This was my first time running the LA Marathon 5K, and it seriously made me want to run the full marathon next year. I don’t know why.
Registration: I registered at the Expo for $40, which included a race bib and a blue cotton tshirt. The full marathoners got large goodie bags. The 5k-ers didn’t get goodie bags at the expo and I had to find a vendor who was handing out free reusable grocery bags in order to carry all of the stuff I got at the expo.
Expo: Was held at the LA Convention Center. It was easy to access from the Blue Line (Pico Station). There was hardly any wait in line to get registered and to pick up my bib and tshirt. I went early on Friday afternoon and the vendor area was packed! I spent about an hour wandering around and trying samples. There were well over 150 vendors and most were giving out free stuff of some sort. I was also able to sign up for some future races at great prices.
Race Day Parking: The 5K was held at Dodger Stadium. I got there around 6:30AM for a race that didn’t start until 8AM. I just didn’t want to hit traffic, especially since 4000 runners were expected. I had no wait at all to park. There was about a quarter of a mile walk from the parking area to the start line.
Start Line: Great announcer and National Anthem singer, but little crowd control. Despite efforts made by the announcer for the 5 minute milers to be up front and the walkers to be in the back, there were lots of walkers in the front:( There were NO pace grouping signs and NO wave starts. With that many runners, they really need a better starting line.
Course: The course was pretty packed. The grounds at the stadium were full of cracks and potholes. There were crowds of people, it was rolling hills so it wasn’t a PR course. I only saw mile markers at Mile 1 and Mile 3. There was a water station around Mile 1.5.
Finish Line/Post Race Eats: The finish line came before I knew it and the only spectators (mostly volunteers) on the course were there. At the finish line, each runner received a medal. It was a pretty nice medal for a 5k. We finally got a goodie bag…a small Big 5 grocery bag that was filled with a Big 5 baseball cap, an LA Marathon/Big 5 bracelet, discount coupons, and some food. There was also more food at the tables (apples, oranges, cups of water, granola bars, etc).