Overview: The third annual Sean Brock Foundation's 5K/10K was a small race with major potential, but some significant organizational flaws.
When: May 16, 2015
Where: Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey.
Course access: Accessing Dockweiler by mass transit is ridiculous: by and large, you can't. Getting here requires ride share or taxi services and a walk.
Why: The race provides funds for the Sean Brock Foundation, which supports educational opportunities for children of military personnel killed in the line of duty, as well as the California CPA Association.
Number of Participants: I'm not sure. I saw bib numbers going up to 300; that would be a good ballpark guess.
Pre-race: There was a distinct lack of communication before the race. The only course map that was posted was a tiny photo from 2014 that was buried on Facebook; packet pickup information was posted late. The race started almost a half hour late, and the timing of the children's race was shifted from 10:15 am to 9, without any real notice. However, packet pickup was quick and efficient and the volunteers manning the table were friendly.
Course: For the most part, the course went along the flat, fast Vista del Mar road, parallel to the ocean. It's super pretty. Water stations marked the turnaround points. HOWEVER: the major flaw here was that getting to the finish line required runners to leave Vista del Mar and dodge cars as they traversed a parking lot entrance/exit area. There were no cones marking the path until the very end. This was downright dangerous for the runners, as well as unfair for any motorists trying to leave the area.
I also had a very disturbing incident with a volunteer at this race. When I crossed the finish line and got my medal, another volunteer -- a middle-aged man -- came up and started frantically pawing at my bib, as well as the area of my body to which the bib was pinned. I had to ask him to back off and stop touching me. It turned out that he wanted the small tag at the bottom of the bib. Okay, how about asking? Race volunteers and staff should never be putting their hands on a runner this way.
This race also had many, many dogs, which is a personal pet peeve of mine. I wouldn't mind them if their owners kept them under control, but a lot of people seem to think it's cute when their dog jumps at you. It's not!
Timing: None; times were recorded from bib numbers. However, I have been able to locate results anywhere. Finish line clock provided. No mile markers.
Post-course food: The goodie bag included a Quest protein bar and some coconut water. There were also cups of water near the finish line and runners were offered another coconut water as they received their medals. Other than that, the only food was provided by Fresh Brothers Pizza, who were giving out samples.
Shirt: Shirt-sleeved black cotton shirt. I wasn't a fan of the design so this one will probably not be worn.
Swag: Large, very pretty medal.
Expo: Just a few things here and there, but Fresh Brothers gave out free pizza samples, there was a free massage station and there was an energy drink company providing small cups of their beverage.
Would I Run this Race Again: Probably not. It was really disorganized. I'm going to chalk this up to the fact that the race seems to be a very small affair and does not seem to be run by any established sporting event company. There are a lot of mom and pop races around LA, and most of them are well organized and efficient, though. However, this race really needs to work on its logistics, as well as how it conveys information to participants.