April 19, 2015 | Laguna Hills, CA
This one is way overdue, but considering race #2 is coming up on Monday, I figure I better get it together and get this one up on the books, too! Renegade Races has held this race for a few years and announced last year a new fun challenge - run the race (any distance) 5 years in a row and earn a bonus medal... I mean, that says it all, right? Each year's race will honor a different branch of the military, and the 2018 bonus, should you make all 5 years, will be a Chief Joint of Staff medal.
While we missed this last year, they announced in March a "make up" race - run the make up, and you're still in the running for the bonus. Count me sold! 2014 featured the Marine Corps and this year will feature the medal. At any rate, we signed up for the make up about a week out for just $25. The make up 5K featured the last 5K of the 10K course, so depending what distance we signed up for in the future, we knew part of the course.
We left Chino about 5:30, and got to Laguna about 6:15 with time to bib check, grab our shirts (softest shirts ever = <3) and settle in the car for a little bit before the 7 am gun time. There weren't a ton of people, but again for a random Sunday morning and a "make up" race, in theory there shouldn't have been a ton of people anyhow (final finishers totaled 126).
I wasn't gunning to PR, but wanted a solid 5K run, considering I hadn't run much since LA, also considering I had no idea what this course looked like. Turns out the course is pretty much pancake flat, save for a few dips under bridges - the entire course is on a bike trail through a city nature preserve and park, and is totally tree-lined and fabulous. A gorgeous morning. I felt solid, wasn't watching my watch too much, as again I just wanted to focus on having a decent run. At the turn around point, I had only counted 3 women ahead of me (the only benefit to an out-and-back 5K!) and thought it'd be pretty freakin' sweet if I could pull off a top finish. I guessed pretty safely that I was probably leading my age group, at least.
There was a woman, probably in her late 30s, who I'd been trailing for the better part of the race and I knew I had to at least pass her to get into a top 3 finishing spot. She was just quick enough that I wasn't sure I could keep up, even though I wasn't even close to a PR, but I held on. She started running with a man who I heard ask, "Push it too hard in the beginning?" and I heard her laugh and say "Yes!" Maybe this was my shot... after one of the bridges we go under, there's a quick incline - she stopped to walk up the incline, so I knew it was my chance to book. Even with 4/10 of a mile left, this was my shot.
Boom. 3rd female overall, 26:28 (26:18 Garmin time). Holy crap!
Never have I ever, nor probably will ever again, unless it's a race that small. But woo, that's some excitement to get my Sunday started! These medals turned out pretty sweet, too - the blue center near the runners is see-through also. Love. And what's not fun about a camo ribbon?
This guy came barreling in just 1:02 after me (again, clock time) and snagged a PR for himself too - seriously major wins for us this morning! His watch read 27:22 so that's what we're going with!
Not a bad morning - complete with breakfast at the cutest hole-in-the-wall French bakery every (helloooo giant cheesy breakfast croissant) that I'm dying to go back to... maybe after Monday's race! Before we left this one, we headed over to sign up for this year's race - just the 5K, but maybe we'll move up to this (apparently) really hilly half at some point.
As true with any Renegade Race, no real complaints. Great medals, super soft shirts that I've worn countless times already, and great community feel. My only complaint is that their races are based on gun-time, but that's how you keep races cheap, no chip timing! And, frankly, that's what Garmins and watches are for, so you can clock your own. But truly, that is significantly minor to having an overall great race experience, which they never fail to do.
Looking forward to Monday's 5K!
Are you racing this Memorial Day weekend?