Safari Park Race Review

The Safari Park Half Marathon was held on Sunday March 13, 2011 at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in Escondido, CA.

This was an inaugural event that was capped at 3500 runners. The entry fee was $60 and the money went towards building a new habitat for the tigers! Rawr!

The race directors held a “Roar and Snore” sleepover at the park the night before, however, I did not participate. From what I heard it was pretty cool! There were 2 hotels in the area, however, neither one of them offered shuttle service.

The race started at 7 am on the nose. Maureen picked me up at 5:10 am and we got there with plenty of time to get into the heard at the start line.

(If I see this picture of me and my bad posture looking like a wet seal again I will puke)

My dad was there too!

The start line was not crowded at all. There was plenty of port-o-potties, however, it was pitch black with NO LIGHTS so you can imagine what it was like. A lot of people were using their cell phones to light the way.

The start line was at the park entrance and then looped out into San Pasquale and back through the Safari Park.

The first few miles were out on country roads. There were cows and horses and lot of beautiful hills. The sunrise over the mountains was very pretty.

We entered into the park around mile 6. I did not see a lot of animals which was kind of a bummer. Granted, the course map said we would not be running amongst the giraffes as it could spook them and cause total chaos. I did see a few photos of people that ran by cheetahs! Where was I?

I did spy Flamingos…

I know, not too exciting! Apparently there was a baby Rhino at mile 13 but I was looking towards the finish and totally missed. DARN IT!

We looped out and back through the park twice which was cool because we got to see some spectators! We finally wound around on San Pasquale road and ended in the Safari Park.

There was a finisher’s area with music, powerade, water,  pretzels, bananas, oranges and larabars.

This was a HILLY course. I think the max elevation was 550 feet. Originally the largest climb was going to be 150 feet but when the course changed so did the elevation. There was a lot of long climbs with two very steep climbs. Hill training is necessary for this race.

The Pro’s:

Small Race Field

Lots of water stations!

Peaceful, beautiful, challenging course

Cool finishers shirt and medal

The Con’s:

Parking is limited and apparently caused some people to miss the race

No lights at the start line potties causing total grossness

The finisher’s area was confusing and I believe they ran out of food

I didn’t see any of the sponsors, although later my hubs said he saw the Injinji booth.

Overall this was a good race and I think with a few changes it could be great! Will I do it again next year? We shall see!


If you know me, it’s bach time! Who will Brad pick??? EMILY or CHANTEL????






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