Raptor Ridge Half Marathon

Date: October 5, 2014
(4th race of the Half Marathon Series and 4th race of the Progressive Series)

Results: Will be posted at Ultrasignup.com within 24 hours and on dirtdevilracing.com within 3-5 days

Registration: Will open May 1st on Ultrasignup.com

Entry Fee: 
Half Marathon
$65 – Early Bird through July 8th
$70 – through August 8th
$75 – Until race sells out

Registration closes 9/22/14 or previously when race sells out … and it will!

San Dieguito River Park
3600 Sunset Drive
Escondido, CA 92025

Race Capacity: 400

Course Description: The Raptor Ridge half marathon is an out-n-back course that begins with 4.5 miles of flat and fast jeep road that winds east towards the San Diego Safari Park and Raptor Ridge.  The single track up Raptor Ridge is completely doable for stronger runners.  Runners who are not as strong should expect to “do some hiking” up to the top.  At the top you are rewarded by views of the entire valley.  October is a gorgeous time of year and the view at the top of the ridge is impressive.  As you continue down the other side of Raptor Ridge you really make up time.  Lean into the hill and run fast down the opposite side as you make your way back into the flats and towards your turnaround point.

After the turnaround, running up the backside of the ridge is easier than running up the single track.  The hill is longer and on less of an incline.  Try to run all the way to the top as you feel your quads burning.  As you crest the top get back on the single track and “trail-surf” all the way to the bottom.  This is trail running at its best.  Running downhill, really fast with great views all around you.  Spectacular!

As you run along the rolling jeep road toward the 5th aid station with the mountains on your left make sure to ready your bottle for filling.  It is only 3 miles to go now and it is all flat.  Now you are on your way back.  Farms are on both sides of you and you can settle into a nice, comfortable pace as you near the end.  As you come closer you can hear the sounds of cowbells ringing and volunteers calling “Runner”!  It gives you a jolt of energy and will allow you to speed up as you cross the finish.

Course cut-off: The course cut-off time is 3 hours.  No finisher awards will be given for any racer not completing the course within 3 hours.

Aid Stations: There will be 5 aid stations on the course.

ALL RUNNERS MUST CARRY SOME FORM OF HYDRATION! It can be a simple 12 ounce bottle of water or a 64 ounce backpack but it is MANDATORY that all runners carry hydration.

Trail Map:

Raptor Ridge Trail Map

Click to Enlarge

Directions to Start: Click Here for Directions (Google Maps)

Parking: There is ample parking near the race start. If using the lot, you MUST follow Parking Staff direction.  Street parking is limited.

Race Check in: 6 am – 6:45 am

Race Start Time: 7 am

Packet Pick-up Location: Packet Pick-up will take place at the San Diego Running Institute (SDRI) on the Friday and Saturday before the race:

  • Friday, October 3rd , 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Saturday, October 4th , 10:00am – 4:00pm NOTE: Doors LOCK at 4:00pm!!!

8525 Gibbs Drive, #205
San Diego, CA 92123

Google Maps - http://goo.gl/maps/fW9uF

Office: (858) 268-8525

For detailed directions and a map of the pickup, Click Here

Prizes: ALL runners will receive a commemorative BEER GLASS with race logo and date of event.  These collector’s glasses are the final in the 2013 set that the Half Marathon Series participants can earn.  Those participants that have completed ALL 4 races in the Grand Slam Progressive Series will also receive a commemorative Stainless Steel HESS Brewing/Dirt Devil Beer Growler.


Raptor Ridge Half Marathon
(Photo above from 2012 series.  Race shirts, glasses and prizes will vary.)

To be eligible for the Progressive series and the cash/prizes that go with it, you must participate in the Raptor Ridge Half as well as the Coyote 5K, Wildhorse 10K and the Stairway to Heaven 15K.

The Raptor Ridge Half Marathon is also the last Half Marathon in the Half Marathon Series.  Runners that have completed all 4 Half Marathons (including this Raptor Ridge race) will receive the coveted HESS-Dirt Devil Racing Stainless Steel beer Growler.

For prizes provided to Overall and Age Group Winners please see the Race Prizes page.

Pat and his Professional Team of Photographers

Unable to make the after-party, go to …. Photos By Pat ….. to purchase all your race photos … even previous season if you have  run with us before or download your photos for free!  Use code DDRS2014

Race Results: Race results will not be available at the finish line. Please do not interrupt the professional timing team. Just as you want an accurate time, so do the racers that have yet to finish behind you. We will have the Overall & Age Group Winner times available at the Post-Race Party & Awards Ceremony at HESS Brewing in North Park All race times and distance placing will be available on the DirtDevilRacing.com website no later than the Wednesday after the race and on Ultrasignup.com within 24 hours after the race.



Post-Race Party and Awards Ceremony: Dirt Devil Racing has teamed up with Mike Hess Brewing Company to bring you an excellent post-race party and awards celebration!  After the race, head to the Hess Brewing North Park for the end of the season Awards Celebration. Of course there will be plenty of incredible beer, pizza to munch on, awards, photos, and a chance to hang out and rehash the great race you just completed!

The brewery is a short 20 minute drive from the race site and will be on the way home for most people coming to the race from San Diego. For directions from the race site to Hess Brewing North Park please use this map:


Post-Race Party starts at 10:30am … Awards at noon! So head home and shower first if you’d like … but you may miss out on all the free pizza!! Yum.

If you do not make the awards party you will have ONLY ONE WEEK to claim your prize at SDRI.

MANDATORY Race Day Check-in: All race participants MUST check in on race morning. Failure to check in prior to starting the race will result in automatic disqualification. Check-in begins at 6AM.  Please read ALL of the “MANDATORY READ” race day rules prior to race day to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Refund Policy: No Refunds Allowed.

Traveling to San Diego for the Raptor Ridge Half Marathon? San Diego has a long list of great attractions and activities for you and your family to enjoy.  If you will be traveling to the race for the weekend here are a few hotels close to the start as well as some places the Dirt Devils love to check out after a run in the area.

Places to Stay:
Rancho Bernardo Inn
La Quinta Inn
Springhill Suites
Residence Inn
Econo Lodge Escondido
Motel Meridian

Things to Do:
San Diego Safari Park
Orfila Vineyards and Winery
Stone Brewing Company
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Sea World San Diego
San Diego Zoo
Kit Carson Park
Greenflash Brewing Company
Urge Gastropub

Thank you to our sponsors:
RoadID Logo Injini Logo SLS SDRI Logo Honey Stinger Logo



Knuckle Lights LogoFluid LogoBaskin Robin



TMG Logo

78 Responses to Raptor Ridge Half Marathon

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  6. Robert Filacchione says:

    Your $10 packet pick up charge does not feel right. I live in Orange County, coming down that morning. Is it really that difficult to have the packet for pick up that morning. Seems like a penalty for those coming from out of town. No wonder the number of races I do each year keeps decreasing. I would have not signed up just for that, but my buddy already registered and I made a commitment to him to race and hang in SD that day. We will have fun, but that $10 just feels cheap.

    • Dr. Runco says:

      Probably not the right way to approach the situation Robert. Telling me my organization is “cheap” and “not right” really does not communicate what you are actually trying to convey and immediately puts me into a “defensive” mode. The reason the $10 is there is that if we had to give everyone in the race their bibs and race instructions the morning of we would not be able to start the race on time…I know because I’ve done it. The $10 fee was put in place as a deterrent so that the morning of the race would go more smoothly for everyone allowing the race to start on time and for my race day volunteers to not kill me because of the stress. That being said I really do not need your $10 so if you want to pick up you bib the morning of and not pay the fee just email me at drrunco@sdri.ent and I will put your bib and race shirt aside and you can get it from me on race morning…….free of charge…..no hassle…..no worries.

  7. Cynthia says:

    I don’t mind the $10 fee for packet pick up and I live in San Marcos. It saves me time, Gas money and stress! The volunteers are wonderful every year. Thanks for a fun event! Can’t wait!

  8. Stacy Mueller says:

    Hi Dr.Runco!
    Its been so long since I registered, I cant remember if I added myself to the after party. Do we need to register for the post party or not? My memory is failing me!
    Thanks !

  9. Lisa says:

    This is my first half marathon and I am trying to get used to carrying water. Is the power shot or quick shot to small or little of an amount to carry? I think it only holds 6-8 oz. I’ve tried a larger bottle, but it was too cumbersome and drove me nuts. My hand keept sweating. I also don’t like the feeling of something on my hips or back moving. I found it very disruptive. The power shot was the only one I could get used to, but I also don’t want to be stupid either. What are your thoughts?

  10. jason says:

    Anyone know what the elevation gain is? Thanks

  11. vanessa says:

    Hi !
    Is the registration still open ?
    Thanks !!

  12. Drew says:

    how would you compare this run to the SD Rock and Roll Half? difficulty wise!

    • Dr. Runco says:

      I would not compare it to it at all. This is a trail race. It is mostly flat with Raptor Ridge gaining 365 feet of elevation at mile 4-5 then you drop down the backside, cruise into the aid station and turn around only to encounter the brooding mountain again. The climb is tough, the views are amazing and the entire course is challenging. The after party is even better.

  13. Ivan says:

    I understand that registration has closed (and the link to active.com isn’t working). But is there any way I can get registered for this race? I’m a solid competitor and would love enter this challenging race. I’ve got a buddy in it already and one or two that would also like to join.

  14. Danielle says:

    I just tried to register using the link you posted but the active.com registration wasn’t working…hoping to get one of the last 14 spots :)

  15. Matt W says:

    i just registered on active.com for the run even though registration is supposed to be closed. any way to confirm that i successfully signed up? the status is confirmed on the registration summary page.

  16. Michelle Castaneda says:

    Hi Guys,
    I tried to look up my name to confirm you have me registered for this race and I show not registered. I have a confirmation that I signed up. Could you verify for me that I am registered.
    Thank you,

  17. Steve Bean says:

    Any idea when you’ll be notifying people on the Wait List whether they’re in or not?



  18. Steve Bean says:

    Sorry, for Raptor Ridge

  19. Stephen says:

    I sent a message to you on Facebook but figured I would ask here as well…are you guys having the same races planned for 2014? If so, when are you planning on announcing the dates? I just moved here in time for Raptor Ridge, but I would love to do the whole series next year.

    • Dr. Runco says:

      Me and the rest of the Dirt Devil crew will get together after Raptor Ridge and schedule our dates. We are reorganizing the Half Marathon Animal Series as well as the Summer Grand Slam Beer Series to be less stressful on us. But here is a brief idea of when and where.

      April Foxy Half Marathon at Lake Hodges
      April Coyote 5K Lake Hodges
      June Wildhorse Half Marathon Otay Lakes
      June Sidewinder 10K Otay Lakes
      August *****Stairway to Heaven Half Marathon*** Mission Trails Park
      August Stairway to Heaven 15K Mission Trails
      October Raptor Ridge Half Marathon San Dieugto River Park/Mule Hill Trail
      October ****Bonus race*** Halloween Howl at the Moon Half Marathon Green Valley Falls (only 200 participants will be allowed)

  20. Gary says:

    I sent in my Wait List request for Raptor Ridge a few weeks ago. Are you still planning on letting us know, one way or the other, some time today (Wednesday)? Thanks!

  21. Mark Johnson says:

    Looking forward to Raptor Ridge Half this Sunday! This will be my 3rd run with you guys. What a great group. I can’t thank you enough for putting on these events! Hats off to the Dirt Devil Racing Team!!!

  22. Colleen Jones says:

    My husband came down today to pick up my race packet along with my daughters and he was told that I was cancelled. After a lot of arguing someone “allowed” my husband to pick up a packet. I have not cancelled so I don’t understand what happened; but I do know that because of the way the issue was handled, I will NOT run again with this group.

    Colleen Jones

    • Dr. Runco says:

      Your husband was rude and inconsiderate to my wife who was trying to help and fix the situation. The registration website, Active.com shows that you cancelled your registration and were issued a refund. During the course of ones work day you might encounter computer errors, human mistakes and other glitches that you try to overcome. Because the Active.com website shows you cancelled and were issued a refund you did not appear on our active roster for the race on Sunday. My wife was attempting to explain to your husband what the situation was when he became both aggressive and rude. Truthfully I asked him to leave and had it been up to me would have not given him your race stuff. My wife on the other hand did give him your stuff and told him you could race regardless if the active.com site that showed you were issued a refund was accurate or not. You certainly have a right to not ever run with our group again but to be clear it was your husband who caused the negative situation

      • Colleen Jones says:

        Thank you for your response, I will check the site; but I did not cancel nor did I receive a refund. Although I was not present for the encounter between you and my husband I do apologize for his behavior.

  23. Colleen Jones says:

    I just checked Active.com and it does not show a cancellation or refund. Obviously there has been a mistake.

    • Dr. Runco says:

      That would appear to be the case. I am going to contact active.com once we can get someone “live” to explain. You are obviously welcome to run Raptor Ridge which was always our intent despite the active.com error

      • Colleen Jones says:

        Thank you, I did run today and it was an awesome race with beautiful weather. Thank you again; and again, I apologize for my husbands behavior on Friday.


        • Dr. Runco says:

          Everyone has a bad day and is entitled to a “mulligan” no worries and I am really glad you decided to run AND had a great time! We hope to see you at 2013 Dirt Devil Racing races Colleen!

  24. Mark Johnson says:

    Another great race at Raptor Ridge Half today! Please commend your staff. It takes alot of planning and patience to pull these races off. Dr Ronco…thanks!

    • Dr. Runco says:

      Thanks Mark! i always tell people it is similar to planning a wedding…….9 times a year! We have 400 guests, refreshments and party favors and we want everyone to have a great time. I could never do it without all the Dirt Devil Racing staff and volunteers. We hope to see you at the 2013 Dirt Devil Racing races!

  25. Debbie Gray says:

    What is the fee to enter the 4/28/14 Foxy 1/2?

    • Dr. Runco says:

      when registration opens the early bird will either be $55 or $60 depending if registration fees are required and a few other details

  26. Jason says:

    Awesome race. Looking forward to the pics and race results.

  27. Joshua Garrett says:

    I really enjoyed the race, my first all trail half marathon. I hope the races for 2014 are scheduled for different weekends than the other big half marathons in the San Diego area. I would love to run a lot more of these next year.

    • Dr. Runco says:

      we like to put them opposite the road races to give runners that have done them an alternative

      • Joshua Garrett says:

        Looks like I might be skipping the Triple Crown and several other road races next year. Do you know when the Wild Horse Trail Half Marathon will be next year?

        • Dr. Runco says:

          Here is the preliminary schedule. I still have to confirm exact dates but Wildhorse will be the beginning of June for sure

  28. Dennis says:

    This progressive race series was an excellent way to really get into trail racing. I’ve done a bunch of road races, and with this being my first trail 1/2 marathon, I don’t think I’ll be going back to road racing for a long time. I was a little bummed that the Wild Horse 1/2 marathon was moved to June as I was looking for a race to do in January.

    Much respect to all the volunteers as well as the race organizer. This was such a great experience that I am planning to do the 1/2 marathon series next year. Keep up the good work!!!

    • Dr. Runco says:

      We had to move the January race….besides needing some time off last year was a mud-fest as January is right in the heart of our rain season.
      We are stoked that you enjoyed the race and hope you will join us next year Dennis!

  29. Arthur Blain says:

    My son Gavin Blain (age 14) was apparently only 19 & under participant. He got 1st. (And last :) place in his age group. Can you tell me what his award is & where & what hours to pick up award?

    • Dr. Runco says:

      You can pick up his award at SDRI between now and Thursday next week. Finishers OVER 21 receive a beer with the race logo that was brewed by Dirt Devil Racing…..we can not give him that but we do have another nice prize for him :)

  30. Geronimo Deleon says:

    Anyone know the password for ht ephotos?

  31. Arthur (Vince) Dassow says:

    I wasn’t able to get the pitcher for completing the series after Raptor Ridge. Can I just go by the office and pick it up?


  32. Arthur Blain says:

    My son is 14 & was your only Under 19 entry – can you tell me what his prize is?

  33. Arthur Blain says:

    Ok 1 st time anyone told me to contact her – I just e mailed her – we are 10 e mails into this – just trying to pick up award for my 14 year old

    • Dr. Runco says:

      actually you are not emailing me but using my blog site…..if you want to email me it is drrunco@sdri.net
      I personally answered your inquiry on the blog and also emailed you regarding the prize and where to pick it up.
      So I will reiterate. You can pick up your sons prizes at San Diego Running Institute. See my website for hours of operation, phone number
      and directions http://www.sdri.net/ please call right now and tell us when you are coming so I can personally put the prize package together
      so that it is ready for you when you get here.

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