The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation hosts this race in early May in Irvine, CA.
It is a great family event with a half marathon, 10k, 5k run, 5k walk, and a 1k kid’s fun run. The website with it’s groovy mariachi music is found here.
Early entry for the half is only $40 and goes up to $75 right before the race. The 10k/5k early entry is $25. ($40 for a half is dang cheap! I mean, I can spend that at a candy store without even trying) The swag bag was a sweet looking Adidas bag, although it’s paper and not one of those reusable ones.
There were a few food samples, a card – like a Hallmark card (?), and a little plaque that said something like, “You brighten my day!” or maybe it was, “SR, your beauty is what brightens my day!” I can’t remember exactly. I’m so used to getting technical race tees that a cotton shirt is a bummer now.
The timing chips used are also the old ones that you tie to your shoes. Hello, D tags are now getting to be the old thing and B tags are what the cool kids are using.
On to the race:
The event is held near the Irvine Spectrum Mall so there is plenty of mall parking, it’s easy to get to, lots of in and out exits, very close to the freeway, all good things in my book.
This is a smaller race so you really don’t need to arrive early. There were plenty of porta potties; I went about 4 times and never waited in line once. That’s race nirvana right there. Runners are simple people, what can I say?
There weren’t any corrals but plenty of room at the start; I actually started very close to the front and didn’t even have to push anyone out of the way. And the race started on time, good.
The course itself was a little boring, but they tried to make it as interesting as Irvine can be. We ran through a park, near a lake, and on some bike trails as well as running roads.
It was mostly flat with a couple smaller hills.
The one bummer about the course is that the half funnels into the 10k race with about 2 miles left to go. on a narrow bike path. That means not a lot of room to line dance and two step with people like I wanted to.
To make things even more special, with a mile to go, the halfers and 10k funnel in with the 5k and walkers. Mega congestion put me in a poopy mood about it… it’s hard to push hard for the last mile when you’re constantly weaving in and out of walkers.
The After Party: this is a great family/group event that caters to kids. All this crazy stuff was going on after the race: face painting, petting zoo, balloon art, game truck, rock wall, blow up bouncers, mariachi music, puppet show, train rides, and food and drinks.
There was so much going on with the expo, I didn’t want to leave. My girlfriends had to yank me out of the bouncer and put my shoes back on me.
As far as food, we received apples, bananas, a couple different kinds of energy bars, bottled water, Monster energy drink and a Muscle Milk drink after the race
This is a great event, especially if you have kids or spouses who act like them, a group of friends, or aren’t taking it too seriously. With everyone finishing together, your kick might not be as strong as you like… unless you’re trying to kick someone else. which in that case, you need help.
-Dont’ arrive too early; there’s no need. plenty of parking and potties.
-Bring kids to the post-party if you have them.
-The water and energy drinks are sufficient on the course but there isn’t any food or gels so bring your own.
-Sign up early; you can save nearly the cost of the entry if you sign up by the end of October.