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.
Grade: A!Would I Run this Race Again: Yes!