- 3 miles/5K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
Holiday Half offered a 5K, half marathon, a Penguin Waddle for kids and a Snowflake challenge if you completed both the 5K on Saturday and half on Sunday.
Pre race communication seemed to be a little light but that could be that the last few races I ran bordered on over communication.
Bib pickup could have been done on Saturday at the Pomona Fairplex during the Expo/ after the 5K from 8:45-12Pm or before the race in Sunday morning from 6:00 am to 8:00AM. Being 5 hours away, Saturday’s expo hours really weren’t convenient for me so I opted for race morning pickup.
Parking – While there was plenty of parking for a $12.00 fee (which we were told would work for both days but I was only there one) getting in was a little difficult. You went from 6 -7 lanes of cars buying passes into the lot which fed into 2 lanes which then fed into 1. From there it was a short walk -1/2 mile- into the interior of the Fairplex for the start and the race morning festivities.
Bib pickup and shirt pickup had no line and took maybe a minute.
The race was self seeded and runners all lined up in the corral after a race announcement. Following the National Anthem and under a dusting of faux snow, the runners were off.
Course- The course led out of the Fairplex and wound through nearby neighborhoods before bringing us back into the Fairplex and out onto the Pomona Raceway which was cool. The course then wound us through neighborhoods and parks and campgrounds. We ran passed Raging Waters so that was kind of cool. There was a lake on our left for a good chunk of the miles so there was always something to look at. Then it was back through a campground and back onto the racetrack. The only mile that was then great was the last. To make up mileage, you S-curved from the race tracked through the parking lot back to the main Fairplex. It gets kind of frustrating feeling like you are going nowhere when you know the finish is right there.
Elevation- This is not a flat course but it is a very runnable course. The race website showed a total elevation gain of 762 feet. In other words, almost perfect by my standards but then I am odd.
Aid Stations- Started at mile 2.5 and then were around every 2 miles. They all offered water and Nuun and some offered Honey Stinger Gels. All were well staffed and had plenty of supplies.
Swag- all runners received an ugly sweater themed tech shirt and a festive holiday themed medal. There was also an impressive amount of food passed to finishers as we made our way out of the finishers chute- BAI water, chips, banana, granola bars, NUUN, and something else I can’t remember.
One cool thing about this race was that it was also a Student RunLA event so a giant group of younger runners all started after the main race at 8:30. And some of those kids were fast. I felt bad that they had to dodge and weave around all of us runners who were going more of a party pace.
My only gripe was the pacers- the 2:15 and 2:20 were running together and finished together. The 2:40 pacer passed me and finished ahead of me. Why advertise a pace if you are not going to stick to it?
Overall, I really like this race. The course and crowds were just what I liked and it was very organized. I had been super sick the weeks leading up the race and probably had no business running 13 miles but I still enjoyed myself as I ran and walked that day. I would love to run it again but healthy. 😊