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

When: August 24, 2014.

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.

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: The Disneyland 5K is the kick-off event for Disneyland Half-Marathon Weekend. This year's race was themed to Alice in Wonderland.

If you're curious about Disney races, you want to try a 5K for the first time or you simply love Disneyland, there isn't a better option than the Disneyland 5K. It's billed as a "fun run," is untimed, and is very low-key.

When: August 31, 2013. The race started at 5:30 am.

Where: The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Orange County.

Why: Well...I didn't see any beneficiaries listed on the RunDisney website for this race.

Course Access: There's a lot of mass transit to Disneyland (the OCTA bus 43, Metro 460, etc.) but unfortunately none of it is going to get you to Disneyland at 5:30 am (and runners were asked to be in the corral by 5). The only way to work this was to drive or to come in the night before and stay over.
Pre-Race: The packet pickup was at the Expo at the Disneyland hotel. Unfortunately, you had to do this on Friday, since there was no day-of packet pickup.

The Expo was a bit of a diaster this year. About 10,000 runners from the 5K , 10K and Kids' Races needed to pick up their bibs and t-shirts on Friday, and by some reports, lines were as long as three hours. In addition, there was disappointment when race-related Disney merchandise sold out by the end of the day on Friday - only to appear promptly on eBay. It appears that many eBayers and other secondary market sellers hit up the Expo and got to the merch before the runners did.

The pre-race festivities on race morning included a DJ and commentary from the White Rabbit. It was a very hot day and Disney ensured that water was available before the run.

Course: The course began near the Mickey and Friends parking structure, went backstge and then onstage at Disney California Adventure, crossed the esplanade, went down Main Street and near the Castle in Disneyland, wove through Disneyland and Downtown Disney, and made its way to the Disneyland Hotel.

The course itself was almost entirely flat, but had a lot of corners and winding paths. There were announcements made over the PA to warn runners any time the course changed directions or narrowed.

What made the course special this year were the spectators at Downtown Disney (including the famous and beloved Peggy, who shows up to every race on both coasts to cheer on the runners!), the cast members who lined the course to cheer the runners on, and the large number of character photo ops.

Runners: At a Disney 5K you will find runners who run the gamut from serious athletes (some use the 5K as a warmup for the half-marathon) to first-time participants. Some wore costumes; some didn't. The course was so crowded that it was more of a power walk than a race, but almost everyone was polite. After the serious runners broke away at the beginning of the first wave, most people just meandered along.

Chip Timing: None. This was strictly a fun run.Technically, a 16-minute mile pace was required, whether you were running or walking. However, given the huge numbers of people at the race, given that the pace requirement didn't start until the last runner had crossed the start line, and given that the last wave started almost a half hour after the first, I think that one would have needed to fall way, way behind to get swept. I wouldn't have pushed it, though...getting swept from a race at the Happiest Place on Earth would have been a bummer, to say the very least.

Shirt: A lovely baby-blue t-shirt with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Swag: Everyone received a gorgeous finisher medal: a full color vinyl medallion made to look like a pocket watch on a blue satin ribbon with the race name and date. Some people complained because the Disney 5K races get these vinyl "medallions" instead of medals made out of metal, but I was not in that camp. I thought the medallion was beautiful, well crafted and a wonderful finishing prize.

Disney unfortunately uses those useless "virtual gift bags" so the only thing in the gear check sack was a Clif bar.

Post-Race: The post-race process was very organized - I wouldn't expect less from Disney. Runners were given water, Powerade, bananas and a cardboard lunch box filled with a variety of snacks. Some people kvetched about the boxes; I personally liked them.

Would I Do This Race Again: YES!

OC Fair 5K

Aug. 28th, 2013 10:56 pm
Overview: The OC Fair 5K is a fun run through the fairgrounds.

When: August 4, 2013.

Where: The O.C. Fair, located in Costa Mesa, Orange County.

Why:  I don't think this race benefitted anyone but the O.C. Fair or the O.C. Marathon. I could be wrong, though.

Course access: It's Orange County, and mass transit isn't really their bag. The transit that is provided for the fair doesn't run in the mornings, either. While a few OCTA buses run through the area, for the most part, if you didn't have a car, have a friend with a car or stay in the area, you were SOL with this one.

Number of Participants: 1676 recorded finishers.

Pre-race: Packet pickup was available on race morning, and was quick and painless. More bathrooms for the runners would have been nice - not all of the bathrooms were unlocked.

Runners: More serious runners than I anticipated, but a lot of folks who were truly there for a fun run.

Course: The course started in the parking lot, but most of the race took place inside the OC Fair. It's a very different experience to see the fair when it's completely deserted. The highlights of the race were several "Detours to Fun." Runners could play two midway games, go on the giant EuroSlide and take a photo onstage at the Pacific Amphitheater - all for free.

There was a 1:30 time limit on the course, which seems like a lot - but when you're stopping for 15 - 30 minutes for each detour (there wasn't any line for the EuroSlide; there was a VERY long one for the Pacific Amphitheater)  that adds up. Late runners discovered that there wasn't any water for them at the finish line.

Chip Timing: Yes, with a shoe tag that was yours to keep.

Shirt: A very soft, distressed blue t-shirt without any advertising logos. I didn't like the cartoon on the back that slammed overweight people, which will mean that this otherwise lovely shirt will be relegated to the pajama drawer unless I can find a way to doctor it out. No, it's not about being "politically correct." It's about having respect for ALL people, including those who are heavy.

Swag: A very nice, very heavy medal on a beautiful satin ribbon. The goodie bag contained a free ticket to the O.C. Fair, some samples of sports gels and Advil, and a lot of snacks. I was very excited that several of the snacks were soy-free, so I could actually eat them.

Expo: Small, but included some nice stuff, like free Hubert's Lemonade.

Would I Run this Race Again?


Run This Way: A Blog

December 2016

2526 2728293031


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags