After a year of no in-person racing in Southern California, it was so refreshing to be back together and this event was a great way to kick it off! From the smaller crowds, rolling start times, and AWESOME belt buckle medal, Caren Ware Events put on a safe and fun event!
I registered for the race online. The race management team sent numerous emails detailing pre-race packet pickup, COVID rules for safe running, and general event info. I chose to pick up my packet on race-day morning since I drove down from LA. Because this race was themed, I chose to fully lean into it and I dressed up in an inflatable horse costume! The race management team had lots of fun photo backdrops set up at packet-pickup. Parking was PERFECT -- it was in the same parking lot as pre-race staging and there were plenty of spaces available! If you know me, you know my 3 pillars of race parking (easy to find, cheap/free, close to the race start) and this was one of those rare instances when all 3 happened!
Up the road and around the corner from parking and pick-up was the race start. Runners were able to run anytime between 6:30-8:00 am. The course was a super straight-forward out and back loop along the waterway. 10k/5k runners ran the entire course together, with 10k runners continuing beyond for a larger loop. This course was a mix of concrete sidewalks and dirt pathways. Due to the altered race format, the pathways were shared with non-racers. This usually wasn't an issue, but there were a lot of bikers on the path during the 2nd half of the race, and some of them would ride a bit too close to runners. This is not at all an issue with the race itself or race management, but it is something to note if you're planning to walk, run with a stroller, or run/walk with pets (this race is both dog/stroller friendly). The first half of the course runs along the river -- it's more of a dried-up riverbed than a river, so the scenery isn't really remarkable until you near the golf course later down the path.
The post-race festival started off with a BEAUTIFUL, themed medal (we had the choice between gold or silver at the finish line) that converted into a belt buckle! From there, the post-race festivities continued back over by packet pickup with the previously mentioned photobooths as well as a mechanical bull!
- Parking is every runner's dream, but it does require a tad bit of side street weaving if you aren't familiar with the area.
- Try to plan on running earlier in the start time window to avoid the bikers and runners that share the road. They tend to arrive a bit later in the morning.
- There isn't a lot of shade on this route, so don't forget your sunscreen and a hat/sunglasses!
Caren Ware Events hosted a wonderful, intimate and fun race that is perfect for all running levels and a safe racing experience for anyone itching to get back into SoCal in-person racing! Will definitely return for another event hosted by this awesome team!