Christmas Runs

Check out these happy Santas!

Every November, people look forward to use Thanksgiving as their cheating holiday.  The turkey, potatoes, pies, and other mouthwatering foods create the cycle of eating and sleeping.  It really is a blissful time of year where calories and fats don’t exist, but when December comes, that means that New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner.  To prepare for the New Year, it’s time to end 2012 with a bang with awesome marathons to help ring in the holiday season. On the week of December 8th and 9th is the start to the Holiday Half Marathon at the Fairplex in So. Cal.  The idea of the weekend is welcome the joyous holiday season by wearing happy holiday clothes, like elf ears or candy-striped pants.  The festive wear will keep you warm for the early morning starts.  On the 8th, it is the Holiday 5K at 8 AM.

But don’t think that only you have to work off some holiday pounds, but you can also teach the kids some healthy habits with the Penguin Waddle 1 Mile Run at 10 AM (its free!).  On the 9th, it is the showstopper—the Half Marathon.  It starts at 8 AM, but the course is an amazing view of the fairgrounds to the Auto Club Raceway Pomona to FRANK G. BONELLI REGIONAL PARK to Puddingstone Lake to back to the Fairgrounds.  Who knew after eating for days that 20K would feel so good if you need a better incentive to run after getting comfy, you can get a free Christmas tree.  If you enter by December 3rd, you get a free Christmas tree.  It is a beautiful course in Long Beach around El Dorado Lakes while enjoying a pine forest.  There is also a Fun Run 1 Mile race for your children too.   For older members in your family, there is a 3K walk.  Now, that is getting into the holiday spirit while spending

RACES: Running Zombies

Running in a Forest Filled with Zombies Seems Like a Lovely Route…

Want to add some fun to your racing routing? If so, you should check out the Run For Your Lives 5K event in Temecula this coming Halloween. This crazy 5k event not only has you running for a good time but also against crazy zombie participants.

The way it works is that you have a belt with flags that represent your health, and throughout the 5k run, you have to avoid these zombie trying to snag your flag off of you while overcoming obstacles that get in your way of the finish. The obstacles aren’t mandatory to complete, but by not completing them, you become ineligible for any prizes towards the end of the race. You do have the opportunity to fortify your health as the event planners placed hidden health “power ups” for runners to snag to boost their “health”.

To add to the fun, several routes were added to get to the finish line, so it’s up to you to choose the best route to get to your destination. Just be careful, because one route may lead to your brains getting eaten out of you or as their website says, “Choose wisely, or your 5k might turn into a 10k”. If you plan on participating, make sure to register quickly as the event is selling out quickly. Register at to get your ticket for Sunday’s event, as Saturday’s event is completely sold out.

April: Nike+ She Runs LA 10K

It’s about time the women of the City of Angels got their very own Nike race… Later this month you can run a virtual 10K via Nike+, help a worthy cause (Students Run LA) *and* get to celebrate your 10K run afterward with a big party at the Nokia Theater in Downtown LA.

The 10k virtual run starts on April 27, 2011 at 4:00pm and runs are to be synced via Nike+ within the following 24 hours. A 10K race in the middle of the work week? Why not, I’m hardcore like that – I might even make it a late night run just because…

To register:

$35 for students $50 for general public

Race Report: Ragnar Relay Las Vegas

A Nighttime Vegas Exchange

I traveled to Sin City for one of my favorite races ever:  The Ragnar Relay.  For those of you who don’t know, Ragnar is a point to point relay covering approximately 200 miles of picaresque open road course divided by 12 people over a 24 hour time period. If that doesn’t sound completely psychotic enough for you, the Ragnar people also have “ultra” divisions consisting of teams of 6 or less people where each individual runs over marathon (26.2 mile) distance.  After experiencing an amazing time at the SoCal race, Vegas seemed like it would be an even greater experience. Naturally, my teammates and I decided to do the ultra with 6 people and a dedicated driver. Little did I know what would be in store…

The course started at The Valley of Fire (aka the middle of nowhere, Nevada) and ended at the Red Rock Casino on The Strip. The daylight portion of the race course was surreal. If you can paint a picture of Roadrunner cartoons out in the middle of the desert with nothing but a lonely highway and a Wile E. Coyote to accompany you, you’d have a pretty good idea of what the first 70-100 miles of the course looked like. We started at high elevation (about 1600 feet) and the climbs and hills for various legs would eventually lead us to a 4000 foot summit before getting anywhere near Vegas.  Gorgeous? Yes. Effing brutal? Hell yes!

I started my first (and only) leg at 8pm off the only highway where we were that would eventually lead to Sin City. Despite the time, I was completely in the dark (no city lights out in the desert) and one of three runners waiting to start my leg. Once my teammate came in and it was time for me to take off, I was the only person on the road for what seemed to be a lifetime. I ended up getting lost twice when I got off the highway and into civilization (Henderson, NV).  Other interesting highlights about my part of the course included: a runner returning to her teammates in hysterics from being chased by animal out in the desert. Also, another person on my leg had run off INTO the desert for who knows what reason…

What happened after I finally got back to my team after running in two wrong directions and somehow cutting a mile off my course, was a first for me: we DQ (disqualified) ourselves or DNFd (Did Not Finish).  Another one of my teammates went three miles off course and a few others had ended up suffering injuries that would disallow them from continuing on. It took several conversations before coming to that decision. Once we found ourselves coming in dead last and falling behind on the cleanup crew with no real resolution from the race officials on how we can get back into the game (no one would give us a straight answer), we finally decided to head to The Strip for naps and cocktails.

How does it feel to DNF? It feels like several words containing the letter “M” – mortifying, demoralizing and messed up. But wait… there IS a Happy Ending (this is Vegas after all). Although I can’t say that what happened in Vegas will stay in Vegas (I will never forget the lessons I learned from running this race), I’m determined to go at the next one with no mercy.  I’m also not giving up on Ragnar… well, maybe just the ultra division.

Race To-Do: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Run The Strip At Night

This year is my first year running a competitor series event (best known for their Rock ‘n’ Roll races). As such, looks like I am running San Diego, Las Vegas and most likely Los Angeles. These not being an all-inclusive list of all the halves I want to run this year… I am already out a ton of pennies.

Even so, I am utterly *dying* to run Las Vegas. Why? This is their first year doing the 1/2 Marathon and Marathon at NIGHT on the strip! Seems almost worth the initial $121 registration fee.

When: December 4th, 2011

Where: Las Vegas, NV

Registration Link – Registration is currently closed but will re-open March 31st.

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