Overview:  A race themed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim major league baseball team, endorsed by the Angels. This year's event was marred by subpar customer service, but was still wonderful.

When: April 11, 2015

Where:
In and around Angels Stadium in Anaheim.

Course access: Luckily, the Amtrak/Metrolink station for Anaheim is in the stadium parking lot. Just as luckily, Amtrak ran a 6:15 train from Union Station, and I believe there was a very early train coming up from San Diego, as well.

Why:The race provides funds for the Angels Baseball Foundation, which does community outreach.

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Number of Participants: 4461 finishers; almost one thousand more than last year!

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on either Friday or on Saturday morning before the race. I don't know if they had the ushers or the Angels booster club working packet pickup on race morning, but whoever it was, they were incredibly nasty and rude. The older woman who helped me actually raised her voice at me. It was not a good way to start the morning, and it was a reminder that the Angels quite desperately need to get better customer service professionals working for them.

The T-shirt drop and voucher exchange lines were staffed by regular volunteers, and they were sweet and polite.

Angels pitcher Hector Santiago was on hand to do a short Q&A before the race and to present medals to the top finishers. Considering that he had pitched 6.1 innings the night before, it was incredibly nice of him to show up so early in the morning!

Course: The course was flat and fast, winding through the streets around the stadium. There were some cutouts of current Angels players around the parking lot for photo ops. The big draw with this race was that the course also went into the stadium and onto the field. Runners got to go all the way around the warning track from the 3rd base line, past home plate and the dugouts, and out again through the 1st base side. Runners were allowed to explore the visitors' dugout and were shown on the scoreboard video screen.

This year the ushers guarding the field were somewhat unpleasant, and did not allow runners to take photos in front of home plate. They also tried to keep prodding runners along at other points. I wasn't happy about that. Surely they understand that being on the warning track is the highlight of the event and a major thing for Angels fans, and that they will want photos, right? 

Chip timing: Yes, with a souvenir shoe tag.

Post-course food:  *sigh* I'm really not liking this whole trend of not feeding the runners. They did appear to have bananas, but not enough to last.

Shirt: Very similar to last year's: a shiny red tech shirt with the Angels Fun Run logo in one corner.



Swag: A voucher for an Angels game and an awesome spinner medal. Pre-registered runners got a ticket to that night's game, but were able to exchange it for a coupon for a future game without any hassle at all.


Expo: Large, with a lot of swag. Items available at the Expo included Body Armour drink samples (the official sports drink of the Angels, championed by Mike Trout), dental kits, lymphoma awareness wristbands, pens,

Grade: B, due to rude ushers and staff and lack of food for the runners. 

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes! It was well organized and lots of fun. Next year just use regular volunteers and drop the rude Angels ushers/boosters, though, please.

 

Overview: Another small, friendly race, this time with a soccer flair.

When: August 24, 2014.

Where: 
The StubHub Center in Carson, on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. 

Course access: Several Metro lines run along Avalon and Victoria near Cal State. Luckily, the 9am start time made commuting by mass transit possible!

Why: LA Galaxy's community programs.
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Number of Participants: 254 participants in the 5K.

Pre-race:  Packet Pickup on race day was seamless; volunteers were friendly.

Course: The course wound around the StubHub Center, going through both parking lots and field areas. There was no running on the field, but the course did start and end in the soccer stadium. The course was well-marked and there were numerous water stops with ice-cold water, which was appreciated on a hot day.

Post-Race: LA Galaxy players cheered everyone on at the finish line and actually handed out the finishers' medals, then stuck around for autographs. Several key players were present, as was Chris Klein (who actually ran the 5K!), the Galaxy veteran and bigwig. The players were uniformly friendly and cheerful - considering they'd had to come in on a day off, that was especially nice of them. Cozmo was also on hand to take photos and interact with runners before, during and after the race.

Chip timing: Shoe tags. Clocks at start and finish line.

Shirt: A deep blue, generously cut tank top with Cozmo, the LA Galaxy's alien mascot.


Swag: WOW. Christmas in August, can we say? The medal was beautiful. The goodie bags, wisely given out at the race finish, included a full sized soccer ball, a water bottle, sunglasses, an LA Galaxy rally towel, and more. The race entry also came with tickets to both a night LA Galaxy game and the Galaxy II match that happened a few hours after the 5K . An artist was also on hand to do free sketches of participants. The generosity of LA Galaxy was amazing.

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!
Overview:  A race themed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim major league baseball team, endorsed by the Angels.

When: March 29, 2014

Where:
In and around Angels Stadium in Anaheim.

Course access: Luckily, the Amtrak/Metrolink station for Anaheim is in the stadium parking lot. Just as luckily, Amtrak ran a 6:15 train from Union Station, and I believe there was a very early train from the San Diego direction, too.

Why: The race provides funds for the Angels Baseball Foundation, which does community outreach.
_____________

Number of Participants: 3712.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on either Friday or on Saturday morning before the race; it was well staffed and seamless.

Course: The course was flat and fast, winding through the streets around the stadium. There were some cutouts of current Angels players around the parking lot for photo ops. The big draw with this race was that the course also went into the stadium and onto the field. Runners got to go all the way around the warning track from the 3rd base line, past home plate and the dugouts, and out again through the 1st base side.



Chip timing: Yes, with chips on the bib.

Shirt: The Angels 5K had one of the nicest race shirts I've ever received. It was red tech fabric, it fit well and it had the Angels logo on one side.

Swag: A voucher for an upper deck ticket for a future Angels game and an awesome medal.

Expo: Large, with a lot of swag. As the photo above shows, items brought home from the expo include snacks, fruit, a pinata, wristbands and keychains, a reusable bag, a softball stress squeeze ball, pencils, toothbrush and paste, and more. They also had OC Slush handing out free ices - yum!

Would I Run this Race Again: Yes! It was well organized and lots of fun.

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