Race Review: Diva Half Marathon, San Francisco

Diva Half Marathon San Francisco, May 5th, 2013

The hotel

This race was a meetup for a group of running friends from all over the country.  We arranged to stay at one of the hotels hooked up through the Diva website so we could get the race discount.  We stayed at the Crowne Plaza San Francisco-Intl Airport. It was located in Burlingame, CA.  Easy shuttle from the SFO airport.

Some of my running friends did not appreciate that the race was billed as “Diva Half Marathon San Francisco” when it clearly was NOT in San Francisco.  It was in Burlingame.  I’m a reader of all things small print and I have spent a lot of time in SF so this actually did not surprise me.   I can see it biting someone though so Diva…you should clarify that a  little bigger.  Just saying.

We were about a mile from the host hotel, the Burlingame Marriott,  and the start AND finish of the race was literally out our front door.  It doesn’t get any better than that.   It was probably worth it for that.

The hotel was nothing fancy, it was clean and though it was pricey, that’s what you pay when you go to California.  We found out later we paid $5 more a night for the privilege of the “discount”.  Next time just book it either directly through the hotel reservation website or through a third party site like Expedia.

The hallways were so incredibly cold  I called them the “arctic zone”.  I know I’m cold…but really…they were COLD.  Like


We would discuss our options before going into the hallway.  Was it worth it?  It’s so cold out there.

We had breakfast in the cafe…they overcharged us.

When we went to check out…they overcharged us.

One of our runners got sick and we asked if she could stay in the room until her flight.  They allowed us a late checkout but by the late checkout (a very generous 2pm, no sarcasm there at all, that was very generous) she was throwing up with a severe migraine.  We asked if she could stay until six.  They said yes.  For $90.  We threw money in the pool and gave it to them.  But we weren’t impressed with her, “that means 6…not 6:01” comment.  Chick.  You got $90 out of us for four hours of a room you can then charge $119 for.  We are so over it.  Completely unimpressed.


The expo

The race expo was great.  Easy packet pickup and a fun little expo.  Definitely crowded but lots of booths with fun opportunities.  The race shirts were crazy.  They all seemed the same size.  Maybe mismarked?  They came in screaming pink Diva gym bags.  Totally fun but I don’t do pink so I donated mine to a friend.  I don’t usually look for freebies so I’m not sure what they had in the way of that.  I did notice a plethora of sparkle booths, shirts with cutesy sayings on them and frankly…anything pink.  But if you waded through that you could find a great piece.  I got a darling t shirt from Raw Threads. Lots to do and so many photo ops.  It was fun, we had a good time.


The race

The race itself started in a sea of pink.  Just pink.  Everywhere. And tutus.  And bling. So much bling.  It was crazy.  They kept announcing when the 5k was and when the half marathon was and it was clear…there was confusion.  I’m certain many people started at the wrong time probably due to the excitement of the day and not paying close attention.  Still…perhaps the races should have been a little farther apart to allow for less insanity.

It seemed incredibly disorganized and chaotic on race morning.  I really can’t state that enough. I was SO glad we were so close to home.

The race starts and for the first two miles we were crazy packed in trying to pass people.  This was evident in our times which were two minutes slower for those first two miles.  We spread out a little after that but the first two miles…painful.  Really painful.

I thought the course was SO pretty and really pretty nice.  We got to see the faster runners on the way back to cheer them on and that was awesome.

The finish

The finish had firefighters passing out your medals and then they gave you a “glass” of champagne and a rose.

Summing it up

The shirt was  pink and, the medal was HUGE and looked like something you would get in a little girls dress up kit…along with your boa and tiara.

If you love girly fluff and bling this is your race for sure.

Loved the course though…and loved being so close to San Francisco.





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