Latest reviews by Rory Leigh Correa

(2018)
"Less Swag, Same Course - Still Fun! "
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This was my 2nd year at #HBDLA5K & I managed yet another PR! Did I mention there are free race photos? :)

Everything this year was the same with the exception of a few things - 1 - not as much swag in the Goodie Bag. It was still a good Goodie Bag, but its hard to top the 2017's hat & compression socks. The Packet Pickup was held at the same Arts District Co-Op building - which was cool because I knew exactly where I was going. 2 - race photos were much better! Last year I was only able to find my self at the finish line & I was in the background.

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(2018)
"Running Through The TOWN"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
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Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
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Summary:
This race features the best of Oakland on a relatively fast & flat course. If you are looking to PR your 5K or Half - this is the race to do it! I PR'd my 5K & 2 of my teammates PR'd their Half!

Packet PickUp:
There were 2 options for Packet Pick-Up: Expo In A Box or In Person. The Expo In A Box included all kinds of goodies like BibBoards & Oakland A's tickets - but I wanted to go In Person. This was my first time in Oakland & I always want to pick up some fuel, etc at the local running store. The Sports Basement (Berkley) is HUGE! I mean they have everything that you could possibly want for running. As soon as I entered I was immediately greeted & instructed to follow the signage to Packet Pick Up. There was no line so grabbing Bibs & shirts was easy. I grabbed a few items for Race Day since they were offering a 20% discount to anyone who showed their Oaktown Bib!

Swag/Extra:
Once you finished your race, a volunteer was there to meet you with not only Honey Singer & Bananas but Mason Jars with the Oaktown Half logo! If you were like me & ran both races - you now have a set of matching Mason Jars! :D The t-shirts, which were received at Packet Pickup, were by a local shop - Oaklandish. Although they ran a little small, they are super comfy & cute - including the Oaklandish logo on the back.

Course:
For the Half, the course was set right in the heart of Oakland, taking us around Lake Merritt & passing by such landmarks as Jack London Square & The Fox. The 5K was fast with a slight elevation, taking us quickly through downtown & back to City Hall with a quick downhill towards the finish.

Medal(s):
I was beyond thrilled when the team at Oaktown Half announced that they were not only going to include a 5K, but that it would be apart of a Challenge Series! The medals are of good weight & thickness with an incredibly colorful design. On the back, there is an area for you to have your name & time engraved. With completing the Challenge Series - I received 3 medals. One for the 5, one for the Half & one HUGE medal for completing both the races for a total of 16.2 Miles!

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(2018)
"The World's Fastest 5K For Sure!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Summary:
If you are looking to PR your 5K, this race is it! Fast, Flat & Scenic the route takes you along the Pacific Coast & finishes with a nice downhill for your speediest 5K yet! For the All Day 20K - you run 4 separate races. For the 5K, you run 1 of the 4 Races with your Age Group. The First 250 Finishers in each Age Group also receive an Extra Medal!

Packet PickUp:
The Expo was outdoors & in the center of the event! I was super late due to the usual LA to San Diego traffic, but other than that the folks at the Rock n Roll Marathon Series have packet pick up down to a science! I received my Bib number prior, so I stepped into line, showed my ID & had my Bib. Then you walk through the Expo to get your Race Shirt. There are plenty of sizes & they do allow you to swap if neccessary. Now this is where things get tricky. I purchased a VIP Package, but no one could tell me where to pick up my wristband. Luckily, there was a list & wristbands available at the VIP area when I arrived on Race Day.

Swag/Extra:
I HIGHLY recommend the VIP Package if you are running this race. Typically I cannot justify the extra cost, but for this event it totally makes sense! Since the 4 different 5Ks are by Age Group, you have to wait for your heat. If you are running all day, you will want a nice, warm place to hang out in between races. This year VIP was held at Paon Restaurant & it was awesome! Free food, drinks & clean bathrooms. VIP Gear Check was so easy that I was able to grab my bag in between each race for anything I needed. As a general tip - If you are attending a Rock n Roll event, I suggest waiting until Race Day to purchase your momentos - as they tend to markdown merch 50% Off or more on Race Day. I was able to pick up 2 shirts, a Pint Glass & 2 Enamel Pins for all under $25.00. As for the Participant Shirts - 5Kers received Short Sleeve while the All Day 20Kers received Long Sleeves. At the end of the race you are greeted to a receiving line where you get your medal (5K Only), have your picture taken & then proceed to grab a bottle of water, a bottle of Gatorade Endurance, a bag of pretzels & a banana. For the last race of the day there were also PowerCrunch bars. For the All Day 20K, the medals were given in a separate area (which I didn't like) along with a branded towel.

Course:
When they market this course as the fastest 5K - they are right on! The course has minimal elevation & a short downhill at the end ensures a speedy finish!

Medal:
This year, all the Rock n Roll Series medals are Guitar Picks. For shorter distances, like the 5K, its a large disk. At all Rock n Roll events you can get your medal engraved, as the back of the medals already have the Name & Time fields on them.

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(2018)
"Holy Hills Batman! "
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Summary:
​The course of the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K: San Diego is a hilly, challenging yet fun course that winds in & out of San Diego hitting landmarks along the way such as the San Diego Zoo.

Packet PickUp:
​Upon arrival at the San Diego Civic Center, I was greeted by signage directing me to exactly where I needed to go! In the area outside of the Expo Hall, there was a booth to sign up for 2019 race (at a discounted rate) & a huge inflatable candy bar! You could hear the music coming from the hall. As soon as I entered I was directed to Bib Pickup where it was the fastest experience ever! When registering for the race, you are provided a QR code (don't worry - they send it again right before the race with your confirmation details) - so you just scan the code, show your ID & you are good to go! 

Swag/Extra:
​After I got my bib, I was directed to the area where I would grab my goodie bag. On the way was the booth/table where you could grab your Legacy stuff. I'm pretty true to size so I grabbed my Medium 1/4 Zip & bag & headed out to do my usual expo laps. For those who where unsure, you can head over to the gear swap area & try on sizes until you get the perfect fit. Other cool areas were the Nuun Hydration & Sweet Treat Stations. All kinds of chocolate treats! Just a preview of what was to come on the course. :) I'm not big on Expos, so I did 2 laps, took a few pics & headed to my hotel for a shakeout run. After the race we received our results & FREE race photos - which turned out absolutely amazing!

Course:
Holy Hills Batman! This course is challenging! Make sure you train for hills! However, this course gives you a little bit of everything that is great about San Diego. Part of the course goes right through the San Diego Zoo

Medal:
Each Allstate Hot Chocolate race participant receives the beautiful chocolate bar, but each city has their own specific keychain that you receive with your medal. Pretty cool huh? For San Diego, its a tiny surfboard with palm trees. So Cali! After getting your medal, you get to head over to the Finisher's Mug tent to grab your signature Hot Chocolate Mug! Now, it comes prearranged so you don't get the option to say 'No' to the Chocolate (I wasn't feeling well after & didn't want to dip anything in chocolate - *gasp* I know!) but it does have some yummy treats: 1 small cup of Hot Chocolate, 1 Banana, 1 Rice Crispy Treat, 1 Bag of Pretzels & 2 Piroucrisp cookies. I currently use mine as a pencil/pen holder on my desk. :)

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(2017)
"Orange County Team Relay - 10K (2017)"
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A quick out & back course. For those most part its flat & speedy, with a few hills both ways. Along the course we received fuel from Clif - I grabbed Mocha for the extra Caffeine. The best part about this race are all the Pre & Post Race Activities. For example, there were about 5 food trucks to choose from - Free Food! Free Race Photos! Free Beer! Free Massages! As for Race Swag, in addition to your usual tee - a nice durable tote & a super slim water bottle.

For extra bling, You can also run all 4 races within the Lexus Lace Up Series to receive the Lexus Lace Up Challenge Medal.

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