The La Jolla Half Marathon is a beautiful, point-to-point coastal route that will leave you breathless because of the scenery and the hills! The race starts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and runs along the coast before reaching the climb to the summit of Torrey Pines State Park. The time of year has changed for this event in the last couple of years, but it’s often chilly at the start, warm in the middle, and can be chilly at the end as well.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Super scenic course but it makes you work for it with hills throughout – there’s a reason people say, “Hill Yeah!” when talking about this race
- No aid allowed in Torrey Pines State Park, but there is aid both immediately before and after the park
- Wave starts, which allows for less crowding, and most reports say the wave start went fairly quickly
- While there are 4 main hills, there are rolling hills after the climb up to Torrey Pines State Park
- Be ready to dodge pedestrian traffic around mile 11 and beyond as you run back in town and on the boardwalk
- Give yourself plenty of time for parking in the morning, no matter which shuttle option you choose
- While temps are likely in the 60s, it gets chilly at the finish, so have a change of clothes ready
- Just assume there will be non-stop hills and then be pleasantly surprised when it’s flat or downhill! Lots of race reports surprised by hills even when they knew the elevation and hills ahead, especially from the Torrey Pines hill to the finish, including the hill in the last mile
- Not a super spectator friendly course, so be ready for some quiet stretches
- One race report noted that there weren’t course markings until mile 8 – be mentally prepared in case the course mile markers aren’t there
- Fairly exposed course and all the more if the sun is out – be prepared with sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc.
Type: Point to Point
Start/Finish Info: The half marathon starts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and runs along the coast before reaching the climb to the summit of Torrey Pines State Park. After the park, the course rolls atop Torrey Pines Mesa, runs down through the neighborhood of La Jolla Shores, and finishes in Ellen Browning Scripps Park.
Hills: Close to 1100 feet of gain over 4 main climbs: 80 feet, 200 feet, 440 feet, then 150 feet.
Locations of water stations: About every mile, starting at mile 2
Locations of electrolyte stations: Approximately miles 2, 3, 5.5, 7, 8, 10 and 12
Electrolyte offered: Grape Ultima Replenisher
Access Locations: Likely tough given road closures and access to Torrey Pines State Park, but check out the course map for exits along I-5.
Prepping for your first race? Check out our first time runner tips for race day!