Overview: One of Los Angeles's mega-races returned for another Halloween event. Sadly, while Rock N' Roll is doing another half-marathon in 2016, as of right now, the 5K appears to be gone. I'm disappointed by that, but I'm glad I had a chance to participate in the 5K in 2014 and 2015.

When: October 25, 2015.

Where:
Downtown LA. The race began and ended in the LA Live/Staples Center area. .

Course access:  Easy as pie. The Pico station on the Blue/Expo lines was a two-minute walk. There were also a lot of buses in the area, since it was Downtown LA and all. 

Why: The ASPCA.
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Number of Participants: 1561 finishers in the 5K; 7797 in the half-marathon.

Pre-race:  This race had one of the things I hate most; a mandatory packet pickup the day before. The PPU was at the expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and it ran both Friday and Saturday. There wasn't a line and it was fast and seamless. The expo had some interesting booths, and the ASPCA had a huge, and very welcome, presence.

Course: Through Downtown LA, along Figueroa toward USC and the Coliseum, and back. 

Post-Race:  Runners picked up their medals and then walked through a "sterile area" where they could get food and drink. Water, Powerade and chocolate milk were all available, as were energy bars, chips and fruit. The area was set up in such a way that only runners had access to the food, which was very welcome. After leaving the finishing area, runners could cross over to the LA Live area where there were several booths with freebies, a shop, and a stage for the concert. There was also a beer garden for those who wanted to indulge at 9am. Each runner received a ticket for a free beer with their bib. I passed on this.

2015's cute freebie was a little custom-printed 45 record with your name on it.

Chip timing: A disposable shoe tag. There were mile markers and a finish line clock.

Shirt:  5K participants got a green Brooks tech shirt with Frankenstein's monster, bats, a vampire and some other ghoulish figures. The half-marathon version was black. 

Swag: A cute 'lil jack-o'lantern with "LA " cutouts for his eyes. The half-marathon medal was the same design, but was larger and had a green ribbon. There were all sorts of complaints online about this medal; I don't understand why because I thought it was adorable.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!






Overview:  A race themed to Dia de los Muertos in Downtown Los Angeles.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a huge tradition in Mexico as well as many parts of the Southwestern USA, including Los Angeles. It's a time to remember and pay respect to one's deceased loved ones with altars that not only pay tribute, but share life stories, among other traditions. In Los Angeles, people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions honor Dia de los Muertos in one way or another or attend events.

When: October 31, 2015

Where:
Olvera Street, El Pueblo de Los Angeles National Monument, and numerous museums and historic sites and many Mexican shops and restaurants. Olvera Street hosts Mexican cultural events throughout the year, such as altars for Dia de los Muertos, multi-night processions for Dia de Los Muertos and Christmas, and Aztec dancers. 

Course access: Olvera Street is across Alameda St. from Union Station. One can't ask for it to be any easier than this. The Metro Rail Gold, Red and Purple lines stop at Union Station; so do Metrolink and Amtrak trains; BoltBus and Megabus, the Silver Line, and numerous bus lines from Metro, BIg Blue Bus and other carriers. Major lines that stop at Union Station include the Silver Line, Metro Rapid 704 and 733; Big Blue Bus's Rapid 10 (during the week only) and Foothill Transit's Silver Streak.

Why: Proceeds to the Olvera Street Merchants Association Foundation.

Number of Participants: Unclear, but roughly 4000. Chip timing was optional, so there wasn't any final count of participants.

Pre-race: Aztec dancers performed before the race began. There was also a runners' altar, and participants were invited to bring items for it.

Packet pickup was available for several days at a festival, but was also open on race morning. It was fast and painless.

Course: An out and back course down Main Street into Chinatown, and then over one of the bridges. Along the way there were Mexican dancers and mariachi bands performing.

Chip timing: Totally optional, and available with an extra charge.

Post-course food:  Yes, water and food were provided to the runners.They had animal crackers in cups, which was ridiculously fun. I was hoping for some Dia de Los Muertos food...something with sugar skulls, perhaps; or Pan de los Muertos, but alas, no. I suppose it's not totally necessary; Olvera Street is right there and they have fantastic Mexican restaurants and bakeries. 

Shirt: Blue cotton Day of the Dead-themed shirt with calacas (skeletons) running down Olvera Street. NO ads!! :D 

Swag: GORGEOUS finishers' medal with a calavera with gems. 

Expo:  Not really. There were a handful of booths in the square, but not a lot.

Grade: A!

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes! 



Overview:  A friendly, fun and uniquely Los Angeles race.

The cool twist to We Run the City is that you raise money for either Team UCLA or Team USC. For those who don't live in Los Angeles, these two colleges have a bit of a rivalry, to put it very, very mildly. When you sign up, you're given an opportunity to choose which school you'd like to represent. It's not necessary to be an alumn or student; you just pick a side.Whichever school raises the most money for the Special Olympics gets to keep a trophy for the year.

Both schools' colors are represented on the bibs, logos and medals. The race switches campuses every year; in 2015 it was hosted by USC so 2016 will be UCLA's turn.

When: November 22, 2015

Where:
Exposition Park, right across the street from the USC campus.

Course access: Among other lines, Metro's Rapid 754 runs on Vermont Avenue and the local Metro 102 runs along Exposition.  There's also a DASH line alone Exposition. However, the easiest course access for most is the Expo Line Metro train, which has stops at Expo Park/USC and Expo/Vermont, both of which are right across the street from Exposition Park.

Why:The race raises money for Special Olympics Southern California. Runners are able to fundraise above their race registration fee, if they wish.

_____________

Number of Participants: A lot! USC won the prize for the most registrants. _

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available for two days before the race at Sport Chalet locations. Packet pickup on race morning was fast and stress-free, however. There were enough volunteers to handle everyone. 

Course: Totally contained within Exposition Park, which had to be a relief for local drivers and bus routes. Participants took a winding path through Expo Park, going past all the museums and venues therein. It was flat and fast, with several water stops and on-course entertainment from cheerleaders. 

Chip timing: Yes, on the bib.

Post-course food:  Yes, water and food were provided to the runners.

Shirt: The shirt you received depended on whether you signed on` with Team UCLA or Team USC. The design was identical for both, but shirts were in their respective schools' colors: crimson and gold for USC; light blue and gold for UCLA. Many people came to the race showing their school pride with shirts, hats, signs, and even Bruin and Tommy Trojan gear.

Note: Yes, I chose Team USC. When I run this race again I intend to choose UCLA. I'm Switzerland over here; totally neutral.


Swag: A lovely cut-out medal which again incorporated both schools' logos and colors.

Expo: Small, but with some interesting booths. Most awesome: Coca-Cola, who was not only giving out free soda, but was also giving participants leftover swag from the Special Olympics World Games, which took place in LA in summer 2015. Runners could spin the wheel and walk away with a World Games pin, backpack or other goodies.

Grade: A!

Would I Run this Race Again: Absolutely! I'm looking forward to it, in fact.



Overview: Generic Events' nascent Downtown Los Angeles Turkey Trot had its second outing in 2014. There's still some work to do.

When
: November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving morning).

Where:
Downtown L.A., starting and finishing at Grand Park in front of City Hall.

Course access:  The start and finish line area was about a three minute walk from the Civic Center station on the Red and Purple Metro subway lines.

Why: Homeboy Industries, L.A. Regional Food Bank and Brooks and Brooks Foundation. Homeboy was on site selling pies, and there were drop bins for the food bank.
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Number of Participants: 2333 in the 5K; 1393 in the 10K.

For whatever reason - perhaps the hipster angle (the race actually sold trucker hats and American Apparel clothing *eyeroll*), there were a lot of assholes at this race. I don't know why, but it was the rudest race I'd ever been to.

Compounding this: the large number of people who thought it was cute to desecrate Indigenous attire and perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Here's a hint: if you wouldn't run a race in a Marines uniform or wear a fake purple heart because you think it's disrespectful, you should not be running a race in a war bonnet, war paint, feathered headdresses or an eagle feather. Period. It's really depressing to me to think that in 2014, people still feel it's appropriate to "dress like Indians."

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on race morning, but it was chaotic. The actual packet pickup area was fine, but the t-shirt distribution area had been crammed into a small space by the stage. Everyone was packed in and pushing, and it was hard to see where the lines were. With all the space they had, this could have been thought out better.

Course:  The course wound uphill to the Music Center and the Disney Concert Hall, and then back down Spring Street for an out and back. On Facebook it was noted that the race distances had been incorrectly measured; the 5K was too long. The RD confirmed this.  

Both the 5K and 10K started late by about 30 minutes.

Post-Race:  Again: chaos. Runners had to fight through the crowds to get to the water/Gatorade table, and the only food offered was a banana. No bueno, guys. No bueno.

Chip timing: Yes, by Gemini Timing, with souvenir shoe tags that did not need to be returned.

Shirt:  Keeping in line with this year's "Turkey Strikes Back" theme, the cotton t-shirt featured the Turkey Trot's mascot stomping through Downtown LA, Godzilla-Style.

Swag: A large, generous medal.

Would I Run this Race Again: I liked it enough to give it another chance next year, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement here.





Overview: Los Angeles's January night race returns for its third year.

When
: January 3, 2015.

Where:
Downtown LA.

Course access:  DTLA is very well hooked up to mass transit. The race start was close to the 7th St/Metro Center stop on the Red, Purple, Blue and Expo subway lines. The finish line was close to the Civic Center stop on the Red and Purple lines.

Why: A Place Called Home.
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Number of Participants: 1218 finishers in the 5K; 997 in the 10K; 2979 in the Half-Marathon.

Pre-race: Once again at the Milennium Biltmore Hotel. They still haven't figured out the expo; it was small, too cramped to even consider navigating, and didn't have any really appealing exhibitors.

Worse, the packet pickup once again closed at 4pm, so runners had to arrive at least two and a half hours before the race to get their bibs and t-shirts. This seemed to be unclear on the instructions and apparently some runners arrived after 4pm, were denied their bibs, and were understandably very upset.

Another issue: some of the volunteers working the corrals were completely rude. The assignments were bizarre, with walkers in the first five corrals. In addition, the way the corrals were enclosed made it impossible for some runners to even access them.

Course: The 5K course differed from the map that was posted online. The turnaround did not seem to be clearly marked, either.

The highlights of last year's race were running down Broadway, where all the theatre marquees were turned on, and then finishing at L.A. Live. This year, the course was boring. Instead of Broadway, runners went up Hill Street, went through the 2nd Street Tunnel, and ended by looping around a bunch of courthouses and municipal buildings, a freeway exit and a truly sad homeless encampment. The only recognizable landmarks on the course were Angels Flight and City Hall.

The race finished at Grand Park. I know this is fast becoming the hangout du jour for all types of events, but LA Live was better.

Post-Race:  Water, Nuun electrolytes, bananas, apples, Clif bites and moonpies were offered. Mylar blankets were also provided.

Chip timing: Shoe tags by Gemini Timing.

Shirt:  For the 5/10K: a black tech shirt. This was a vast improvement over last year's see-through white one.

Swag: Finisher medals with a baseball theme and drawstring backpacks (the same one from last year). Legacy runners also received special clip medals. The medals were very different, and not as nice, as the ones advertised on the race's Facebook page.

Would I Run this Race Again: I guess. The only reasons I'm hanging on with this race after my 2015 experience
are because of the Legacy status and because I can't find another race I'd like to do in January. They have a lot of work to do.





Overview: One of Los Angeles's mega-races, just in time for Halloween. I'd heard some negative comments about RnR races in the past, and I was very impressed by how well this event was run. Everything was well organized, well staffed and well thought out.

When: October 26, 2014.

Where:
Downtown LA. The race began and ended in the LA Live/Staples Center area. .

Course access:  Easy as pie. The Pico station on the Blue/Expo lines was a two-minute walk. There were also a lot of buses in the area, since it was Downtown LA and all. 

Why: The ASPCA.
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Number of Participants: by my estimate, about 30,000 spread between the half-marathon and 5K, which left at the same time.

Pre-race:  This race had one of the things I hate most; a mandatory packet pickup the day before. The PPU was at the expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and it ran both Friday and Saturday. There wasn't a line and it was fast and seamless. The expo had some interesting booths, and the ASPCA had a huge, and very welcome, presence.

Course: Through Downtown LA, along Figueroa toward USC and the Coliseum, and back. 

Post-Race:  Runners picked up their medals and then walked through a "sterile area" where they could get food and drink. Water, Powerade and chocolate milk were all available, as were energy bars, chips and fruit. The area was set up in such a way that only runners had access to the food, which was very welcome. After leaving the finishing area, runners could cross over to the LA Live area where there were several booths with freebies, a shop, and a stage for the concert. There was also a beer garden for those who wanted to indulge at 9am. Each runner received a ticket for a free beer with their bib. I passed on this.

Chip timing: A disposable shoe tag. There were mile markers and a finish line clock.

Shirt:  A black Brooks tech shirt with a Halloween flair. I actually think that the 5K made out better than the half-marathon here; they received the same design, but in a sickly off-white.

Swag: Rock N' Roll is known for its elaborate and city-specific medals, and this race was no different. The medal featured a spiderweb, the LA skyline, and a witch riding on a guitar/broomstick. There was also a drawstring backpack provided at packet pickup.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!





Overview:  A weekend event in Chinatown, near Union Station in Downtown LA, the Firecracker events include bike rides of varying distances on Saturday and 5K, 10K and kids' races on Sunday. Firecracker commemorates the Lunar New Year, and has been a community event for more than 30 years.

When: February 23, 2014 (road races; the bike rides were on the 22nd).

Where:
Chinatown, starting about a block and a half from the Gold Line station. The course wound up into the hills around Dodgers Stadium.

Course access: This was a great race for mass transit users, since the Gold Line train stopped about a block away from the course start and finish. It was also a short walk from Union Station with its myriad transit services.

Why: The race funds numerous community events and programs in the Chinatown area.
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Number of Participants: 2725 finishers in the 5K; 2389 in the 10K.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on either Saturday or Sunday; on Saturday it came with a little box of noodles.

PPU was one of my major gripes with this race. The tables were in the start corral, which meant that they were hard to see and difficult to access. The people waiting for their packets and t-shirts had to contend with people waiting to start the race, and vice versa. When the race started, this became even more of an issue: runners would walk or jog toward the start line, only to hit walls of people waiting for their packets or simply watching the race.

Course: This is perhaps one of the most difficult 5K courses one will encounter: it's almost all hills, and steep ones, at that. Nailing this race does provide a huge sense of accomplishment! There were Taiko drummers toward the start.



Post-Race: Runners were directed into a controlled area post- race for food and beverages. I really liked the way they did this: volunteers handed out the food (so there was no opportunity for people to snitch extras) as you walked down a chute, and they checked to make sure you had a bib before allowing you into the area. This apparently was in response to complaints from last year that non-runners basically pirated all the post-race food, leaving nothing for those who had actually done the race.

Chip timing: Yes, with chips on the bib, by Racewire. Racewire emails your results almost as soon as you cross the finish line - they really rock.

Shirt: A lovely white tech shirt with a design for the Lunar New Year of the Horse. However, the sizing on these shirts was way off, and what was listed as a "women's shirt" was quite literally the size of a 10 year old's garment.

Swag: A really nice backpack with an interior pocket and handles, some snacks and small samples (including Tiger Balm!), and an awesome medal with the Year of the Horse on one side and the Firecracker Run logo on the other.

Expo: Small, but had some nice booths from Maharashi Rice, Metro, and a few others.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!

Overview:  A night race through Downtown Los Angeles, the New Year's Race featured a half-marathon, a 5K, and various children's races. Presented by Jive Live, who also put on the Venice Christmas Run and the LA Marathon, this was a well designed, enjoyable event with dedicated, friendly volunteers. Participants had a rare opportunity to run through the streets of DTLA without cars.

What is also impressive about this race: last year there were complaints on Facebook about various aspects of the race...and the race directors listened. This year's event was sleeker, more organized and better! Way to go, guys!

When: January 4, 2014.

Where:
Downtown Los Angeles, starting at 7th and Grand and ending at Pico and 11th, by the L.A. Live complex and the Staples Center.

Course access: Downtown L.A. is probably the best-connected area in the city, and public transportation was a breeze. The buses were re-routed due to the street closures, but the trains, which run underground at that point, were absolutely fine. The course start was right by the 7th Street Metro Center station for the Expo and Blue line trains; the finish line was a five minute walk to the Pico station (again, Expo and Blue lines). I heard through the grapevine that traffic was a nightmare for those who chose to come by car.

Why: Officially, none, but A Place Called Home had some involvement with the race.
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Number of Participants: About 1350 in the 5K; about 4500 in the half-marathon.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was at the Expo at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The RDs extended the Expo hours from 2013 and the race also started earlier, but there were still two hours or so to kill between the close of the Expo and race time.

Course: The 5K went through Downtown LA, mostly along Broadway (near the historic cinemas). Many of the historic theaters on Broadway, including the Los Angeles, were all lit up. The 5K course this year differed in that runners stayed on Broadway for a longer stretch, instead of veering off down abandoned streets. The race finish was also closer to the Pico Metro station. I greatly preferred that, yes I did.

In response to last year's complaints there were also many, many signs advising 5K runners as to their turnaround point.

Chip timing: Yes, by Gemini, with a chronotrack tag on the bib.

Shirt: 5Kers received a nice tech shirt. I liked it a lot, except for the fact that the tech fabric, combined with the white color, make it very see-through. I preferred the black shirt in 2013. Maybe they will use alternate colors on alternate years?

Swag: A backpack. Unfortunately it wasn't as nice as last year's, since it just had a hashtag on it. Runners also received a reusable glow bracelet. Unfortunately there was nothing else in the bag; the race was using those useless and annoying "virtual gift bags." The medal was lovely, however, and had a touching tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Expo: At the Millennium Biltmore. It was fairly small, and they did have vendors selling glow items this year. However, it was also very heavy on the timeshare/vacation club folks, and they tend to be very aggressive. I didn't enjoy the Expo.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!
http://do.eifoundation.org/site/TR/RevlonRunWalk/LARRW?fr_id=1080&pg=entry

Overview: One of the largest walks for women's cancer research and awareness, this event, held in both New York and Los Angeles, draws crowds in the 40,000 range. Despite the hordes of people, it's reasonably smoothly run, friendly, and enjoyable.

When: May 11, 2013.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, venue for the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

Why: The walk raises money for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The EIF is nearly 70 years old and funds major initiatives for cancer and diabetes treatment, awareness and research, among other projects. The Revlon Walk in particular supports initiatives for breast and ovarian cancer.

Course access: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is served by numerous Metro bus lines, but a lot of them were on detour for the walk. The best way to access the course via mass transit was the Metro Expo line train, which ran without interruption.
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Number of Participants: About 40,000. Yes, you read that correctly.

Pre-race: This year, the EIF sent out bibs about a month ahead of time to everyone who had pre-registered. There were several opportunities to pick up t-shirts and goody bags in advance, as well. I thought that this really simplified things. The registration and t-shirt pickup lines at the race were a zoo.

Runners: Women of all ages, shapes and sizes were well represented, as were cancer survivors. Men, families and older individuals and friends were also present. There were large contingents of fundraising and company groups, tribute groups, etc. While there are a handful of serious runners, this is really an event for walkers.

The course was very crowded and everyone moved at a leisurely pace. It was a day to have fun, not to try to beat the clock. This was sometimes problematic. There were bottlenecks at various areas, and the crowd came to a dead standstill upon entering the Olympic Stadium.

If you're thinking of running or racewalking this event, well, forget about it. If you're thinking of walking with a friend or relative who is not sure they can handle a 5K this is perfect, since there's no pressure to finish quickly and it's very non-intimidating.

Chip Timing: None. This was really a fun run/walk, with the majority of participants choosing to do the latter.

Shirt: A white shirt with red EIF/Revlon logo and lettering. The shirts for this race are always kind of bland but this year's was an improvement.


Swag: A goody bag with some coupons, an energy bar, a pink bracelet and a Revlon nail polish. Every finisher got a gold medal on a red ribbon. Now, being in the Olympic stadium and getting a gold medal...one could enjoy that. :) There were also special gifts for cancer survivors, including colorful hats at the start line, roses at the finish, and a photo tent.

Expo: Some health awareness companies, hospitals and cancer foundations came to the Revlon Walk, as well as some other fun and interesting vendors. What bothered me about the expo was that some companies were already packing it in by 8:30, before the race had even started.

Would I Run this Race Again?
Maybe.
Overview:  A night race through Downtown Los Angeles, the New Year's Race featured a half-marathon, a 5K, and various children's races. Presented by Jive Live, who also put on the Venice Christmas Run and the LA Marathon, this was a well designed, enjoyable event with dedicated, friendly volunteers. Participants had a rare opportunity to run through the streets of DTLA without cars.

What is also impressive about this race: the race directors have followed up on feedback left on Facebook and have promised specific improvements for next year's event. No excuses, no explanations - just promises to do better. It's refreshing! 

When: January 5, 2013.

Where:
Downtown Los Angeles, starting at 7th and Grand and ending at Pico and 11th, by the L.A. Live complex and the Staples Center.

Course access: Downtown L.A. is probably the best-connected area in the city, and public transportation was a breeze. The buses were re-routed due to the street closures, but the trains, which run underground at that point, were absolutely fine. The course start was right by the 7th Street Metro Center station for the Expo and Blue line trains; the finish line was a five minute walk to the Pico station (again, Expo and Blue lines). I heard through the grapevine that traffic was a nightmare for those who chose to come by car.

Why: Officially, none, but A Place Called Home had some involvement with the race.
_____________

Number of Participants: About 1350 in the 5K; about 4500 in the half-marathon.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was at the Expo at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. This was one of my few complaints about this race. While the Biltmore setup was fine, packet pickup closed at 5pm on Saturday. Race time wasn't until 9. That meant that if you wanted to pick up your packet on race day, you had to kill four hours. It would have been nicer to have the expo time extended to, say, 7 or 8pm. This is one of the things the RDs have promised to try to fix for 2014.

Course: The 5K went through Downtown LA, mostly along Broadway (near the historic cinemas) and 11th Street (past Santee Alley). Many of the historic theaters on Broadway, including the Los Angeles, were all lit up. Some of the other areas, such as 11th Street, were totally deserted, which made for an eerie run. There was sizable police presence along the route, so it never felt unsafe.

After the race, there were a number of complaints on the NYR Facebook page. A few Downtown residents were angered by the race and the street closures. However, again, most, if not all, of the race course went down commercial streets that were closed for the night, so I am not sure where the residents are coming from with this. Also, another DTLA resident pointed out that Jive Live had sent notices about street closures and detours to all of the residential buildings well in advance of the race, so nobody should have been ambushed by the course.

Another complaint: some 5Kers claimed they didn't see signage, got lost and ended up on the half-marathon course. Others said that they ran an extra mile.

I'm sorry, I have zero sympathy for that. I have absolutely no trouble roasting race directors when I feel they've dropped the ball - my  blog pulls no punches there - but in this case the race directors did everything short of assigning each runner a personal guide to lead them by the hand. They had SO much detailed information out there before the race, they had the course totally marked off and cordoned off, and they had cops and race volunteers on just about every corner.

When there was a split in the course, and the 5K and half-marathon runners had to go in different directions, they had huge, well-illuminated signs. There was also a guy with a megaphone standing at the fork in the road, and there were volunteers repeatedly telling people which side to take for the 5K, just in case you didn't understand the signs with arrows. I was in one of the last corrals so I can vouch for the fact that there were still people on the course giving directions to the stragglers and slow runners/walkers.

Also, they had the race course online for months before the race. If these runners had taken five seconds to look at it - and the course is always online specifically so you can study it - they'd have known in an instant they were off-course. It showed where all of the turnaround points were. Another thing: why didn't they check their watches? You usually know how long it takes you to do each mile, more or less. Now, a first time 5Ker might not know about personal timekeeping, but the people complaining were claiming that they were experienced runners...um, no, honey.

Chip timing: Yes, by Gemini, with a chronotrack tag on the bib.

Shirt: A black tech t-shirt with the race logo. Really nice.

Swag: A backpack with a few freebies, including Clif bars and magnets. The race medal was also lovely. The 5K and the half-marathon medals had the same basic design, but different ribbons and sizes.

Expo: At the Millennium Biltmore. It was fairly small and light on the freebies but overall, it was fine. I was disappointed that there weren't any vendors selling glow sticks/other night accessories.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!
http://do.eifoundation.org/site/TR/RevlonRunWalk/LARRW?fr_id=1080&pg=entry

Overview: One of the largest walks for women's cancer research and awareness, this event, held in both New York and Los Angeles, draws crowds in the 40,000 range. Despite the hordes of people, it's reasonably smoothly run, friendly, and enjoyable.

When: May 7, 2011.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, venue for the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.

Why: The walk raises money for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The EIF is nearly 70 years old and funds major initiatives for cancer and diabetes treatment, awareness and research, among other projects.

Course access: The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was served by numerous Metro bus lines. Metro 40 and 42 ran along MLK Jr. Boulevard; the local 204, the Rapid 740 and 754 and two different DASH lines traveled along Vermont. When the Expo line opens, the Coliseum will be within walking distance of the Exposition Park stop.
_________
Number of Participants: About 30,000. Yes, you read that correctly.

Pre-race: EIF had a number of packet pick-up locations off site, so the crunch at the event wasn't severe. One thing I noticed, and thought was ridiculous: the check-in volunteers did not have rosters, so they needed the registration emails before they would issue bibs. I saw a lot of runners and walkers frantically scrambling to find copies of the registration emails on their smart phones.

While it is a really good idea to print out your confirmation email and bring it with you, it's a bad idea to make it the only proof of registration. There should have been a list to check names against, as there has been at every other race I've ever attended. How did they even know who showed up and who didn't, without a list?

Runners: Women of all ages, shapes and sizes were well represented, as were cancer survivors. Men, families and older individuals and friends were also present. There were large contingents of fundraising and company groups, tribute groups, etc. While there are a handful of serious runners, this is really an event for walkers. The course was very crowded and everyone moved at a leisurely pace. It was a day to have fun, not to try to beat the clock.

Chip Timing: None. This was really a fun run/walk, with the majority of participants choosing to do the latter.

Shirt: A white shirt with red EIF/Revlon logo and lettering. Nothing to write home about, in all honesty. They're having a shirt artwork contest this year, so hopefully the 2012 offering will be an improvement.

Swag: A goody bag with some coupons, little giveaways and a full sized pink Revlon lip gloss or lipstick. Every finisher got a gold medal on a red ribbon. Now, being in the Olympic stadium and getting a gold medal...one could enjoy that. :) There were also special gifts for cancer survivors, including colorful hats at the start line, roses at the finish, and a photo tent.

Expo: Lots of health awareness companies, hospitals and cancer foundations came to the Revlon Walk, as well as some other fun and interesting vendors. There was a pink fire truck, too. :)

Would I Run this Race Again? Yes!

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Run This Way: A Blog

December 2016

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