Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Sunday, March 20, 2016

FroYo 5K Run Race Recap

The opportunity to run in Griffith Park doesn't present itself to me very often. Running in Griffith Park and getting a FREE cup of frozen yogurt afterwards yesterday was an absolute delight. I hadn't heard of the FroYo race series before a couple of months ago, but they just became my new favorite race series!!
 The 5K race didn't start until 9am but Val is a super early bird and insisted we head out by 6:30am. We stopped at Starbucks to split a toasted bagel before driving to the race.
The race series was unique in that they've implemented several processes to make the runner's experience more efficient. It's about time someone's doing it. First up, they've eliminated the pre-race bib/packet pick-up. Really, is there anything more annoying than taking off work early on a Friday afternoon because you have to drive to the expo before closing time?
The registration/bib assignment was done by scanners and the QR codes on our registration confirmations that were loaded onto our iPhone passbooks (well, Passbook is now called the Wallet). Show your phone and get a bib. Easy peasy. Next up was the goodie bag. This race's swag was pretty decent too: a cool grey running cap and orange wayfarer-type sunglasses. Since I refused the swag, there was no reason for me to have to go back to the car! Easy peasy! 
 The FroYo people had tucked a plastic baggie with safety pins inside the cap/sunglasses. I didn't get one of those baggies but still managed to find a few stray safety pins that others had left behind. Usually I bring my own pins but had forgotten today.
 After a Zumba warm up and a trip to the porta potty, we headed over to the start line to get into a decent corral. It is TOTALLY my kind of race when the pace in the fastest corrals says 9/minute miles. I looked for the "Slow-Ass Runners" corral, but didn't see a sign for it. 
As we waited in our corral, I sized up my competition. I figured I'd be able to overtake this little kid. Turns out, no.
I was worried about a 9am start time and the weather being super hot,  but miraculously the skies were overcast in LA today. When the sun finally did peek out, it didn't matter too much as the race route had us running through a 100% shaded trail in Griffith Park. It was nice!! Once the gun went off, we were running entirely on soft dirt trails. 
 The finish line chutes was an area called the FroZone, inflated arches with misters just in front of the finish line. Not totally necessary on this cool morning, but not a bad way to end a race anyway. And the medal? A silver spoon. I LOVE IT!

I finished in 39:03:20, which is 12:39 minute per mile. The course ran long, 3.5 miles by my Runkeeper and Val's Nike+ app as well. We overheard lots of people saying the same.  Because of this, I wasn't as disappointed with my time as I would have been.

Once I finished I went to the froyo station to claim my yogurt. There were 4 different types of frozen yogurt and 4 different toppings. You hand a tear-off portion of your bib to the volunteer and they fix your yogurt for you, as many toppings as you want. I got vanilla yogurt with granola and nuts. YUM! They also offered plastic spoons but instead of the plastic spoons I used my medal spoon to eat it. I had thought that was the point of handing out spoons for medals, but it turns out it wasn't.
 As we headed back to the car, I bumped into an old old LA Running Club friend, Socorro! She brought back a flood of great running club memories! It was to comforting to fall in line right behind her during our Marathon training runs and just follow her feet all along the way. Socorro totally made my day!
After the race, we headed downtown for breakfast at Nickel Diner. Nickel Diner is the kind of place that serves homemade pop tarts among other delicious things. I used some restraint (I think) and orderd a couple of poached eggs, chicken sausage and polenta. I didn't eat all the polenta even though it was buttery and so gooood. 
Later on Saturday, Val sent me a link to a breaking news article about hikers finding human remains along a trail in Griffith Park. Naturally. 

Definitely another great morning in Los Angeles. Some final thoughts about the race: 

The Good:
  • Parking was FREE and easy
  • Super well-organized event, from the zumba warm-up to the awards ceremony. 
  • Bib pickup was a breeze, plenty of volunteers with no one having to page through a box of bibs to find mine. 
  • The race route was unbelievably mostly flat and downhill. Unheard of in hilly Griffith park. And shaded!
  • The weather was gloriously cool
  • The free yogurt station was also surprisingly well-organized. The volunteers knew what to do even when I didn't. 
  • Love the corral times. Totally not intimidating. I don't think there was any "elites" here at all.
  • Chip time
  • Spoon medals were so cute!
The Bad: 
  • The start line was placed a significant distance away from the race hub. It was weird that we had to walk all the way "over there!" to start the race. 
  • The course was LONG. I ended up with 3.5 and Val and I both know our times were at least a minute faster per mile than our results. 
The Ugly:
  • Nothing. At all! 
I'm signing up for this one again next year! 

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a really fun race! I would definitely sign up for any race with frozen yogurt at the finish! :)

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  2. That race sounds amazing! and that medal looks really cool! It sounds like you had a great race! I'm laughing about your running buddy killing off show offs!

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  3. I need to work with my local Froyo company to set something like this up! I love the stuff...more races need free froyo! :) I would have used the medal as my spoon too!

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  4. I need to work with my local Froyo company to set something like this up! I love the stuff...more races need free froyo! :) I would have used the medal as my spoon too!

    ReplyDelete