When: December 5, 2015.
Where: 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: 1977 finishers in the 5K; 2363 in the 10K.
Pre-race: Packet pickup was available before the race; everything was fast and painless.
Course: The 2015 race had a brand-new course. As before, 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.
My pet peeve from 2014 remained the same: the section on the Venice Boardwalk was not closed. This meant that runners had to dodge street vendors, vagrants, tourists, skateboarders and cyclists as they were trying to complete the race. I know it's unrealistic to expect the Boardwalk to be closed, but the opposite isn't fair, either. If a runner had been at the back of the pack, they would have been totally confused about where to go, since nothing was closed or marked off.
However, thankfully, there was less boardwalk in 2015, and we seemed to hit it earlier in the day.
Post-Race: Water and fruit; better than last year.
Chip timing: Shoe tags by Gemini Timing.
Shirt: Once again, the SMVCR had the best shirt in racing: a long-sleeved red tech shirt with Santa Claus running under the famous VENICE sign.
Swag: A lovely, glittery medal that was shaped like a snow globe, with the same "Santa in Venice" art as the shirt.
Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!!