Better a late recap than never, right? On November 17th I ran the Griffith Park Trail half marathon and it was fantastic. I got a little nervous when I woke up and it was pouring. And it continued to pour for most of my drive down to Burbank. In 2 and a half years of running in the northeast, I never had a rainy race day…and my first was after moving to Southern California.
Plugging in the address of the Greek Theater…
…got me there with no problems and, as promised, there were plenty of volunteers directing us where to park. Free parking, and plenty of it, even arriving only 40 minutes before the start. Real flushable toilets near the parking lots, too.
I jogged the half mile from my car to the starting line/packet pickup in the drizzle, jogged back to my car to drop off the goods, ditch my rain jacket, pin on my bib, etc., then another half mile back to the start. 1.5 miles in the bank before the race. The temperature was in the low 50s, so not too cold – and I knew I would warm up on that first giant hill.
Yes, there was a bag drop that I could have utilized which would have allowed me to leave everything at the start/finish line, but I have never used a race’s bag drop, and even though there was a tarp to keep everything dry, I had visions of a wet sweatshirt awaiting me at the end of the race.
The race started perfectly on time, just like this race director’s last amazingly well-organized race.
Another thing it had in common with the last race? It starts with a climb! A big one.
It was so foggy/cloudy that you couldn’t see anything from the top at the beginning. Just the trail a few feet in front of you and fog. I need to go back on a clear day to check out the view. The race included a couple well-stocked aid stations featuring everything from traditional energy gels to fruit to cookies and chocolate covered espresso beans. There were even a couple cheering sections along the course—kudos to them for getting up there. Volunteers were at every turn off to direct you where to go.
A couple miles in to the race I heard a familiar voice approaching me, and it was Naomi, who I met and finished the race with at September’s Leona Valley trail half. We passed eachother several times throughout this race. I came to this race alone and did not know of anyone else doing it, so I had not expected to see anyone I knew there. It was nice to see a familiar face on the course!
Highlights of the course included views of downtown LA, the Hollywood sign, the observatory, and the bat caves. The course featured three out-and-backs (four if you count going back down to the finish). It made the small race feel bigger since you were seeing people more often.
Another perk of this race? Race director Keira made race photos available for download for FREE. Which provided me with the following keepsakes:
The course was pretty tough with a total of about 2300’ in elevation gain. I finished in 2:14:21.
3/21 females 25-29
Super healthy food at the finish line: Sandwiches, two pasta dishes, an orzo dish, and some kind of kale salad. Naked coconut water and samples of Naked protein drinks.
Race goodies included an INKnBURN tech tee, a sturdy drawstring backpack with reflective strips, a blingy medal, and a keychain whistle (to be used to ward off mountain lions and to annoy my dog).
I received this race entry for free from a contest on pavementrunner.com in the Spring sponsored by INKnBURN. I would recommend this race as it was challenging, yet fun – and very well organized… however I probably would not have run it if not for winning an entry because the registration price was a bit steep ($120). The tech tees provided will set you back about $50-60 if you buy them on your own, so I’m not sure how much of the entry fee went toward the permit for using/closing off a portion of Griffith Park, and how much went to the cost of the shirt.