This Labor Day 5.3 mile run is a challenging course that offers beautiful views and one hell of a hill workout!
I found out about this race while on the hunt for smaller distances to run while preparing for half marathon training. At a little over 5 miles, this is a great race for those looking to add it into their larger training plans. Registered runners are required to pick up their bibs prior to the race at the Road Runner Sports shop in San Pedro. NO EXCEPTIONS. This is a bit frustrating for anyone driving down from the main LA area, as this meant we had to drive up and down twice. I recommend making an afternoon of hanging out in or around San Pedro to make the drive more worth while. (This race, ironically, DOES offer race-day registration (subject to availability), which would of course allow for race day bib pickup....) Once we arrived at the shop, the bib pickup was very simple and quick. I was surprised to discover that we received no shirt for this race. The following morning, my friend and I drove down from LA, leaving extra time to arrive, and find parking. The race starts near the Port O' Call Village, where there is a large paid lot steps away from the starting line.
The course for this race was one giant out-and-back. Runners ran along the water toward the bridge, before turning left onto the ramp leading up to the bridge. From there, runners climbed up the long suspension bridge, reaching the top and were rewarded with a downhill straightaway to the other side. The course continued straight before turning around and returning over the bridge, down the ramp, and back to the start. There were water stations on either side of the bridge, as well as numerous volunteers throughout the course.
All finishers received a medal, and were greeted at the finish line with water, and cookies!
- This course is almost all hills! If you have sensitive knees or are returning to running from an injury, be warned that this race might not be for you.
- Something I never thought I'd say here -- this bridge is HIGH. If you have a fear of heights and/or bridges, you might want to sit this one out!
- If you're not used to running downhill, be careful not to lose control of your footing! It can be really easy to let gravity carry you away and you could risk significant damage to your knees, or a very serious fall!
- If you're driving down from the LA area, or are looking to avoid paid parking lots, schedule in extra time to arrive and park!
- Since this race offers no race day packet pick-up, you'll need to plan time into your weekend to go to San Pedro and pick up your bib.
My biggest complaint here was the lack of flexibility for those driving down from the LA area to have race-day pick-up. Despite this, the race is a fun, challenging event that offers a chance to push yourself outside of the 5k zone, push yourself on the hills, and admire the views from the unique vantage point of the bridge!