The Expo: The expo held at the Fairplex and it is sponsored by Kool n Fit (It's a muscle relieving spray). It was set up on Saturday from 7-12 during the 5k and kids race and on sunday from 6-12 during the marathon. It's small, with a couple of vendors and local organizations. Bid / t-shirt pick up was really effective. You have to look up your bid number (they send you an email or you can look it up on a list they post outside the pick up tent) and the numbers are very effectively organized so the volunteer didn't have a problem getting my stuff.
The t-shirt is really cute, although white is not my favorite color for something I'm going to sweat and get dirty in.
The Start: The race starts/ends at the Fairplex. The downside was the $10 parking. But other than that it was an ideal choice, there were plenty of clean bathrooms around the place. I used the potty twice and never stood in a line. #winning. There were also many big rooms (I think I was a gym or something) where we could hide from the cold until the start. 20 minutes before we walked to the starting line and tried to get a spot near the front.
Student run LA were also in attendance. I'm pretty sure there were 3,485 students and 324 staff members. The students started 10 minutes after the half. Around mile 5 or 6, I started to see a few of them pass me. They are super speedy.
The Race: The race started 15 minutes late but it wasn't a boring wait. The announcer did a little costume contest with the racers in costumes and kept everyone excited as we waited for the gun to go off.
The course starts at the Fairplex and at some point we run through a hilly park before continuing through the parking lot and out of the Fairplex (mile 1-3). There was a flat, fast stretch on the streets towards a park (3-5). The park had a few rolling hills throughout and one giant uphill climb (5-10). It was one of the longest hills on the whole course. After you run out of the park, it is a flat path on the street as we make our way back into the Fairplex parking lot (10-11) and down towards the finish line for another mile or so.
The course was very scenic. The park had all the fall colors, it overlooked a lake, and the hills reminded me of a tame trail run. There were not many spectators. The only time I remember people is at the end towards the finish line. The volunteers were great. There was water set up every mile or every other mile. I don't remember. The race was not congested and I was able to get water at every station. There were no port-a-potties but there were tons of bathrooms in the park and the Fairplex.
The After Party: After finishing, I got myself a mylar blanket and a really cute medal. I'm glad they had the blankets because I was soaking wet and as soon as I stopped running, I felt really cold. They handed out water, bananas, pretzels and Cliff Kids Z bar. There was also a beer garden and a booth providing massages. There weren't many freebies and the booths from the previous day were set up again.
Overall: I thought it was a challenging course. I enjoyed the run through the park and although there weren't many spectators, it was not boring since there was beautiful scenery. I would definitely run this race again. I loved it (I could just be biased because of the whole PR thing)