This is the second race I look forward to annual. I am very lucky to be a legacy runner for this race and this year we celebrate the legacy runners. It is exciting. What is also exciting is that a lot of changes have been made to this race, changes I feel are for the better.
The race this year was held at Westfield Century City. There was a lot more space, even with the road blocks there were LAPD Officers and signs directing us to the parking structure where we were suppose to park. Bib pickup was on race day which made life easier. This year was the first year that they offered a 5k course. New owners took over the race, and made it so much more better. They not only included all first responders all over, but they also included our military. The vibe this year was also completely different and it was in a good way.
The race started in waves and the start times for each distance was different. The half marathon runners started at 6:45am. The 5k runners started at 8:45am and the 10k runners started at 10am. That was one thing about the race I did not like. We had to be in the parking structure between certain times to get free parking, then packet pickup ended at 8am. That left us 10k runners waiting over two hours for our race to start. I feel that the race distances should have started closer together. I’m thinking the 5k runners would have started thirty minutes after the half marathon runners and the 10k runners start thirty minutes after the 5k runners. I also feel that the 5k runners should have started last.
The start line was great. A lot of room and places to jump into a corral. The start line corrals were not overcrowded, plenty of room to move around which was nice. The race this year sold out that morning. I was amazed. I’ve never seen it sell out in its previous three years. The MCing before the race was positive and fantastic. They asked us to turn and wish the runner to our left good luck. We not only wished the runner to our left good luck, we wished all the runners around us good luck.
The race was off and we were off, crossing the start line and making our way toward Beverly Hills. The course through Beverly Hills was great. My left calf started to hurt after the first mile. Then my hamstring and glute muscles were in full throbbing pain by mile two. At this point I was frustrated because I thought for sure I’d be over this lingering pain from my injury by now. I walked mostly, and jogged as much as I could. I was limping by mile 4.5 and then it hit me. The conversation I had with Jenny when we ran on the beach popped into my head. We were discussing the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20s and how they felt. The 20s have very little cushion and what cushion they did have is now gone. The toe box is also too narrow.
When I hit Pico headed toward Fox Studios I was limping when while I was walking. The pain was just horrific, worse than during the Los Angeles Marathon. At this point it was finishing the race as best as I could. Going through Fox Studios took my mind off the pain I was feeling. One I exited Fox Studios I knew I had more hill to climb and it was downhill to the finish line. I saw a young boy who was running his with mom. I kept encouraging him through out the course. He was adorable and one determined little man to finish that run with his mom.
I was happy to be jogging down hill toward that finish line and crossing the finish line. I wanted out of these running shoes so badly but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the finish line festivities which were one hundred times better than previous years. This years medal is my favorite. There were free full size bottles of Body Armour which is perfect on a hot day for hydration. There was free pizza, and a lot of military and first responders there with booths. Runners were taking pictures inside LAPD’s Rescue Vehicle. Runners were enjoying themselves, which I never saw in previous years. It put a smile on my face to see all the runners interacting with the LAPD officers, LA County Fire, LA City Fire, and all our first responders. It truly filled my heart with pride and joy.
The course was great, finish line was fantastic and the medals are absolutely stunning. No small expo the day before, allowing us to enjoy the start line as well. Race day bib pickup was great. I cannot wait to see what this race does next year.