Overview: The Angels' official 5K returned for another strong year. Special props to Angels' starting pitcher Hector Santiago, who not only got up at the crack of dawn for a Q&A before the race, but stuck around for over an hour afterward to give out medals and pose for photos with fans. Hector's wonderful! The Angels traded him to the Twins over the summer (BOOOOOO) and I'm sure I am not the only fan who thinks that his gracious, kind spirit will be sorely missed around Angels Stadium.When: April 9, 2016
Where: In and around Angels Stadium in Anaheim.
Course access: Was a bit wonky this year. Technically, the Amtrak/Metrolink station is right at the edge of the Angels Stadium parking lot, so it should have conceivably been easy to access the 5K, as it was in 2014 and 2015. Alas, Metrolink decided to do track work this weekend, and as a result, there were no trains at all to or from Anaheim. Amtrak did not replace the 6:15 am train with a shuttle bus, so if one didn't have access to a car or rideshare, they were not going to get to the race. I ended up taking an Uber.
Why: The race provides funds for the Angels Baseball Foundation, which does community outreach.
Number of Participants: 3677 finishers.
Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on either Friday or on Saturday morning before the race. It was painless; the issues they had with rude staff last year were nonexistent this time around.
Course: The course was flat and fast, winding through the streets around the stadium. There were some cutouts of current Angels players around the parking lot for photo ops. The big draw with this race was that the course also went into the stadium and onto the field. Runners got to go all the way around the warning track from the 3rd base line, past home plate and the dugouts, and out again through the 1st base side.
What made this better than last year is that the ushers did not try to rush or shoo participants out of the stadium, as they did in 2015. That's important. Most people are not going to have many chances to walk on the warning track and past home plate in a Major League Baseball stadium...that moment is important.
Chip timing: Yes, with chips on the bib.
Shirt: The 5K shirt has not varied from year to year, for the most part. It's still an awesome tech fabric t-shirt with the race logo in the upper left.
Swag: A voucher for a ticket for a future Angels game (participants could choose among several dates) and a wonderful medal. For the second year in a row, the medal was a spinner! This time, the spinning component was an Angels baseball jersey that had the team name on the front, as per usual, and "5K" on the back.
Expo: Once again, the Angels 5K has a pretty sweet expo, with lots of stuff. :)
Would I Run this Race Again: Yes! I am glad they worked out the issues from 2015.