Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Running Rock N Roll LA – Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Los Angeles Half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

It’s only been a few days since my last post and quite a bit has changed since then. I want to tell you that my race experience was phenomenal, but in actuality it wasn’t. I’m not ready to get into the specifics of it and I’m not sure I ever will, but in order for this post to make sense, I will tell you that my long term relationship with my significant other ended.

As I alluded to in my previous post, I had spent a good deal of time in LA with him, which made race weekend extremely hard on me. I was essentially a zombie race weekend and almost didn’t race. Fortunately, my friends who were running the race had offered to drive me up to LA and help me get through the weekend. Apologies in advance as this post won’t be as joyous as other race recaps.

Health and Fitness Expo – It was held at the LA convention center and parking was $20 there. With a little bit of research, we were able to save a few dollars by parking at a metro stop and taking public transport to pick up our bibs. Bib pick-up was easy and we were in and out of there in 30 minutes. This particular expo wasn’t as big as the San Diego RnR expo, but there was still a lot to see (Brooks Running, Meb Keflezighi, KT Tape, Sport Hooks, RnR Heavy medals, etc) and I’d still recommend checking everything out even if it is just for a hot second.

The Cali Combo medal and Heavy Medals if you run 2+ RnR races in the same year
Race – I crashed at a friend’s place and hadn’t slept that well prior to the race. I estimated maybe 5 or 6 hours, which was not great. I average 8 hours. Thanks to public transport, we got to the race with about 30 minutes to spare. Whew.

The start line
I have to apologize to everyone that I bumped into at the race. I was in a bad place (and still currently am) and I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone for very long. It’s hard for me to admit, but I didn’t want to see anyone that day, which made me feel worse because I felt like I was letting my friends down. I love interacting with other runners and there were runners in all sorts of really nice costumes (saw people dressed up as pizzas, M&Ms, donuts, french fries; there were a lot of food costumes), but all I could feel was sadness.

Anyway the race began and off I went. I will spare you my sad thoughts that raced through my head, but just know that I struggled mentally through a lot of the course. The course route itself was very pretty. There were a lot of rolling hills, but I do fairly well on hills so it wasn’t too bad. Heh. You start at the Staples Center, which I could only describe as a mini version of Times Square in New York City. The half marathoners share the course with the 5kers and they both at the same time. That means there’s a bit of crowding for the first 2 miles. Boo. You then make your way to USC and Exposition park, where a lot of museums are located. Once you turn, you head back towards downtown and past MacArthur park into Koreatown. Then, you double back and head back towards downtown where you finished back at Staples Center. Although, this race is an out and back course, it still allowed you to see what parts of LA are like. One thing that I really liked about this race was that the end was primarily downhill with a turn and then maybe 200 meters til the finish line. I dislike races where you turn and then you have 800 meters to go. That’s too long of a sprint. Heh.

Friends who kept me sane for the weekend

Final thoughts – This race was probably my toughest race to date mentally and I’m not sure I’d want to repeat that experience, but there was one redeeming thing I did. I wasn’t sure the entire race whether I’d be able to hit a sub 2 hour marathon, but with the last 700 meters and a few minutes ’til the 2 hour mark, I put my best feet forward and raced as fast as I could. Time? 1:59:48.


Question for youEver race when you’re sad? What do you do to cheer yourself up? I’m all ears. 


My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

20 thoughts on “Running Rock N Roll LA – Race Report

  1. Oh, Mai, I’m so sorry to hear about your breakup. That sucks. You still had a great race in spite of that! Running when you’re sorting through things mentally can be really hard, but I’ve found it to be cathartic as well. I’ve started races where I was in a bad place emotionally and ended up in much better spirits by the end, just working things out as I put in the miles. I know it’s hard to see right now, but this is for the best and as time goes by you’ll see that. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your breakup, Mai. Yes, I have actually raced sad before. My mother died 3 days before I had to race last year, but we do what we do, plow through no matter what and with tears in our eyes. Which is what you did, and I’m super proud of you. And wow, a sub-2 even! Hugs to you. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paula. I’m not in the best place, but I’m trying to feel better. I’m sorry to hear that your mother passed last year. I would have been a wreck and probably wouldn’t have run had that been the case. Kudos to you for doing that.


      1. Thanks Mai, but a death and a breakup are similar. We must grieve. So you go easy on yourself and be good to you. (And if that doesn’t work, go out this weekend and raise some hell… that ALWAYS helps 🤗 )

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry, Mai. I’ve raced while sad but I wouldn’t call it racing. Actually I didn’t do too bad considering my head space but eh. The timing and the location were just not great for you, not that the timing would ever be great. Again, I’m sorry, I am glad you had your friends to help you this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

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