[personal profile] runthisway
Overview: The former Santa Monica 5000 race has been re-branded as RunFEST, with several new events.

:October 19, 2014.

Santa Monica, ending on Ocean Blvd. close to the Santa Monica Pier.

Course access:  Downtown Santa Monica is very well connected to mass transit. The start line near Ocean Park was close to both the Big Blue Bus #1 and #3, and the finish line near the Pier was within walking distance of most Big Blue Bus lines, as well as the Metro 4, 704, 33 and 733.

Why: Harvest Home for women and babies.

Number of Participants: 985 finishers in the 5K; 568 in the 10K. There were also two untimed events for adults: a 3K "Fundemonium" race and a 5K Costume Run.

There seemed to be an effort made here to separate the "fun" runners (those who are running with friends, wearing costumes, and just trying to have a good time) from the hyper-serious ones (who really want a PR and don't want their course mucked up with lots of slower runners and walkers) by offering several different events.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available before the race at the beach; everything went smoothy.

Course: The course started near Ocean Park and the beach path, tuned onto Main Street, and eventually went down Ocean Boulevard in the heart of Santa Monica. The finish line was on Ocean near the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier.

The course was flat, fast and closed; one can't ask for more. 

Post-Race:  One thing I disliked about this race was the fact that runners had to trek down to the Santa Monica Pier proper for the post-race. Water was available at the finish line, but everything else was down at the Pier in the small expo. The expo itself was nice, though, and to be fair, it was probably much better than it would have been if it had been crammed onto Ocean Blvd.

Chip timing: Yes, by Gemini Timing. The 3K and Costume Run were not timed.

Shirt:  Nice sea green cotton t-shirt with the Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel. What was different at this event was that if you chose to pick up your bib on race day, you didn't get your shirt until after the race, down at the Pier.

Swag: This was the first year that the RunFEST offered finisher medals. They were given to those who completed any event (10K, 5K, 3K or Costume Run), and they were very lovely. Those who had opted to attend packet pickup the day before the race received a bag of swag; those of us who picked up our stuff on race day got an empty drawstring bag. 

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes.


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