- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K
- Road Race
This fun race celebrating Chinese New Year features multiple events, including a 5k/10k challenge run, a bike race, and dragon dancers! LA natives are no stranger to hills, but this 10k course was TOUGH! Wonderful pre-race atmosphere with dancers, music, and celebrating all around! Slight communication issues could have made this a 5-star race, but with that being said, I still highly recommend it!
I signed up online and opted for race day packet pickup. I had originally signed up for the 5k, but I couldn't resist myself and I signed up for the Challenge that included the 10k too. I was easily able to upgrade my registration upon arrival. If you're from LA, this isn't surprising -- parking is tough. Numerous cars were circling nearby like hawks trying to find open spots, and many ultimately settled on pay lots. While LA isn't known for a robust public transit system like NYC, there IS a station really close to the start/finish, so if that is an option for you based on where you're coming from, I'd recommend using it!
This was a pretty popular race, but that being said, there weren't massive waves of runners at the start. We were all released at once, with faster runners toward the front and slower runners/walkers in the back. The course ran through Chinatown and around Dodger Stadium. There were plenty of aid stations and the temps picked up quickly making for a HOT 10k. Upon finishing the 5k, most runners had about 30 minutes to hydrate and stretch before turning right back around for the 10k -- and this is where the challenge really kicked in. This 6.2-mile course had about 4 miles of non-stop, unrelenting, STEEP HILLS zig-zagging up above Dodger Stadium to deliver some beautiful views of DTLA stretching all the way out toward Santa Monica. There were points where runners were collectively sharing in the groans of this course (which was oddly comforting and encouraging)! But what goes up must come down, and the back half of the course is a FAST DOWNHILL. If you're not used to running downhill, be careful here because it's easy to lose control and mess up your knees on those back miles! After circling down around the back of the stadium, the course picked up with the end of the 5k course and came back through to the finish line.
My favorite thing about this race is how the shirts and medal(s) are themed to the zodiac animal of the year. This year was the year of the rat, and honestly, this tech shirt is one of my faves! My only complaint here was a bit of miscommunication for the Challenge runners. When we crossed the finish line to collect the second medal, we were first told that there weren't any second medals -- it was one medal regardless of the races you run. Another volunteer told us that wasn't true and directed us to a Guest Relations tent to pick up our second medal. A number of runners believed there were actually 3 medals -- 5k, 10k, and a challenge one. We got lost and had to ask 2 other volunteers before we were finally directed to the right tent. There, we were told there were, in fact, more medals for challenge runners, but it was just a copy of the first medal -- no challenge one at all. It was a bit disappointing that the medals were identical, but I went home and took a Sharpie to mine to distinguish the 5k from the 10k. Not a big deal, but some clarification on both the website as well as from the volunteers giving directions would have been helpful!
- This is a course of HILLS. If these aren't your cup of tea, this race isn't for you! If you're planning to take on the Challenge and you're not trying to go for a PR, I recommend taking the 5k easy and saving the bulk of your energy for the 10k.
- It may seem chilly in the morning, but the heat picks up quickly, and you're gonna be sweating out everything you have on that climb!
- If you have the ability to take the train, DO IT. Parking is not easy around the start/finish!
Chinese New Year is such a fun time in Los Angeles, and this race is the perfect way to celebrate it with live music and dancers! If you're looking for a challenging and rewarding run near DTLA, this is a great race to check out!