RaceGrader - Authentic Race Reviews - Swim, Bike, Run

New Years Race

January 03, 2015 · Los Angeles, CA

Distance: 13.1 miles, 5K, Kids Run

Start off the New Year on the right foot by crossing the finish line! The New Year’s Race Los Angeles course offers its runners an awe-inspiring and totally unique tour of downtown Los Angeles.

Get your friends together for the Resolution 5k! If you just want to enjoy the night out on the course and don’t want to train for the ½ Marathon, you can begin the year in shape by participating in the Resolution 5k.

The whole family is welcome to join in on the New Year’s Race Los Angeles! The approximate 1-mile Kid’s Fun Run is a non-timed, non-competitive event for children in ages 5-12yrs old.

Click here for registration information
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Submitted by chsfromca

April 9, 2014

Review

Positives:
1. Dodger Stadium – pretty much made the race worth it.
2. The hooded sweatshirt was a welcome change from t-shirts
3. Free beer at the finish!
Negatives:
1. 7pm start. What do you do all day when you have to run at night? Yes, it’s great to run around Dodger Stadium with the lights on but the rest of the course was just, well, DARK. Unless this is actually run on New Year’s Eve @ midnight, I think it would be better to run this in the morning.
2. The bib pickup closed 2 hours before the race. The parking ramp was filled with runners trying to kill time between picking up their bib and the start of the race. Keep this open until 30 minutes to race time.
3. Designated parking ramp was a long way from the finish line. At least a mile walk after running 13.1.
4. Corralling system seemed a bit out-of-whack. I was in corral #3 and still had to run around 5K walkers in the first half mile. How do these people get up in the front?

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Submitted by lbclove

March 16, 2014

Review

Bib Pick up- Bib pick up is downtown LA and you park at Pershing square. Traffic is never good in L.A. The expo was very small and weird kind of a waste of time in my opinion. The Biltmore Hotel is a really neat hotel to walk through so I have to say getting to look around the hotel was the best part of the expo.

Pre-Race was dumb. The sound system was working right so we couldn’t hear the National Anthem. They were trying to rope off the corrals and people were just going under the ropes so I saw folks I know for a fact run a 3:30 half marathon in the first corral. The best part about the start line is that it was near a Starbucks and Chipotle so if you got there really early you had somewhere to hag out.

The course- That course was no joke! I heard people complaining about going around and around Dodger Stadium parking lot too many times the previous year. Well the fixed that! Now you enter Dodger Stadium on mile 3 1/2 and you don’t leave till mile 9. You run past Dodger Stadium and into Elysian Park. This race goes up, up and up some more. If you do like hills and more hills don’t do this race. This race really more of a test of your endurance. I saw TONS of people walking and wiped out. The funniest part is just when we thought the hills ended other runners coming back in our directions shouted out ” It gets worse” After the gut wrenching hills you get to actually run through Dodger Stadium which was just AMAZING. I loved that so much it made me forget what I had just been through. Once you leave Dodger stadium you are welcomed my a much needed Cliff Shot and then into a downward ( kinda) home shot. The race ends over by the Staples Center.

Post Race- They had a beer garden that we hung out in and that was nice. Not much at all food truck wise. It was really dark over there. The medal was FANTASTIC I loved the medal. You also get a hoodie for this race which I wear all the time I just wish they hadn’t given out white this year.

My only complain about this race is I don’t live in Downtown LA nor do I hang out in Downtown LA so I am not familiar with the streets. It was very dark and we had to walk many blocks back to Pershing Square. It would have been fantastic if they would have marked the way back. It would have been equally nice if they had marked the way to the start line as well. We had to use the map on our phone both times to locate them. Possible getting mugged at 1 am in the morning while lost is not my idea of a great ending to a great race. Just sayin ;)

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Submitted by RaceGrader

January 6, 2014

Review

This review was written by Scott Devine and posted by RaceGrader.

“Should old acquaintance be forgot”… now run! 2014 (the year of the horse, in case you’re wondering) is upon us. And it’s time to make immediately good on that resolution to run more and work off those holiday treats. The New Year’s Race (Half Marathon and 5K) takes place the first Saturday of the New Year and to make things even more interesting, it’s a nighttime jaunt starting in downtown Los Angeles. Last year’s race was the inaugural event and like all first year races, was plagued by a few course and organizational hiccups (aka growing pains). This year’s race featured 5,370 runners (1656 for the 5K and 3714 for the half Marathon) all raring to get 2014 rocking.

REGISTRATION/PACKET PICK-UP- Registration costs for this event were a little pricier than normal, as I shelled out $125 for the run, although there were plenty of opportunities for discounts (I myself saved $15 and being an Active Advantage member saved me those annoying “convenience charges”). Remember the gospel, the earlier you register the more you save. Packet pick-up was at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (on Friday and race day). For those of you who can wait until race day in the future, I recommend it as the Expo was very very small and not worth your time (or parking cost). It seemed to be limited due to the size of the small event room the expo was wedged into and probably more vendors would have wanted to attend, but were unable. I was shocked as I need to buy a simple pack of GU Chomps and I didn’t see a single vendor selling them.

TRANSPORTATION/PARKING- Since the race takes place downtown, transportation options are many. Rather than brave the costly chaos of parking downtown (and facing street closures/traffic) on a Saturday night, I opted to take the Metro line and avoid the headache entirely. One parking option is the Pershing Square Parking lot, normally $16 a day, but only $7 if you show your bib. But given the odd design of the parking structure (people crossing on the parking ramp) I think it might be better if you look elsewhere to park.

T-SHIRT/MEDALS- The New Year’s race, to be a little different, instead of offering tech T-shirts gave out hoodie sweatshirts. While the effort is certainly appreciated, this year’s sweatshirt was white in color (not my color) and will probably spend most of its lifetime in my closet. The swag bag also included a blinking bracelet to make the runner’s more visible. Again, high marks for the attempt, but the bracelet was too tight and cumbersome for my wrist, so again relegated to the discarded swag pile. The finisher’s medal was large, flashy and sporting an image of the LA skyline… not a bad bit of bling (the 5K finishers get a smaller medal). And worth noting, this is a sister race to the Hollywood Half Marathon (slated for April) and finishing both races nets you the “Best of LA Challenge Medal.” What it lacks in style, this extra medal makes up for in size. You could club a seal with this thing (but please don’t).

COURSE- I can best sum up the course in three words “Dodger Stadium” and “hills.” This year’s course (tweaked since last year) features a windy and hilly course starting downtown at 7th and Grand. A few miles of downtown street running and you reach the heart of the course… Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park. Starting at mile 3, the course gets very hilly. As Angelinos know Dodger stadium is located at the top of a plateau near the Chavez Ravine. Basically from miles 3-9 you are running the streets, paths and parking lot around Dodger Stadium.
The hills can be a little daunting, but since you’re at times doing “out and backs” you know that at least for every hill you go up, you’ll get to go down at some point. The park roads and paths took on an added level of mystery thanks to the nighttime setting. Portable lights gave some illumination on the park roads (where there were no street lights) but you did at times find yourself running in low light and shadows. I found it to be rather calming.
Of course the highlight of the run came around mile 7 when you get to run through Dodger Stadium. I could see my fellow runners’ energy levels instantly pick up as we ran into the stadium, which was fully illuminated, including the scoreboards, and music blaring (Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” was playing during my lap). Many of the runners paused to snap of pics (note to Marathon Foto: you should have had a few more photographers at the stadium to capture candids) and made hiking up the hills worth it. As I was running around the Dodger Stadium parking lot, I saw a tremendous view of the LA skyline all lit up at night… it was definitely a Kodak moment (if I had had a camera).
After leaving the stadium, it was more running through the parking lot before emerging back to city streets around mile 9 and then city streets until we finished right near the Staples Center. It was certainly a challenging course, but if you’re in need of hill work and love baseball, then you’ll be happy you ran it.
One final note, it did seem that the course was a little bit longer than 13.1 miles (a trend I’m noticing more and more). Between miles 1-3, I came up a full tenth of a mile long, which doesn’t seem likely given that we were running down city streets and I was cutting corners (doing tangents). I confirmed this with several other runners, so I question if we might have ended up doing a 13.2 race… something officials might want to check for next year.

COURSE SERVICES- Services on the course felt a little lacking at times, but kind of understandable given that we were running through remote areas of the park. As for the starting line, things were pretty well organized. A few more port-a-potties would have been nice (and work on that sound system for next year), but it was enjoyable. Water stops were about every mile to mile and a half. They were understaffed (although many thanks to the volunteers) and it was hard to tell when we were getting water or Gatorade (some signage would have helped). Road signs (that looked like actual construction signs) appeared at each mile, although there were no digital clocks, so bring a watch.

FINISH LINE SERVICES/POST PARTY- A nice end to a fun race. We finished right near the Staples Center (the LA Kings game was just letting out too) and the scene was energetic. After receiving our medals and Mylar blankets, we received standard finish line food fare (bananas, water, chips and a moonpie cookie thing). Marathon Foto was there to snap finisher’s pics and we were corralled into the post race area where there were several trucks selling food and vendors handing out free samples. I made right for the beer tent for a little post race liquid carbo loading. I am a fan of the complimentary post race beer (although having to carry your ID is a little annoying). I could have stayed longer to celebrate, but things got a little chilly and my cold decided to re-appear (after mercifully laying mostly dormant during the run). So, I wrapped my blanket around me and made for the Metro Rail to head home.

While far from perfect and still in need of some improvements (much better than 2013 though), the New Year’s Race gives a great opportunity to kick off the year and get started on your running resolutions. I plan to be running the hills and running through Dodger Stadium again in 2015.

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Submitted by PONYRCR

January 5, 2014

Review

I am a 5k legacy runner.. The new course was great. It was well lit and avoided some of the darker dodgier areas that it went through last year. This race took a lot of flak and criticism last year. The race directors listened. They made some positive changes.

I really enjoyed the race this year and I will be back next year.

My only advice to the RD would be to better educate the volunteers. They were great but the guys at my corral didn’t really seem to know what they were supposed to do when the race started. I was in one of the back corrals, They just dropped the rope and a lot of runners just kind of blended into the previous corral. The volunteers quickly figured it out and recorralled us. Also when I finished the guys at the snack tables were telling people to take as much as they wanted. All I could think was that there wouldn’t be anything left for the half marathon finishers.

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Submitted by kseiler99

January 5, 2014

Review

I am a legacy runner for this race, and I have to say they really did listen to the comments from last year and fixed a lot of what was problematic last year. They moved the race to an earlier start time (and started ON time!), cut out the parking lot miles and ensured better lighting. This is how a race should be done–listen to your audience and you will have some happy runners!

The new course came with its challenges, though, including a killer amount of hills! I hate hills! But that made it all the more challenging. The awesome run through Dodger Stadium was enhanced this year due to the fact that the stadium was no longer under renovation, and we runners were greeted with an awesome welcome on the big screen. That was definitely the highlight.

I did feel that the course did not have as much entertainment as it did last year which was a bit of a bummer, but I loved the drums in Chinatown!

The expo was o.k.; hopefully as the race gets more years under its belt they’ll add more vendors. The sweatshirt was cool and we even got some fun blinking lights to light up the night. I didn’t attend any of the post-race festivities, so I can’t comment on that, but otherwise GREAT JOB to the NYR team!

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Submitted by arablover@aol.com

January 5, 2014

Review

This was an awesome challenging race! Expo was nice, sweatshirts are a refreshing change from all the tech shirts. Love having the same day packet pickup. Start line was very organized and the MC was a lot of fun. Course was very challenging but beautiful and I loved Dodger Stadium. Course improved a lot over last year. Medals are amazing, just first class. Volunteers were so nice and very inspiring. Aid stations were well stocked and lots of bathrooms. After party was rockin and parking was great coming and going. I will be back again next year and maintaining my legacy status for many years to come

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Submitted by dgerenda

April 9, 2013

Review

In doing half marathons, this had all the classic signs of being an inaugural race! I do one about every two weeks and have about 18 under my belt and would not suggest (unless major changes are made) for anyone to do this!

Pros

Swag – cool sweatshirt and finishers medal
Race pick up was well put together, but navigating the maze to get there in DTLA was a bit much

Cons

Started over a half hour late ~9:30 and being in a later corral I probably didn’t start till 10pm!
The finish line forced you to go out and around and walk an extra half mile just to get out of the area
Traffic was a joke – I sat on the exit ramp for well over an hour
Parking was ridiculous – if you could find it

The course was horrible – they should have called this race Tour de Dodgers Stadium Parking lots (no lighting, people getting hurt, almost all up-hill)

I know they are making changes for next year, but after going through this one time, I doubt I will give it a second chance.

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Submitted by Jimmy Nguyen

January 9, 2013

Review

Pre-race festivities and packet pickup was very nice. Not a lot of vendors, but enough to be expected for an inaugural race.

With the half-marathon capped at 7,500, and an actual of 6,500 runners, it was a pleasant run. It ran late and understandably so, but some communication should have been passed through the corrals at the very least.

The course itself as noted by others, wasn’t that newbie friendly. The hills and endless parking lot maze at Dodger Stadium make for a mundane run. Entertainment throughout Dodger stadium would have helped, and it would have been nicer if everyone stayed the full 4 hours. The back groups need the motivation the most and we were left to support ourselves, which isn’t new to us, but external support is always greatly appreciated.

That being said, the finish line was extremely anti-climatic. Other races I’ve done, the last half mile, let alone that last .1, has always had a good crew of spectators and announcers cheering everyone on, because let’s face it, whether you finish first or 6,500th, you just finished a half marathon and you deserve all the congratulations! We shouldn’t have to feel like we’re just leftover dust. The announcer was gone, and so was the post-race festivities. The band was packing up as I came across, all vendors were gone except for a couple food trucks. Red Bull was gone, no post-race food left except for a few bunches of green bananas… barely any heat sheets left.

What I can say and will commend the Group for organizing, is the planning that went through this. I can empathize that there was a lot going on, and the volunteers they gathered were some of the best I’ve encountered. They were energetic through the end, and they really motivated us.

I will be coming back next year because I want to see if any of our comments and feedback were taken into consideration. I am happy that I did this race and that I was part of the Inaugural event, and I know that it can only get better from here.

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Submitted by RunMomma

January 7, 2013

Review

Inaugural races are always a gamble, but many years later it’s good to know you can look back as a legacy runner and say “hey, I did it when…”.

Just the fact that this race was held in Downtown LA meant there would be traffic and some iffy areas, but that’s part of the joy of running races – you get to see a city from a different view point. Add in that this was a night race and now things get really interesting. Most races are held during the morning hours for a reason – that’s the easy way to do them.

The organizers did a terrific job with a very challenging objective and I applaud them. This was a tough one to pull off and they did. They are listening to the feedback of many people who continue to complain about basically the same few points. I have no doubt that they will come back even stronger next year (and if you run it next year, I bet you’ll be in for a treat because it will be GREAT!).

Congratulations and thank you to the organizers, the volunteers who had to stay out late, the vendors who kept on going till the wee hours, and all the runners for their energy and enthusiasm. See you next year!!

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Submitted by Lanel Mah

January 7, 2013

Review

Wowwzza…running at night in Jan was a totally different beast!

Pre-race: All the emails, Facebook page and meeting the staff at a few expos I expected a HUGE party in Downtown Los Angeles for that night run. I was pretty pumped. I did book an an early bird and the race course was not yet created. My rate was half off that people paid at the end. Bib pick up was easy. I actually live in the OC and took the metro in that morning parking at one of the stations. The Metro 7th Center Station was about half a mile from expo. It would have took the same amount of time to drive and and I saved money on gas. I actually asked the Metro lady if it was wise to take the train at night she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Hell, no not being a girl. I won’t ride the Blue line after 11pm.” So, driving and parking it would be. Pick up was fast! I got there at 10:30am and was in and out fast! I lingered around to each booth and listened to the vendors. What the heck I was there already. I do like a little fancier expos, but it served it’s purpose. Waiting at the corrals took forever! Parking for race was easy, but I got there early around 7:30pm. I parked at the Convention Center for $12. I found a clean restroom and I was able to shop at Target before the race. Waiting for it to start was killer. I want to say it was a 30 minute late start til corral 12 crossed the start line. It was a vital 30 mins it got colder and colder. Plus, the speakers stopped working that we didn’t even hear the National Anthem being sung.

COURSE: Kind of liked it but kind of didn’t. There were hills. I kind of expected it. Must train more next time. Running in the night air was hard especially with a cold, but I had my inhaler, cough drops and tissue in hand. The running Dodger parking lot was never ending. We looked like an ant farm running up and down the parking lot, but I think I would have taken a secure parking lot vs dirty streets of downtown. I was very disappointed in the inside of Dodger Stadium with scoreboard gone, all the wooden planks, dug outs disorganized and the grass wasn’t even pretty. SF Giants and Angel’s stadium run blew this one way. Volunteers at stations were BEST I have ever seen and didn’t run out of water, gatorade and I collected a lot of Guu! I did get a drunk person yelling, “hey, snow bunny..you know I’m talking to you” try to get my attention. I know he was talking to me because I had a headband covering my ears, gloves and looked like I was ready to go skiing. I just ran a little faster. I did see homeless people on the sidewalk sleeping and had the “smell” of urine in certain areas. but then I then moved closer to the middle of the street vs running near the sidewalk. There was a lot of police visible. I had a police officer riding his road bike near me for a few mile or two. There were plenty of officers on bikes and cars that rooted us on. If I got bored I would just start talking to whoever was near me.

Post Race: BLING is beautiful it was worth the adventure. It’s the BEST AND HEAVIEST medal I have in my collection. Hoodies are great. I like technical shirts too, but I did like the change. Heat blankets worked WONDERFULLY. I did finish after the last call for alcohol mark at 12:30am, but I did finish given time allowed. They should have factored in the late start to that! By the time I was done finding the bag check, the party was closed.

Would I do it again? MAYBE. They have to start on time, a different course 5 miles of Dodger Stadium was a bit too much. A lot of people got bored. It was a good start for the new year.

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Submitted by Christine

January 7, 2013

Review

Where, oh where, shall I start? I’ve done several races now over the past 3 years, and none of them have come close to being as bad as this one. I will explain according to my ratings for each part of the race.

Pre-race: A. The NYRLA organization did very well to spread the word about this race. There was a lot of hype and communication was excellent through emails as well as Facebook and Twitter postings. Their website had sufficient information for me to sign up for the race. Packet pickup had two options – the Friday before race day and on race day. The packet pickup location was held at the Millennium Biltmore hotel, which is very gorgeous inside! Picking up my race bib, tech shirt, and swag bag was a breeze. They provided safety pins and a few sample products in the swag bag. The tech shirt was the quality you’d expect from any other tech shirt. The expo had a resolutions table where they could help correct any mistakes made during registration. Parking was easy since parking was available across the street at Pershing Square. In addition, parking was discounted for race participants. The start line was divided into corrals based on your pace approximation. Corrals were sectioned from 1 to 16. The race was slotted to start at 9 pm, but there was about a 15 minute delay. It was a little annoying at first since most runners were already warmed up and stretched out. However, things happen and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Once the anthem was sung and the first corral was released, there wasn’t a long wait time between corrals.

Course: F. An F!!??, some of you may wonder. One thing that’s very important with setting up a course is to measure a 5k course as close to a 5k as possible. It’s not always perfect, but this course was well over 5k. A 5k is equivalent to 3.11 miles. According to my Nike+ GPS, I ran 3.31 miles. I heard from other people who ran even up to 5 miles. How is this even possible? Because the course was not marked properly. It really isn’t hard to put up a sign at every mile. They don’t have to be fancy, they just have to be put up and visible. Others stated there were some signs. Maybe it was because it was dark, but I honestly did not see any mile markers. I believe the NYRLA organization should have seen this to be common sense, that not everyone is going to see your mile markers at night if it’s not located in a well lit area, or if it doesn’t stand out in the dark. Maybe next year they can attach it to a portable lamp, or be creative and use glow sticks, so it’s actually visible in the dark. The only visible marker was the water station at mile 2, which by the way, was the only water station along the 5k route. In the email sent, as well as the information on their website, they stated there would be water stations at every mile. Totally incorrect!
Another big issue about the course are the volunteers/security who where sporadically stationed along the 5k route and were guiding the runners incorrectly. I heard several runners told the volunteers/security that they were being misguided, but the volunteers/security insisted they run a certain direction. The correct route wasn’t fixed until after many runners was misdirected. The misdirection caused many runners to run extra mileage, therefore screwing their chance of a PR. Unfortunately, I was one of the runners affected by this. More so, I witnessed some runners skipping a section where they were supposed to turn on, and instead went with the flow of the other runners already running back from a turnaround. Next time, volunteers/security who actually know the route of the 5k and placed at the turns would be nice. Some sections of the route was a bit sketchy and this being held in DTLA, there were several homeless people around. That’s fine and all since that is their home, but some places were not well lit by street lamps/lacked street lamps and no signs of security around. Being a woman, I was concerned for my safety since some of the runners ahead of me and behind me were pretty spaced out. I’ll make it a point if I ever run this race again, to bring mace with me.

Post-race: B. There were plenty of volunteers handing out medals. There were also several photographers who took pictures of runners at the finish line. There’s room for improvement though such as providing a bag to hold post-race goodies in. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but after running I tend to be shaky and having something to carry the goodies in would have been convenient. On the bright side, there were plenty of water bottles, coconut water, bagels, chips, and bananas (though not ripe enough to eat) available at the finish line. The after party location wasn’t too far of a walk from the finish line. They had several food trucks, vendors, and a Red Bull DJ playing music on a huge stage. I recall reading on the NYRLA website that they would have some “star-studded” performance lineup. I don’t know if that ever happened, as my fellow runners and I only stayed for about 10-15 minutes.

Overall: D. This being the inaugural race, there were bound to be mistakes. I understand no race event is perfect, and this one is still a baby. But what heavily weighs on my rating of this race is the course. I mean, you can take away the goodies, the numerous photographers at the start line, throughout the route, and finish line, and the packet pickup location didn’t have to be in a fancy hotel. Take away the por-a-potties available near the start and finish areas. Take away the pizzaz of having a night run in DTLA. Even the 15-minute delay of the race is excusable. But the remaining important part of a race event is the race’s course! I didn’t pay $55 to run an unorganized course! Even my pace time has been screwed by Gemini Timing. At the present that I am writing this review, Gemini Timing only has the unofficial results up on their website. However, my result stats on their website does not match up with my stats on my Nike+ GPS. In fact, it’s a long stretch. There is a HUGE difference between a 9:59 and 9:11 pace. My Nike+ GPS has never been inaccurate as I have always ran with it in past running events. My resulting stats have always been similar to those of the official race results. I am still in the middle of trying to resolve this with Gemini Timing company, but I suppose this has nothing to do with the NYRLA organization. It’s a shame that a race that had so much hype and attention was a fail when it came to the 5k. 3.11 miles shouldn’t be that hard to manage as it requires less personnel along the route, compared to the half marathon. And measuring a 5k route shouldn’t be that hard, considering the plethora of technology we have available nowadays. I’d strongly suggest to wait to participate in this race at least after several years to let them work the kinks out. For $55, running at night and the medal were the coolest parts.

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Submitted by MissJewels212

January 7, 2013

Review

For all the hype of this race, it so was not what I expected. I expected a night run through downtown LA and what we got was a tour of the Dodger stadium parking lot. I was truly disappointed in the course for this race. No lighting in some areas, no entertainment, you barely even knew a race was going on.

The medal, hands down is beautiful and I love my hoodie but the course needs some improvement. Parking was also a night mare. It took us an hour and 45 minutes to get off the freeway and park.

As always, a BIG thank you to the volunteers who make every race, no matter how bad, truly special.

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Submitted by Bret Nelson

January 7, 2013

Review

Well organized for an inaugural race. Loved going through Dodger Stadium. Great view of Downtown from the upper parking lots. Parking was easy if you asked at the Expo on Friday. VIP room before the was was well worth the money.

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Submitted by Amanda Daley

January 7, 2013

Review

Lets see… I will start with the pre race: Tons of energy and communication leading up into the event through social media and that is very important keeping all the runners in the loop of whats new or what to expect. I thought the expo was just fine. I didn’t expect anything more from a first time race. I was in and out with my bib and goodies quickly and even zipped through a second time with my friends who came later in the day.

The course: so much more was expected from me. By the time I reached dodger stadium I honestly did not care anymore I was frustrated and unmotivated with running in a parking lot for 5 miles. THe hills were not the problem I took them all on as a challenge. I will say the last mile was exciting because you could see the downtown city lights and hear the roar of the crowd and rudy announcing loud up ahead. I guess I was just hoping more of the city streets would be part of the course.

I loved the medal and its nice a race steps out of the box and offered us a nice hoodie. There was tons of post race refreshments and food was being handed out. The mylar blankets were key!! I didnt get to the post race party though. I was just too cold to stick around all I wanted was a hot bath. I walked the 6 blocks back to my room.

I think they will work out some kinks and I would probably sign up again if there is a course change and I can get an early bird price.

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Submitted by Stacy Palmer

January 7, 2013

Review

Considering this was an inaugural race, much of it went well especially as far as organization goes. The expo was small but the neccesary merchandise was available for the most part (Gu. etc.). The pre-race was pretty organized too; however, I didn’t like the late start time and as far as I can tell my chip time is still innacurate by 5 minutes. I’m an experienced runner so the course hills didn’t bother me too much but beginners beware! And I didn’t like the course in that it lacked the scenery I was expecting for a night run in L.A. Too much time spent in and around Dodger Stadium left me bored.. I sought city lights and people and that is where this course lacked energy. The post race was decent insofar as blankets and water were readily available and the bling rules. Yet, the post party was a failure. By the time I warmed up and received my free drink the beer stand closed down. Seriously, the beer garden should not have closed until every runner had a chance to get their free drink or 2AM hit. I ran in the top six for my division and still didn’t even get to relax to a couple of beers. Not cool for those running slower times. At any rate, these are minor glitches that can easily be worked out. Over all, I still had a good time.

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Submitted by Bell

January 7, 2013

Review

This was an inagural run so I expected for there to be things that may didn’t get thought of. Packet pick up was nice, easy, organized and seamless. Not a big expo area, which was a little disappointing but being a first year that will get better with time I’m sure. The late start time was problematic for a lot of reasons, the weather started to cool pretty quickly and when you’re already planning a late night run, a late start should NOT happen. The course had far more hills than anticipated and in looking at the elevation map pre-run that was not what I had expected. The course itself left a lot to be desired and having a night downtown Los Angeles run, I again, expected better. Running thru the actual Dodger Stadium was cool though. End of the race was a little disappointing, this was a “fun” run for me so my time was not good, but to get the end of race with little to no cheering and no real direction as to where anything was at was problematic.

I walked for a half hour, asked several people, no one knew where bag pick up was at, by the time I got the Post-Race Party area, everything was closed and things were wrapping up. The race Finish actually ended up being almost a full mile from the Host Hotel so we had to grab a cab back or walk there at 1am…ya, we chose a cab.

The bling was cool, the sweatshirts are nice….all in all…this was a fun one and an experience, needs a little more directions for runners pre and post race to make things go a little smoother. I doubt I will do this one again…the late start time is just to late.

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Submitted by fiveroses

January 7, 2013

Review

I won a free entry for the kids run so I entered my 6 year old twins. I was very disorganized and hadn’t even picked up the packet for the kids prior to the race but the organizers were very nice and I had no trouble getting their bibs before the race. They gave out glow necklaces and bracelets before the race which made the nighttime race more fun. After the race the kids got cute little party bags and there were several bouncers and a few game for the kids to enjoy. We went down right after the race and the kids didn’t have to wait at all to get in the bouncers so they had a great time. My one suggestion is that they provide a well lit meeting area for kids and parents at the finish. My son ran ahead right at the finish and then got lost in the crowd. We were able to find him pretty quickly but it was a little scary for a few minutes.

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Submitted by Jonathan Hildebrand

January 6, 2013

Review

Okay, so I did the 5K and from past races I can sympathize with those who were not accustomed to the hills (I have biked the area by Dodger Stadium and know those hills well). The pre race stuff was really good. Packet pick up was a cinch, even though I had to change my corral to what I put on the entry form. I will say, the expo was very small (compared to the Disney Half, LB Marathon, and several triathlons I have completed). My son was registered for the kids race, and it was kind of a bummer for him that they did not get T shirts and even the ones you could purchase did not come in child’s sizing. The start of the kids race was okay (annoying people blocking me trying to get a picture of my son running-yeas I am talking to you annoying old lady with the backpack). Finish was good for them, but there was a big time discrepancy between the end of the kids race and start of the 5K. The family portion of the festival ended super early and those who had parents running in the 5K and half were stuck without things to do (other than listen to what I would assume is music played by no name DJ’s)

THe race starting late kind of sucked for me being back in corral 10, so with them starting late, I did not even cross the starting line until about 9:30. Good course with some false flats and slight inclines and declines. Nothing too noticeable. The aid station I thought was supposed to be at every mile, or at least half way through, but it was past what they said was the mile 2 marker. Lighting at points was an issue cause some of those streets get dark. I did like the touch they did with the stoplights coming into the finish.

Would I do the 5K again, sure why not. My son had fun at the kids race, but was disappointed afterwards (no adults supervising the kids area and he was getting pushed around on the obstacle jumper by older kids who did not care if he was there). Food trucks were okay, but there was too few and no other booths at the festival. I did not know where to go for my free beer, as it was not highlighted. Lastly, give the kids a real medal and not a plastic one.

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Submitted by Cassie Britton

January 6, 2013

Review

To start out, traffic was horrible getting there. I know that there isn’t anything that the race directors can do about that, but maybe talked to the city to have more traffic cops to make it move a little smoother. Again, not sure if there was anything that could have been done, we left with plenty of time and got there about 7 minutes before the 9PM start. Getting to the start once we were down wasn’t an issue and neither was getting in to the corrals. The late start (9:30PM for me) wasn’t fun, but I would rather them clear traffic so I was ok with it.

The course had more hills then I expected. I think when we signed up the course wasn’t set yet (we signed up with the first 500 deal) I looked at the course map but didn’t think the hills would be that bad. It was challenging and showed me what I need to work on. I wasn’t a fan of the parking lot loops. There were a few areas which weren’t lit that great and I stumbled a few times because of the ground. I hope in the future they can adjust the route to not have so many parking lot tours. Going through Dodger Stadium was cool – even though it was under construction there was nothing that the organizers could have done about that, it was most definitely a highlight. I made sure to walk during that part since who knows when I would be able to be down on the field again. There wasn’t much spectators or entertainment, the drums were great. The volunteers were great, energetic and very cheerful – which was nice.

Finishing the race was very anticlimactic, there wasn’t an announcer cheering everyone along which I’ve always found to be a good pick me up at the end. The volunteers with the medals and Mylar blankets were nice to make sure everyone got one. The post race fuel wasn’t much. There wasn’t post race entertainment, we got to the beer tent with 4 minutes to spare, there were food trucks, but I didn’t buy anything so I cant comment on those. With all the post race activities it was like they didn’t take in to consideration the race started late.

Overall I felt that there were little things that needed to be fixed and it was a good experience for a first time event.

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Submitted by Bernadette Yaa Mauldin

January 6, 2013

Review

This was my 1st half marathon experience. I ran with my daughter and friends, so race organizers would have had to work hard to ruin it for me. But, there was definitely some things that could be improved upon.

Pre-race check in was well organized and fast for me. The expo was smaller than I expected, but that wasn’t a big deal. My main issue with the expo were the limited hours on race day? Why close at 5pm on race day, when bulk of runners would be arriving? I would have expected it to go a little closer to race time. I also appreciate them negotiating the discount at the Biltmore. Staying within walking distance of the race was a God send.

Late start, while not an issue for me personally, I could see how that would be at the least a minor annoyance to some and high stress to those needing 4 hours to finish the race.

I love my hoodie, I love my medal! As for the goodie bag, I’m a new runner, so it was satisfactory for me, not sure how it stacks up to other races, but I was happy with it.

The course was awful! Hills, hills and more hills! That might be the novice runner in me, but way too hilly! Also, near the stadium, there were some serious lighting issues… As in pitch black. The volunteers were awesome. Plenty of water, I would have liked Gatorade to be available more often, but that was minor to me. I’m just glad that water stops were plentiful.

Post race, I was grateful for the bananas and bagels. Again, as a newbie, I can’t really compare that to what other races provide, but it was adequate for me. They did have other snacks available, like Clif bars and Sweet potato chips, but I wasn’t particularly interested in the other stuff.

Picked up my medal as I crossed the line, easy and convenient. The Mylar blanket was most appreciated as I started to cool down.

The after party? Apparently, I missed that. I wouldn’t have gone anyway, as I was exhausted (from all those hills!) but, I can definitely see why someone else would be disappointed. When I was young, I did love to party!

Would I do this race again? Call me crazy, but, definitely yes! It was an inaugural event and with that comes knowledge that only comes from experience.

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Submitted by JKuhn

January 6, 2013

Review

Warning: I was sick through the whole race so my experience personally sucked!

BUT! I always run halfs, even though this was my personal worse race It deserves a review.

The course is EXTREMELY hilly!!! Not for beginners. That’s being said, the per- race packet pick up was fast and easy. Expo was super small but in a nice area. For the half marathon you got an amazing sweatshirt, and a huge medal (size of my palm). Course was hilly, but they had the elevation gain on website so it’s your fault if you didn’t look. They should have posted it though because they seemed focused on beginner runners and it was not beginner friendly. LOTS of water, electrolyte and gu on the course!!! Way to much running through around and back through Dodger stadium, should have been called the Dodger half! Post race was awesome! Finished got medal, foil blanket with heat lamps at finish line, only complaint was the free food! Green banana, blue corn chips, bagel. But they had a TON of food trucks, red bull concert stage with music & Sierra Nevada!!

I would run this race again, but it won’t be a race that I will brag about for months down the road! But for a night race downtown it was well done! (Tons of police security)

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Submitted by Gregg Condon

January 6, 2013

Review

I really enjoyed this race, despite the fact that I’d never been so sore during a race before (even the LA Marathon last year). I chalk this up to being my first night race and not being quite prepared for the cold and the impact that no sun would have on my psyche.
The start was a little frustrating due to the late start, but it’s better to have clear roads.
I know a lot of people are complaining about the amount of miles run around Dodger Stadium, but it’s a Saturday night in Downtown LA, it’s not like they are going to let us have all the roads down there. I did think it was funny that when I entered the stadium area I saw the lead runner (was setting a PR at that point) and when I left they were closing the course (was almost setting a Personal Worst at that point).
The post race is another story. When I crossed the finish I totally missed the people handing out medals and it wasn’t until I got my blanket and realized people had their medals that I went back. Bag check was another issue as there were no signs directing you to bag check and even some of the volunteers were unaware of where to go. Also, not all of the trucks had scissors to cut the band off. I attribute these things to the event being the first year and would imagine they’d be fixed in year two.
Overall, I’d give the event a C. Not the best event I’ve run, far from the worst.

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Submitted by kathy norton

January 6, 2013

Review

The pre race was good, except hours were strange. The course was unclear for the last mile of the 5k and the first 50 runners went the wrong way? Seemed strange there wasn’t a volunteer to help out? Didn’t see markers of miles for 5k and why park away from the finish? The whole experience was wired. Fun to run in a race, but wondered who was making the decisions? Missed some easy marks? Wired!

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Submitted by Vonda Peralez

January 6, 2013

Review

Didn’t cross the start line until 9:27pm. I was in corral 9 so I wonder what time corral 16 crossed. Lots of water stations which is nice but unnecessary for an event that is in the freezing cold. Shout out to the Volunteers who stuck it out in the late hour and in the cold. I feel that now I know every aspect of the Dodger Stadium parking lot. The over extended maze thru the parking lot were mind numbing as well as several spots with sketchy roads with no lighting were terrifying. No one needs a sprained ankle. And to think I made fun of the people who had head lamps on. They were the smart ones. There was one drum corp along the way for support and some lights and up beat music at the turn at mile 12. There maybe 3 to 4 people along the course with signs and encouragement. For this kind of event you need support people on the side lines cheering you on.
Once I completed the event no one stopped me to give me my medal; luckily my husband was there to send me back to get it. There wasn’t even an announcer to shout out your name at the finish. That’s a MUST! Loved and grateful for the mylar blankets but there were green bananas, bag of multi grain chips, and cold bagles for your finish line treat-that’s it. After a race calories are important. Plus I never saw the BIG party that was prompted nor did I see Food Trucks. And after walking 13.1 miles (or more) I had to walk 12 blocks back to my hotel. Poor planning on my part or poor planning by the organizers. Not sure who to blame. Overall I will not be back for this event. I realize it is their 1st marathon event but you should have an experienced, event participating person helping with the important little details. Good Luck next year.

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Submitted by Whitney Shepherd

January 6, 2013

Review

Altered the course for the people who were running longer then 330 half at the Dodgers Stadium. Which was expected IF you were going to hit 4hrs on course. There were more then 300 finishers behind me and you had NOTHING for us at the end……. What finish line party…did it start as the race started? We found nothing. 1st year mistakes hope to see it improved next year!

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Submitted by slforrest

January 6, 2013

Review

I live and work close to Downtown LA, and I travel primarily via public transportation. So for me, the expo and the start/finish areas of this race were super convenient – they were all right by Metro stations, so there was no difficulty getting my packet the day before and getting to the race on time the day of. It was an inaugural race, so hiccups were to be expected, but there was a 4-5 mile section in the middle that were just endless loops within the Dodger stadium parking lot (the hills didn’t bother me, but just being inside the park for almost an hour made it feel like we were running in some demonic hill course within an MC Escher painting). I’m sure this was done so they could make up the miles for the half marathon without having to deal with more permitting for street closures, but it got really tedious after a while. Also, as a nighttime course lighting is super important, but there were a few sections that were poorly lit (including a pothole-ridden section within the stadium as well as a good portion of the Santee Alley area near skid row, which I’m sure freaked out a lot of the out-of-towners). Other than that, I was pleased to see tons of water stations and sufficient Gatorade stations, and the volunteers were night. Also, according to my Garmin, the course was a bit longer than 13.1 miles. Overall, it was a great inaugural showing. I will definitely run the course again if the amount of running within Dodger stadium is minimized.

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Submitted by zetroc969

January 6, 2013

Review

First I was the first person at the Expo. Check-in was nice and easy, the sweat hoodie were very nice, but it was very small, vs other expo I have been to.The start time was to be at 9pm and it was late getting started, so it was pushing our finish time well after midnight. The weather did not help cause the temp was dropping to where we started in the high 40* – low 50* the course started off nice view of LA downtown, City hall… But after mile 2 you did not see any people on the course cheering you on, the next 5 mile was dead there not fun running in a parking lot. Then we enter to see Dodgers stadium and they are do major renovations to it big disappointment from the picture that been posted on the site. Mile 8,9 were mostly downhill the best part of that. The last 3 miles were ok, but at mile 11 a car almost ran the course and no police around to stop them, finish the race go my medal and my stuff and left, I will not be doing this race again unless major changes to the course ….

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Submitted by Robin Freutel Ward

January 6, 2013

Review

Hilly rat maze. Late start, mile markes incorrect. Bad lighting, potholes, cracks, switchbacks, race course map totally inaccurate. This was my 7th half. I’ve run a full marathon and several in the past couple of years it this was way more challenging than even the SD r&r marathon. I just wasn’t ready for soooo many hills. The route through dodger stadium parking lot was a joke. Really frustrating and deflating, just when you think you couldn’t go up in elevation any higher, there’s another hill they found to throw at you. And by the way, you got to see the ant line of people winding around the parking lot as you entered. Just freeking you out. I’m just so disappointed. My time was horrible. My personal worst! Just really glad it’s over. Would never recommend this race to a half marathon novice. They would never do another race again.

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Submitted by Sallie Ngarmtap

January 6, 2013

Review

Pre-race: packet pickup was organized and well laid out given the facilities. Needed signs saying the expo was upstairs though after packet pickup. Being a new race, the expo was on the small size.
Race hotel, parking, start area were all within blocks of each other. Finish line was a ways away.

Race: wave start. Good. Corrals were organized. Should have provided a map in swag bag showing start area, gear check, and finish area. Course mostly well lit. Didn’t need to use headlamp at all. Good security throughout especially since it is a night race. Hilly course both long and short hills. Majority of course is in and around Dodger Stadium which provided beautiful views of downtown. Good support with water, bathrooms, Gatorade(more wanted), medical stops.

Post race: finishing area well laid out. No huge bottlenecks. Provided foil blankets, water, coconut water(awesome), bagels, chips, bananas. Medical tent nearby. Picture area was the only real crowded area. Lots of room to cool down and stretch before family reunion area. Needed more signs especially where to go for gear check.
Post race festivities sucked for those who finished later. Not a whole lot was going on. No directions were provided to finishers on how to get back to hotel/parking. Should have given racers option to park near start OR finish area. More signs more signs more signs needed.

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Submitted by keymaster

January 6, 2013

Review

For an inaugural race this race was very well organized.
The expo was a little cramped but it was nice, parking was simple and very accessible.
Traffic before the race was horrible, it is downtown LA but if you plan on doing this race in the future, leave real early.
The course was very hilly, good start to the 2013 running season. Running in and out of Dodger Stadiums parking lot did get a little boring, but not a deal breaker. It was neat running inside the stadium on the field. The over all course was a challenge and running at night was different.
Overall a good experience, the starting line was very upbeat and the finish line festival had a lot of energy. Good race, I’d recommend it.

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Submitted by Heather Hixon

January 6, 2013

Review

I would recommend it. The course was nice, though the parking lot part at Dodgers stadium seemed to drag on, the views of downtown made up for it. It was organized well, i was corral 11, and we started about 15 minutes in. The bling is as nice as Disney, in my opinion.