This last weekend Val and I ran the 5k of the Hollywood 5K/10K/Half Marathon. I was a little annoyed that we had to make a separate trip to LA to pick up our bibs the day before the 5K race, but it made sense since this was also a half marathon. I headed straight to LA after work on Friday, to the race expo at the Hollywood Palladium.
There was a really cute photo backdrop set up that I saw as soon as I walked in, although the line for pictures was longer than I wanted to stand in. But seeing this was the moment that I got excited about the race.
5K's don't have huge race expos and all that fanfare (this was clearly all set up for the half marathon runners) and I'd forgot how much fun they are! It was so much fun to feel all the runner energy walking into the Palladium and I spent a little time going through all the booths. For a second I wished I had signed up to run the half...
...then I took a look at the race course map and was immediately relieved I wasn't running the half after all.
Val was driving home from San Francisco on Friday, so I picked up his 5K bib for him too. As luck would have it, he ended up arriving into Hollywood at the same time I was there so we met up and went to dinner at--where else?--Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles:
Next morning Val picked me up at 4:45am for our 6am race start. That was a first for me: a 5K starting at the crack of dawn? Ugh. We got into Hollywood without having to fight too much race traffic, found a parking lot near the race start and headed to our corrals.
There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I would have been LEAVING Hollywood at 5am after partying all night. Arriving here at 5am was SUPER SUPER weird. Talk about feeling old.
We didn't bother with porta potty lines since we were only running the 5K. It was funny how often we repeated that to each other, because with all the nervous runner energy and hoopla all around us it was easy to forget that we were only here for 3.1 miles.
The race course started right on Hollywood Blvd, along the Walk of Fame. Seeing Hollywood landmarks as a runner instead of as a tourist was somehow different. ha ha
The corrals were nearly empty until about 5 minutes before the race start. All of a sudden I looked up and saw a sea of people! The race started only a few minutes late, and the corral starts were staggered by about 3 minutes.
Oh yeah, I've been meaning to go to a taping of Kimmel's show. I made a mental note to schedule that, and then forgot all about it again.
The Hollywood sign is framed above the stairs in this pic below. It's hard to see, but it was fun spotting it on the race course.
The rest of the course was mostly flat, with only a couple of hills where I had to walk for a bit. It was crowded though, almost the entire way.
I opted to start in the 12:00/mi corral, but that was a mistake. It's not that I'm faster than 12:00/mi, it's just that less experienced runners who can run 1 mile at 12:00/mi will usually peter out by mile 2. And 5K's are full of less-experienced runners. I was having to weave around walkers for the majority of the race.
Finish time: 37:16, 12:01 pace. Right on the nose.
After the race, there were endless tables full of water, electrolyte fluid, bananas, oranges, lara bars, cliff bars, Bear Naked granola packets, dried fruit packets....that's all I can remember.
Val picked up a banana, I didn't pick up anything.
Kudos to this guy who ran the race with his own shopping bag tucked into his pocket. I think he picked up enough groceries for the week from the post-race snack tables.
The finish line was about a 1/2 mile away from the start line. As we walked the half mile back to our car we cheered the half marathon elites who were still racing and especially cheered for this BAREFOOT runner, who was wearing a Lucha Libre wrestling mask! Awesome.
We also stopped and paid homage to our Dodger favorite:
Last but not least, we found Mel's Diner and had our traditional post-race breakfast.
Sourdough bruschetta with poached eggs. YUM.
-The course signage was easy to spot. I was worried I'd end up following the half marathoners and run long, but nope!
-Plenty of water stations, starting at the Mile 1 sign.
-Race Medals were CUTE! Better than some half marathon medals I've gotten
-Tons of race enthusiasm starting from the Free Hugs MC to the course Angels who were out there to help anyone that was struggling. Vey cute idea.
-6am start time is rough. Seriously.
-The porta potties looked to be too few for the amount of runners.
-NOTHING! I'm already looking forward to run the 10K or half nextyear.