Race Recap: Rock’n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon!

December 8, 2018   /   byrunningwhilevegan  / Categories :  Race Recap, Running

On October 28th, 2018 Mike and I  got our new personal worsts in the half marathon distance, and it was worth every minute! We ran the Halloween-themed Rock’n Roll Los Angeles half marathon, and decided to run in costume — Mike was a hot dog and I was a taco! We didn’t know if we were going to dress up for Halloween at all, let alone the race. About a week before the half marathon, we hit up Spirt Halloween for inspiration. I tried on a few costumes, we talked about being vampires, Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf, and I think I tried on a Tinkerbell dress. As soon as Mike saw the hot dog costume, that was it! I was still unsure, and decided to try on a beer costume, and a pickle costume, to no avail. It wasn’t until I tried on the taco costume that I knew what I was going to be! After the costumes were purchased we started to get super amped about the half marathon and Halloween.

Heading up Wilshire towards MacArthur Park! Photo by Hugo Ramirez.

I had purchased the 10 race tourpass for each of us, and the Rock’n Roll Half would be race #5 for me, and race #4 for Mike. It was going to be the second to last race for us, so we fell short of the 10 races, but the races we chose and the ability to sign up for the races a week beforehand, made the tourpass a worthwhile investment! Next year we’ll probably go with the three race pass (depending on what they offer, the tourpasses haven’t been announced) and keep things local, but it was a super fun experience to run races in Arizona, San Francisco, New Orleans, San Diego, LA and Vegas this year! I was looking forward to finishing the race for my special bling — the roadie medal! Unfortunately neither Mike or I have received the heavy medals for races 2 – 4 in the mail yet, and have given up hope they are coming. I’m a little disappointed, but was planning on giving them to my niece and nephew to play with anyway. At race #5, you can finally start picking up your medals in person, so I knew for sure I’d be getting it! (These are separate from the medals you get for completing each race, you receive the heavy medals after finishing two or more races in the series.)

I ran five races in the Rock’n Roll series this year, for this beauty!

Onto Rock’n Roll Los Angeles! I love this race because it’s a hometown affair — everyone runs it or shows up to cheer and the energy is off the charts! If I wasn’t an LA runner, I’m not sure I’d be such a huge fan. The course leaves much to be desired and is pretty challenging; it’s boring and hilly. I’m always curious how out-of-towners view this course, as most Rock’n Roll courses are interesting, eye-catching, and go through some of the city’s biggest landmarks. I don’t know why RnR LA doesn’t, but I assume it has to do with permits, as West Hollywood, Brentwood and Santa Monica are their own cities, and maybe shutting down Hollywood is just too expensive? Who knows? Rock’n Roll LA goes through Downtown LA, up towards MacArthur Park, and through Koreatown. One of the reasons I am fond of this route is because MacArthur Park and Koreatown are my old stomping (and running) ground. They are hidden gems — not much to see, but if you know the neighborhood there is a lot of fun to be had! I have found when I mention MacArthur Park to most LA residents, they don’t think of it as fondly as I do, they tend to balk. It has it’s own charm, and I miss it, but I’m still surprised RnR LA’s course has you run through it. (On the other hand, you run on Wilshire, which is a main character in this race and where you spend most of your time on the course.)

A little blurry, but a fun action shot! Photo via Sara Lee.

Did I mention this course is hilly? It is, it’s super hilly and a lot of runners mention how hard it is on their knees, so be forewarned! Fortunately I’m always just tired at the end of this one, not in pain. The challenge of this course tends to surprise people, as opposed to let’s say, San Francisco where the hills are a given. This is the second year in a row I’ve run this race, and it tends to be a humid one! Knowing that, I didn’t wear much under my costume — a pair of shorts and a sports bra to keep cool. Peers of ours were shocked we were able to run a half marathon in costume, but honestly, it didn’t bother me that much — much less than I thought it would.  Most of that probably had to do with the fact we took it easy, and ran it in 2:58! It was a blast! Mike ran with a handheld speaker, blasting Halloween party tunes and people loved seeing us in costume, both the runners and spectators. I’ve never garnered so much attention during a race and I have to say, I liked it! People loved yelling out our costumes to us “Hot Dog! Taco! Taco Dog! I’m hungry! Let’s taco ’bout it!” and those we knew on the course were excited to see us all decked out!

Coming through DTLA, getting ready for the finish! Photo via Sara Lee.

Typically I am a mid-pack runner, and in the past, I’ve been impatient running at Mike’s pace, which for a half marathon, he comes in only about a half hour after I do. I really want to be better, and enjoy running together! I reveled in the fun of RnR LA; I did notice that with our costumes and the music, we were a morale boost in the back! Fellow runners came up to us after the race to say how much they appreciated our costumes and the music. This was a pretty new experience for me and I loved it.

Mike and I also got use of our costumes at a Halloween party! The hot dog costume will also find it’s way to the RnR Las Vegas course!

Rock’n Roll LA was great fun, and afterwards we hung out a little bit at the beer garden, I got my heavy medal, we took pictures with our peers, and then headed off to get coffee and go to an “after-party” at Mikkeller in DTLA (I’ve run with the Mikkeller LA run crew a handful of times). The large afterparty is at Yard House, but by the time we’d get there it would just be so packed, and I liked the idea of hanging out in a more chill environment. Friends of both of us were their, and we got to meet some new runners, including a few from Mikkeller OC, which meets up only a few miles from our new place in Huntington Beach!

Both medals, in all their glory!

Did you run Rock’n Roll LA this year, or in the past? What do you think?

 

 

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