If you've tracked my reviews, you know I've raced multiple times with Caren Ware Events now, and this Halloween race brought festive fun and one of the most unique medals I've ever received!
This is my 3rd time racing with Caren Ware Events, and I signed up for this race online to run with my friend. This race was set at Irvine Valley College, the same place we ran the 4th of July race this past summer. Caren Ware Events always does a great job clearly communicating info in advance, such as location changes, schedules of events, and other important information. Last time, my friend and I overestimated how much time it would take us to get to the race location from LA, and we ended up almost an hour too early. This time, we did the opposite and cut it SUPER close -- in fact we were technically one of the last people to cross the starting line because we were SCRAMBLING to get our bibs pinned on! The great thing about CWE races is that they're so welcoming and laid-back, so even with us rushing, we had plenty of time to run and finish! (Thank goodness for that close parking!!!)
Speaking of parking, my only note on it is that, when signing up for the race, we were told parking would be available for a fee, and that all runners must pay for it ahead of race day. When we arrived, there didn't seem to be any way to indicate which cars had pre-paid parking, or even which cars had any paid parking. I'm not sure if this was coming from campus police, or if this came from CWE organizers, but seeing that there were no tickets issued or parking attendants out enforcing the fees, it did sort of feel like we ate our pre-paid parking fee. Do I wish I hadn't paid? Yes. Can I promise that if you don't pay you won't get a ticket? No. So in the end, if you're the type of person who would rather be safe than sorry, maybe you use that $5 as a little form of race-day insurance.
The course was one flat, out-and-back course circling the perimeter of the campus. There were a few fields before the first 1 mile marker that featured a charming farmhouse, but other than that, there wasn't much in the way of course scenery. There were two aid stations at the 1 and 2 mile markers. with friendly volunteers offering plenty of water! Part of the fun of a Halloween race is seeing all the participants in costume, and this event did not disappoint! We also saw many people running with their young children and even a few dogs on the course -- this race is truly an event for everyone!
After the race, runners returned to the starting area where we all received HUGE pumpkin-shaped medals complete with a 3D running pumpkin man on a spring that "ran" when you shook it -- so cool! In the Halloween spirit, runners received trick-or-treat bags filled with post-run snacks too! There were plenty of Halloween photo ops set up around the area and a costume contest was held after the race winners were announced. I believe shirts were given out as well, however I think that might have happened before the race started, and since my friend and I were a bit late to the start., we probably missed them.
- Give yourself a BIT of time to get there (don't do what we did and RUSH UP to the start!) and keep in mind that the only entrance into the parking area is off of Jeffrey Rd.
- Parking is listed on the website as "Required" however as far as I was made aware, there isn't really a clear way to enforce this rule or indicate which cars have paid for parking and which did not.
- Bring a costume!
This Halloween race had a fun, festive atmosphere, easy course, and finished off with a really cool medal! If you're looking to get your family involved in a fun run, Caren Ware Events are a great choice!