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

: November 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving morning).

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.

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.

Oveview: The Rose Bowl 5K would have been lovely, but it was overshadowed by a lot of logistical and organizational issues. Hopefully they can clean these up in future years.

When: January 22, 2012

Where: the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena.

Course access: They run shuttles to the Rose Bowl for games...but not for races, apparently. Pasadena Transit doesn't run in the mornings, either. The closest bus was the 267 on Lincoln and Orange Grove. To get to the race I ended up taking the Gold Line to Memorial Park and then grabbing a taxi for about $12.
Number of Participants: 309 in the 5K; 330 in the 10K; 716 in the half-marathon (all sharing the same facilities)

Pre-race: NO NO NO. They had the most disorganized, inefficient setup I'd ever seen at a race. Packet pickup took close to an hour. The volunteers who were working in the booth seemed to be a bit clueless--some weren't handing out goody bags; some neglected to tell the racers where they'd stashed the timing chips; some were mumbling and contradicting themselves.

There was a kerfluffle with the T-shirts, too: they ran out of certain sizes, and then the shirts altogether, in the booth. All they could offer me was a small, and with my Dolly Parton build, that wasn't going to work. I asked if they had men's shirts. They didn't. They offered to send me a shirt later, but given the gross incompetency I'd seen, I wasn't sure I trusted them to actually do it. I took the small shirt, figured I could give it away, and moved on.

Just to the left of the booth was a table with a stack of shirts, both men's and women's, in various sizes. Why exactly didn't they have these shirts in the booth? It will forever be a mystery. At any rate, I was able to exchange my small shirt for a larger size on the spot.

Course: Around the Rose Bowl, in a loop. Flat and fast, for the most part. However, the race organizers did absolutely nothing to keep the course clear of non-registered runners. As a result, runners had to dodge joggers with dogs, random people dipping in and out of the course, and at one point, an asshat running backward.

The race did not have a gun start or any sort of countdown: when people started moving across the start line, a lot of runners were bewildered and taken off-guard.

The saving graces of the Rose Bowl 5K were the finish, which took runners right into the stadium and onto the football field; and the other participants. The 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon shared the same finish line, and the announcer did a great job of congratulating everyone as they came in. There was a lot of support: as runners went through the chute at the end of the race, those who had already finished shouted encouraging words and cheered for them. I was buoyed up by a man who yelled "FINISH STRONG!" Runners were allowed to sit in the Rose Bowl seats, walk across the field and take photos, all of which were really cool.

Runners: A very diverse cross-section of adults and youth. There was a lot of camaraderie and there were also a lot of runners who stood around complaining and commiserating with each other. They cheered for random strangers at the finish line!

Shirt: The shirt was just gorgeous. It was the prettiest one I've ever received at a race: a shiny, technical short sleeved shirt in a women's cut in a very dark maroon color. Additionally, the back had the Rose Bowl and Pacific Sports emblems, and that was it. It was nice to get a shirt that did not have a zillion and one advertising logos plastered across the back. I know they're necessary to fund the races, but it was still nice to get a respite from them. Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Swag: A gift bag with some coupons and energy bars. They had a very pretty Half-Marathon medal but nothing for the 5K. *shrug* They didn't advertise a medal, so no worries there.

Expo: Very, very small.

Would I Run This Race Again? No...not for a little while, anyway. The disorganization at the start, plus the issues on the course, really detracted from the race. However, I'm hopefully going to check in with this event again in a few years to see if things have improved. Once everything is in order, the Rose Bowl 5K is going to rock.

Note: my review of the Rose Bowl 5K was also posted on Race Grader in an edited form.
Overview: A popular race in Westchester/Playa del Rey, Race for Success draws a strong local crowd. It was organized well enough, but the rude runners detracted from the event for me.

When: May 21, 2011

Where: The campus of Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, near LAX.

Course access: The Big Blue Bus #3 stopped outside Loyola Marymount; from there it was a 15 minute walk to the start area. There weren't any signs marking the path for pedestrians.

Why: Race for Success is a fundraiser for area schools.
Number of Participants: 668

Pre-race: The packet pickup was held at the Howard Hughes Promenade near Culver City.

Course:A loop around LMU. The campus was lush and green and fairly pretty; at one point the course took us onto a bluff overlooking Playa Vista and Playa del Rey, and the views were spectacular.

Runners: Race for Success attracted a crowd that is primarily comprised of families with children. The race raised money for Westchester and Playa del Rey schools, and many of the students turned out to participate. The problem was that the kids didn't have any manners, and their parents weren't much better. The kids were shoving other runners out of the way, cutting people off and basically acting horribly. It was annoying at best and unsafe for everyone at worst. There wasn't a lot of camaraderie, nor was there a lot of support for the runners.

Chip timing: Yes, with a shoe tag. I don't remember seeing split times, but there was a clock at the finish line.

Shirt: A white cotton shirt with a colorful Race for Success logo. Nice enough.

Swag: The gift bag looked nice, but I didn't get one. They only had 500; if you didn't get to packet pickup early enough, you were SoL. At the race they did have a large number of cobalt blue mugs from the Howard Hughes Promenade on a table, free for the taking.

Expo: The expo was the nicest feature of the race. They had a lot of local Westchester-PdR-Marina del Rey businesses, which made them different from the usual generic race expo. Goodies abounded.

Would I Run this Race Again: No. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great, either. The unruly kids on the course were a problem, and the overall race was kind of bland.


Run This Way: A Blog

December 2016

2526 2728293031


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags