i hadn't really thought about doing it mostly because it was scheduled during birthday weekend and i wasn't sure what the weather would be like, especially since the itinerary showed the run not starting until 10am. that's super late, and can be really hot if the day is forecasted with high temperatures. but when i saw a facebook post from my friend kirkette that said she was attending, i decided to go for it. i mean, why not, right?
the hub happened to be available to go with me to pick up my bib at dick's sporting goods the day before the run. after a lovely lunch together at a local pub, we headed over and found that my bib entitled us to a 20% discount off of anything in the store. sweet. and so we both picked up some new nikes, which i decided to bust out for the run:
and i found the most perfect sparkle athletic skirt in my closet that matched my new kicks very nicely.
there were lots of people there already, walking around and checking out the various activity booths.
this wall listed the names of all 11,000 (!!) people who were registered for the race.
i decided to head over to the main stage to see if there was anything interesting over there. a local radio personality was there doing the announcing thing, telling everyone about the activities and challenges in the tents and updating us on what to expect for the day.
i managed to find a spot right in front, next to a group of other folks from KIIS-FM, the local top-40 station. i miiiiiight have stayed there figuring i might make it into some of the photos that event photographers were taking of them and the crowd. heh.
this guy is "manny on the streets," whose promos on the radio i always laugh at because he usually manages to insert references to his filipino family complete with accents that sound so familiar. super nice guy.
even better than that was hanging out with kirkette, who found me as i hung out there like a loser all by myself. her husband was the one running the race that day, while she cheered him on with their two adorable daughters.
i don't usually participate in the warm-ups and stretches that they do at these things, but since i was right in front of the stage i figured i'd better play along. plus, it was fun watching the mini kirkettes, who enchanted everyone around us (including the photographers). the laker girls led the warm-up:
and part of the reason why i decided to come to this thing was the promise of a special surprise guest performer who was slated to do a free concert after the run was over. curiosity killed the cat, you know? and just before we headed to the corral, they announced who it was:
the old lady and i saw jason derulo in concert at the fair a couple of years ago, so at least i knew i was good to do the run and then head home right after. heh.
the start was already super crowded. i guess 11,000 people will do that.
i spied my friend rudy novotny doing his race announcing thing. i would've loved to say hello, but i didn't want to bother him while he was working, so i settled for taking a picture of him instead.
and then we were off. it was hot and insanely crowded, and it was damn near impossible to do any running.
luckily, those kilometer markers came up fairly quickly. since it wasn't quite a 5K, i knew we weren't going to make a full loop around the rose bowl.
there was a golf cart with medics ready to help anyone who might need it, and a water station about halfway through the course.
and then we made a left turn into lot 5A, and the end was near.
i did a circle around those activity tents before deciding that it was just too hot to do any of them. looks like i missed a photo booth, temporary tattoos, and caricature artists along with photo ops with the laker girls and one of the championship trophies. no biggie. and i spotted the kirkette family on my way out, treating the girls to some ice cream:
after chatting with them a bit, we parted ways and i caught one last selfie before getting into the car and turning the AC on full blast.
despite the heat and the crowds, it was a fun experience. and free is always a good thing! i'm glad i went, and i hope they do another one. and hey - start saving for retirement!