I got up at 6am (in bed at 10pm on a Saturday-I sure am a wild one! ) and was out the door at 630 am. I ate a bowl of oatmeal (did well in my stomach!), a few strawberries and Lipton energy tea. It was finally cold (57 when I left the house) so I packed my tinkerbell long sleeve shirt.
I drove over to Griffith park and it was pretty easy. However we ended up parking across the street (so easy!) but it was a long 10 minute walk to the start so I ended up checking in at 710 instead of 700 but they were running behind anyway.
One of the reasons I decided to volunteer for this race was I think its a great organization with a lot to offer. After the whole tutu scandal with shape magazine it's the least I could do. I also knew from pics online that people dress up in tutus. Right up my alley!
But imagine my disappointment when I pulled up and saw NO TUTUS. Great-typical LA coolness. I debated not wearing a tutu but then decided WHO CARES? I'll rock this tutu. And I'm so glad I did because I got a lot of compliments on it.
I waited by the tent for my running buddy assignment so I decided to go on Facebook and learned that they raised Disneyland ticket prices and had a mild freak out but honestly for the amount I go, an extra 50 bucks isn't that big of a deal. A running buddy is someone who volunteers to partner up with a girl or 2 and help them finish the race.
I got assigned to a middle school and met the coaches. All so nice! The girls showed up late (they were in line getting their hair spray painted pink and green!) but we divided up into groups. My group was great and we discussed a running strategy. They said they felt comfortable doing run/walk intervals (my kind of girls!) and they wanted to try out a 5 minute:1 minute. I reminded them that most people start off super fast and then fade. The secret is to start a bit slower and pick up speed as needed.
We are off! It was very crowded and also we were on a diet path so it was DUSTY! Everyone was coughing and it was hard to stay together. Eventually I broke off with one girl because she was stopping and starting. She told me she was slow but I told her-it's not about the time. She is a runner no matter what and she should be proud. I also told her I just had surgery so I'm going slower than I would want now but that it's okay. The other girls continued on so it was just us. I kept adjusting the intervals (now looking back, I should have done a negative interval!) and eventually she told me both of her knees were hurting but she fell yesterday at home. I let her know we will go her pace and walk as much as she wanted.
We ended up walking about 2 miles of the race. We just talked about school and life. We finally saw the finish line and saw her school group that gave us high 5s and we sprinted to the finish! Yay medals!
I met her family-mom and dad and brother-and they thanked me for staying with her. She said she was proud of finishing. They even had us pose for pics!
I told them bye and went to grab a bit of food. A slice of orange, piece of banana and a clif kids bar. I also find the official booth and chatted while eating blueberries and drinking coffee. I then stopped by the t shirt tent to grab my shirt. I ended up with a medium as the shirts were a bit small.
Finally hiked back to my car and headed home to shower and clean my house and pack for my Disney trip!
- Great organization
- Fun run
- Cheap (30 bucks got food before and after race, shirt, GOTR tag and I volunteered)
- Teenage girls-the best!!
- lack of tutus. I love dressing up and I wish more people has dressed up, especially the girls racing. There were more tutus when I checked in but not as many as I was hoping for.
- Lack of instructions. It was a bit disorganized for check in and where to go.
- DIRT PATH!!! I was covered when I got in my car and my shoes!! I heard parents freaking out their kids shoes would be ruined
- MUD PATCH. yes there was a big patch of mud and everyone was Worried about falling and getting dirty.
- Parking was a bit much (luckily I got there early). It was free at least! But much longer than most expected.
- All of the girls were in the same shirt-hard to keep track of them
- Lack of training for the girls. I felt saw many girls with poor form and sprinting and running and walking and struggling. I think teaching pacing is so important!
- MILE SIGNS! OMG they were all so off. Mile 2 came 6 minute after mile 1 and mile 3 was about 8 minutes before the finishing line. These need to be accurate because people were so off on pacing and so confused.
- More water stops. It was warm and 2 small water stops was not enough.
- False advertising. It was advertising Peyton List and other Disney channel stars would be there and they never showed. Never got an explanation or anything. The girls I was running with were sad about this.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience but felt it was a bit unorganized. I saw a shirt that said that last year it was at the rosé bowl which I think would work much better! No dirt, bigger area, more parking.
However the positive is there was over 1200 runners! Such a great group!
Would I help out again? Definitely! I think it's such a good organization and I did have fun.
Have you ever helped out at a race? Or participated in a Girls on the run event?