[personal profile] runthisway
Overview: One of Los Angeles's oldest and most beloved races, the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run celebrated its 39th year - and its second with its revamped course.

: December 10, 2016.

As the race name would suggest, Santa Monica and Venice. 

Course access:  The start line was accessible from the Big Blue Bus #1 down Main Street or the BBB #3 to Pico and 4th. The finish line at Windward Circle was close to the BB #1 again.

Why: Harvest Home for women and babies.

Number of Participants: 1957 finishers in the 5K; 2184 in the 10K. Both events were sold out before race morning.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available before the race; everything was fast and painless.

Course: This was the second year for the new course route. Both the 5K and 10K started at Barnard Way in Santa Monica, adjacent to the beach. However, instead of being an out-and-back, the course wound through local streets, went on the Venice Boardwalk for a bit, and then went back through Venice before finishing at the Venice Pavilion/Windward Circle.

I think the race may have started earlier in the morning this year, because the boardwalk was almost entirely deserted. This fortunately meant that many of the problems associated with the non-closed course on the boardwalk (ie, trying to navigate around vendors and tourists) were alleviated this year.

The 10K and 5K start times were spaced out well.

Post-Race:  Water and bananas. Several vendors were on hand to give out additional goodies, such as chocolate milk.

Chip timing: Tags on the bib by Gemini Timing.

Shirt:  Once again, the SMVCR had the best shirt in racing: a long-sleeved red tech shirt. This year's design featured Santa being pulled in his sleigh by athletic bipedal reindeer. From what I understand, the design was inspired by costumes worn by participants in a past race.

Swag: A medal with the same artwork as the shirt, on a satin ribbon.

One thing I really, really did NOT like about this race was its "free photos." In 2015, participants were required to enable a Facebook app and post on social media to obtain the photos for free. This year, participants had to turn over their email address to a beer company and agree to receive marketing from them to even see their photos.

Yeah, I'm just not okay with that. Either offer the photos for free or don't, but don't tell participants they're free and then neglect to tell them that they will be forced to surrender their email addresses or social media for marketing and apps. 

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!


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