had was an organization called Soles to Souls

All in all, my first RnR experience was pretty good. As much as I slammed it in my “conflicted” post, it is what it is: a race that appeals to both the casual runner and those who are a bit more serious – including a draw of elites. Since it’s local, I will probably run it again…

My Race


  • Garmin time: 1:48:10 at an 8:15/mile pace
  • Official time: 1:47:46 at an 8:14/mile pace

To Quote my NorCal Race Report,

“I read this quote a while back:

Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality,
and the last part with your heart. – Mike Fanelli

I need to re-read that before each race, maybe write it on my water bottle, tattoo it on…”

Yep, I started toooo fast again. I had a plan, brushed against it on the first mile, then forgot about it – maybe I got mesmerized/distracted by the footfalls! Either way, I paid for the fast start later in the race and, even though I had a great time (just :25 seconds off a PR), I know I could have PR’d the race. Oh well, that’s the past…onward!

I will say that I made a smart decision and changing my corral assignment at the expo – I didn’t change corrals for the SF Half and regretted it. I guess I have learned something! When I registered for the race back in November 2011, I put a 3 hour finish time (!) and ended up being assigned to corral 16 (of 19 total.) I was able to move up to corral 4, which was a 1:50 to 1:55 finish time…much better…and happier me!

Looking back from corral 4…glad I moved up!

Once again, I wore my “Run It Fast” club shirt and got tons of “RUN IT FAST!!!” shouts from people along the way. Thankfully, no one shouted anything contrary the few times I stopped and walked for a few yards. Perhaps my desire to “live the shirt” caused my “too fast” start?


Pre-race & race-day fuel: Same as usual – 48-hour carb loading period (at +550 calories/day and at a carb level greater than 80% each day) and 6 GUs and 20oz of GU Brew on race day.

I decided to be “green” and took the light rail to the race instead of driving and trying to find a parking space. My wife and mother-in-law said they felt sorry for my fellow passengers on the return trip – I made sure I sat in the back of the car…

My early-morning chariot arrives!
(there were actually two other runners that got on at my stop and
more as we got closer to downtown.)


Bottom line: Great race and I inched closer to a new half marathon PR. Still working on the pacing thing…

Post-race meal: Dickey’s Barbeque: Two-meat plate (chicken & turkey), double waffle fries, a roll, and some soft-serve – BOOM!


Training Journal – 10/11/12:

  • Current plan: Honolulu Marathon Training Plan
  • Today’s session: 8 mile easy run @ 9:09
  • Comments: I did 8.09 at 8:25

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. October 2012 Training Stats | Observations by a Dependent Workman* - November 2, 2012

    […] 10/7: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon [report] […]

  2. 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon Race Report « DENNARR(dot)COM - October 11, 2013

    […] on the races that I have run, the 2013 RnR San Jose was the first course repeat for me [2012 RnRSJ report.]  I’ve run races at the same location, but never the same distance or direction […]

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