This was my first year participating in this event and I ran the 10K. This event also included a triathlon, a roller skating race, a 5K, and a 10K.
I arrived at the base around 6:00AM for a 7:00AM race start. Traffic was backed up for over a half mile due to base security checks. There were numerous traffic control attendants (both military and volunteers) which made things smoother, but it was quite a ways into the base and it took about 30-45 minutes to park and pick up my bib. Getting there early is a must!
There were thousands of participants in this race, and the 5K and 10K runners/walkers all started together. This race desperately is in need of wave starts and appropriate signage to encourage people of similar paces to start together (faster runners up front, etc). The start line area is very narrow and even though the event is chip timed, it still takes a long time to make your way to the start line. Once you are on the course, expect to weave your way around all of the walkers, strollers, and people jogging all the way across the path. Don’t try to get off path or you will be running in grass. I almost twisted my ankle. Although this course is definitely “fast and flat”, I don’t think a PR is likely due to so many participants.
The course was entirely on the air field of the Los Alamitos military base. It was really a pretty boring course, especially miles 2-5.5. There weren’t many spectators. There were three water stops (near miles 1, 5, and 6). I didn’t like how there wasn’t a water stop between the first and second water stops and I really got thirsty. There were several bands/DJs on the course, which was nice. There is no shade, so sunglasses are definitely helpful!
Participants were given a black, long sleeved shirt with the ROTB logo. Definitely something I’d wear. Orange drawstring backpacks were also distributed. There was a fairly large expo with numerous giveaways.
The finish line had a lot of spectators, but I didn’t see a clock. You got a medal (which was a really nice oversized dog tag with a plastic cover), then proceeded to get water bottles, coconut water, and bananas. I don’t remember seeing any other food at the finish line.
From there, you could stand in the Johnny Rebs line for your free meal. I stood in line for at least 45 minutes. The wait was awful. When I registered, I choose a breakfast burrito. When I got up to the front of the line, the lady told me they were all out and that I had to choose something else. So, I chose a chicken salad. It was actually very good. It came with your choice of dressing, apple juice, and a bag of potato chips. This was one area where way more volunteers or Johnny Rebs employees were needed. As you stood in line, there were people walking back and forth in front of you to get to/from the expo. It was a mess. The free meal was definitely appreciated though!