This past Saturday, I ran the 10K portion of the El Segundo Run for Education. I chose this race because my half marathon training program has me complete a 10K at this point and it was close to my home. Although I couldn’t find any reviews of the race, the website stated it was USA Track and Field certified and would have corral starts so I assumed it would be well organized.
Pre-Race pick up was very easy. They assigned numbers at pick up, via computer terminal. Shirts were standard cotton unisex. Lots of goodies in the swag bag. People were very friendly. Tagged bib numbers.
Website stated parking was at the high school or designated parking areas, but the entire area was closed off so if there were designated areas I have no idea where they were. Found street parking relatively easily.
I arrived at 7:20am for my 8am race start and was surprised to see no starting line set up! People were just casually milling around. I asked someone wearing a volunteer shirt where the starting line would be and they didn’t seem to know. Nor could anyone direct me to a bathroom. Ultimately, someone told me about four porta-potties set up about a block away. Eventually, a starting line was established and we were all told to stand behind it. (It was an imaginary line, btw. No “start” signs.) A man on a megaphone told the crowd things, but he wasn’t heard. There were no corrals as promised by the website, so walkers (lots of kids), strollers, and runners were all bunched together. Race started 22 minutes late. I don’t know why — I assume it was announced over the megaphone, but no one could hear that information. 5K and 10K races started at the same time.
Course: The course was challenging — lots of hills! We ran through mostly residential neighborhoods. Cars were on the course, which seemed dangerous to me, especially considering there were so many kids in the race. Very crowded for the first loop (5K). The second loop was slightly different than the first loop and waaaaay less crowded. I felt like I was the only one in the race at some points! (There were volunteers along the course to let me know I was still in a race.) I am not the fastest runner, but I am also not the slowest. I finished in just over an hour and — no one cared. No one to direct me towards the finish line! I had no idea if I ran through the right place or not. I should also mention water — the volunteers didn’t seem to realize that runners don’t make the (one) garbage with their paper cups. There was water halfway, after the first loop, and the second “halfway point.” At this last water stop, the volunteers were only giving out bottles of water and instructed us “not to throw it on the ground or litter.” So, I declined the water. Mile markers were very accurate according to my GPS.
Post-race — Lots of goodies being given out at the expo.
This race is a benefit for the El Segundo PTA, so the money goes to a good cause. For this reason, I feel bad knocking some elements of the race. However, their website made it seem as if this was a serious race for runners with promises of starting corrals and USA Track and Field sanctioning. I think if you are going to try and present yourself as a serious race for runners you should deliver. This was really just a fun run for the El Segundo community and although I am glad my registration fee went to a good cause and I enjoyed the hills and friendly neighborhood vibe, I wish I had run a different 10K this weekend — one that was designed for runners, not walkers.