It all started with this tweet…
I had been itching to do another race since last month’s SF Nike Women’s Half, so I decided to do a last-minute 10k on Sunday. After reaching out to the Twitter-verse and my parentals, I decided on the WeSPARK10k benefitting a cancer support center at the Universal Studios backlot because I thought the course would be fun – and Universal isn’t too far from my apartment!
A couple of days later, Whitney asked if she could tag along! I was so happy to have a willing spectator – as well as one willing to get up at 6 something for no reason on a Sunday! I kicked the idea to my parents as well, and they both decided to run the 5k version (my dad is also training for the LA Marathon!)
Whitney and I got to the start in plenty of time and met my parents who beat us there by a little bit, I grabbed my small swag bag (a new Clif bar product and a T-shirt – I didn’t want to wait in line so I just grabbed an XL, cool) and we walked to the start.
This was most definitely NOT a runner’s race, and while that was frustrating at first it ended up still being a really fun event. It started about 10 minutes late, but as the cute guy next to me at the start pointed out, Wayne Brady was on the sidelines. Turns out he was sounded the horn and we were off!
My new 10k playlist was pretty clutch as well:
I’ve never taken the Universal Studios Backlot Tour, and the 10k course was two loops through the whole backlot! I passed tons of awesome sets – the Psycho “Bates Motel” was beyond creepy, ran through the plane crash from War of the Worlds, and passed the Jaws lake. The best part for me at least, though, was running through Wisteria Lane!
It actually reminded me of a street in Westlake Village, CA. Funny – but so cool! Another cool thing about the course was since it was two loops, I got to see everything twice! But the not-so-cool part was having to pass slow walkers and runners with strollers who were doing the 5k. I am all for everyone doing physical exercise, but am not that down with having to ask people to move so I can pass them.
Mile 1 (and 4) was ALL downhill – hence my accidental first mile pace of 6:27. Whoops! Miles 2 and 5 were relatively flat, so I was somewhere in the 7s for both of those. Miles 3 and 6 were really hilly, so my pace was over 8 for both of those as well. I’m not winning any even splits awards, but I kept a consistent effort level throughout.
This guy and I ran together for a few miles – he ended up beating me but made a point to tell me after that it was fun running together and that I helped him! I said the same – it was nice having someone on my tail – and to work to try and catch once he did pass me. Love the running culture sometimes, that’s for sure!
This guy and I ended up racing to the finish. Again, it was so fun having an actual “race.” I looked up the race results – and while it was super close, I got him by 0.1 seconds.
After the race, I found my parents and Whitney. My parents had fun with the 5k – they enjoyed the course and my mom especially liked Wisteria Lane.
I only remembered seeing one woman in front of me, but I wasn’t sure so I wanted to wait around for a few minutes until the “awards” ceremony. I grabbed a banana and talked to a few other runners, including my pace leader from my marathon training group! The results were posted, and I noticed that I won my age group, and I thought I was the 4th female finisher overall. My time was a PR by 2 seconds officially – 45:14 which is an average pace of 7:22.
After some more waiting…
…it was finally time for the medal ceremony. The announcers were straight-up embarrassing and my mom totally called that these people are NOT runners. They botched every name, didn’t announce times for winners, and announced places 1st, 2nd, then 3rd, and not the standard other way around. I was driven nuts, but had to wait my turn for the 10k Female 20-24 category.
We made our way to the parking structure (where both Whitney and I AND my parents forgot where we were parked. Whitney and I recovered before my parents – who I am sure are still relieved that the car was not actually stolen. Phew!).
We took off and headed to Starbucks (aka my 3rd home – in whichever city i’m in) for a post-run breakfast.
The rest of the day involved some studying, making some class-related playlists (i’ll save that excitement for another post) and a quick dinner with Whitney, Jenn, Bryan, and Matty at The Farmer’s Market‘s Lotería Grill. I chose something different – enchiladas in “de pipian” – which was basically a red pumpkin and peanut sauce. It was deliciously different. Also had to go with a side of chips and salsa!
It’s still too early for me to be totally into the holiday spirit, but again I’ll save those views for another post. I hit the hay early because I was tired from my 6 am wake-up.
Here’s where the real race news comes to a head – I was anxious for the results to get posted online so I could look at them and compare my results, Turns out, in typical fashion, I read them wrong originally. I was actually the 2nd female finisher overall! Kinda cool, but as SkinnyRunner has stated before that if you enter a race that is small enough (and not entirely TOO competitive), placing will not be that difficult. In hindsight, I wish I stayed until the end of the awards ceremony, but I have an e-mail into the race director to see if I can get my plaque or whatever obnoxious item they’ll give me.
Beyond placing, though, I am happy that the race was so fun, the weather was great, I got to spend a fun morning with my best friend and my parents. All in all my idea of a perfect Sunday morning!
I would definitely recommend this course for anyone who wants a fun, challenging but not too terrible, and dynamic race experience! It’s not for super hardcore athletes (one guy proclaimed that it was like being an obstacle course to me at mile 4 and I agreed).
I am also thinking about trying to do a race (5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, or Marathon) once a month for the indefinite future, effective immediately. I am currently deciding on races for the next few months, so if anyone out there has any suggestions on must-run races in Southern California, digame por favor!
Did anyone else run or race this weekend? Give me the deets!