So first let me start off by saying this is one of my favorite races I’ve ever done. This was my first year and I am kicking myself I haven’t done it sooner. I grew up RIGHT HERE and my whole family teases me as any time the Griffith Park Observatory comes on tv or a movie, I get giddy. I loved growing up here and it is still “home” to me. When running track and cross country at John Marshall High School, we ran through here. Memories galore! And yes, I was choking back tears during the run.
The second reason I love this race is that Keira Henninger puts it on and she is a DOLL! Seriously the nicest lady I have met and such a helpful competitive runner (Ultra and Patagonia among others). I mean, she is a PRO, but has time via Twitter, @keirahenninger, her website, keirahenninger.com or at her races, to help you! Plus these runs are SO well done. Tons of porta-potties, plenty of aid stations along the way, the BEST crew ever, and a party at the end. Also the best tanks (I wear tanks or long sleeve, rarely T-shirts when I run) and finisher medals for all participants.
Say what you say?!? Yes! Look at those bad boys. So here’s the details. Saturday morning is the 13.1, half marathon and then you come back Sunday morning for a 6.1, 10k…if you do both, you get a THIRD medal! How could you not do both races? Yep, I am a rock star. Love finisher medals in general and these are top notch. I literally clanged my way back to the car after the race! But I got ahead of myself. Here’s the rest of the recap.
I love going “home” so it got there Friday and will recap the rest of the weekend in another post as it included great food, shopping for running/workout gear, Yoga Works, Soul Cycle and YAS. So let’s jump to Saturday morning. Race mornings are tough for me with my digestive issues so I am always up with enough time for bathroom duties. No details here but suffice it to say, so far I’ve been blessed with smooth race mornings, pun intended! I didn’t make it to bib pick up the day before so I left early to head over to Griffith Park. I love sunrises and this one did not disappoint. You could see the ocean from Highway 134! An Griffith Park Observatory too. Just glorious.
I was super stoked to meet Linzie from sharpendurance.com @sharpenduarnce. I’ve followed him for awhile and was so happy to meet in person. Check out his blog and Twitter if you haven’t already. He is CONNECTED in our running community, kind of our royalty. He is a Yahoo Health contributor, Team Asics, member of #WeRunSocial, #RockNBlog, etc. Plus he is kind, always a HUGE plus in my book. sharpendurance.com
One thing you MUST know about these races is that they are hilly. I don’t mean little ones either. If I am correct, we went miles and miles up 5000 foot elevation hills. So be prepared. This was my slowest half and 10k ever but truly that didn’t matter at all. We started with one of these gigantic babies…I mean UP UP UP…lungs burning up. No shame in my game, I walked a lot of this course. Most of us did. Always a great way to meet other runners (which I did) and also take loads of photos.
If you’re a fan of Harry Bosch (Michael Connolly) novels, you will love this race. We went through the bat cave, the graffiti, and other things mentioned in his books. Tickled pink to connect these dots. Plus the bat cave was a blast! Volunteer crew dressed up as Bat Man and the theme song playing; total thrill! (Yes, I’m old don’t party so my skirt gets blown up easy).
The above picture is of my favorite place in the whole world. It holds tons of meaning for me and I cry every time I see it. This view though was to die for!
Another fun thing about this race is that the trails are all open to everyone else while we are running so it was a blast to see other runners and hikers, people walking their dogs, families, you name it. There was such a communal feel to it all and very inclusive of everyone. Plus trail runners are great people, super welcoming and quirky, and I love running trail races because of the other crew.
Here’s some information on Griffith Park. It is an urban park located in Los Feliz (hometown), Los Angeles, California. It was created in 1896 and is 4,310 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in America. So there to anyone who says LA is all concrete, lol! And check out griffithparktrailruns.com to see the details on the two races and sign up for next year.
After close to three hours (told you it was a long race for me), I was done. It was a balmy 85 degrees so I was hot and my fingers swelled up a bit, but I was smart about drinking water, electrolytes, salt, oranges, so I felt good. Plus Keira had TONS of food at the finish, even gluten free options, which was COOL!
My outfit for the trail half was an Athleta top, Oiselle shorts, ProCompression socks #keepittight #twopairdontcare, Newton Trail shoes, Nathan water hydration pack, Garmin Vivofit and Garmin watch, Moving Comfort bra, and I used Fluid Nutrition, Honey Stinger gels, and Yur Buds.
I stopped in Santa Barbara on my way down to see family and I had time to kill while waiting so I shopped at one of my favorite stores, Lorna Jane. Great sportswear designer from Australia (will talk about her stuff more later) and love her philosophy! #movenourishbelieve Anyway, I purchased the above top and skort. It’s actually a tennis skirt but it worked GREAT as a running skirt, my first time running with one. I also wore Moving Comfort bra, ProCompression socks (the opposite of the two I wore the previous day). Super comfortable outfits for both days and my fav colors!
The 10k morning started much the same and I headed over early to Griffith Park. This time we met at the carousel. Did I already tell you how much I LOVE that park? Totally good memories of the shooting range at the golf course with my dad, pony rides, train birthdays and vollyball courts. Again, Keira had things set up with precision and we were off. A hill to start of course!
Linzie was there again and it was great to see him at the start. No way I saw him on the course unless we had out and back portions as he is FAST!
The 10k was gorgeous! Rolling hills, views everywhere you looked, trees all over the place…just divine. Plus the people on the course that morning were legit; many had been there the day before and we recognized each other. One lady started calling me “socks” due to my kick ass ProCompression socks (Hi Martine) and we are know social media friends. Can’t wait to run with her again. I met Ezra from Pasadena Pacers, a lady traveling from the Netherlands and Web, a gentleman who became my running and pacing buddy for the race. We chatted and took photos; runners rock!
Keira does lots of other trail races around California, which I plan to be a part of and I will be back for these two beauties next year. Surprised I felt so good after the two races, but I credit yoga, foam rolling and Michael Moore at Moore Sports Recovery for that. In fact I left here and went straight to my friend Gwen’s awesome yoga class at Yoga Works.
Thanks for virtually running with me!