Anaheim, CA | April 9, 2016
Doug and I did this race last year with a whole crew, but this year, it was just the two of us. It was a gray and drizzly weekend all weekend anyway, so it left me curious for how many people would actually show up this year. Spoiler: 3,676 people still showed up!
We left home about 6:45 to get down to the stadium in a decent amount of time to park, get our bibs and shirts, walk stuff back to the car and chill for a bit before the 8 am start time. We remembered last year that despite there being two "waves," tons of folks with strollers and dogs still shove their way to the first wave, so you're definitely wasting your first mile just dodging around people and trying to find some kinda groove. By mile 2, you've mostly passed the walkers and strollers and can find some kind of rhythm, just to catch yourself in your tracks as you enter the stadium.
It's not a super exciting course by any means, but they lighten it up with having some of the team player cutouts to take photos with and with the Angels' Stike Force Squad. They definitely lighten up the course as much as they can, given that the highlight (running the warning track) isn't until 2.7 or so.
Like I said, it was gray and cool out but we didn't get hit by any light rain until almost about the 1.5 mile mark, and it was only a drizzle at that, so it was kind of nice. We caught it again about 2.5, just before we made our way into the stadium, but it didn't last long. The nice part about the weather was that it certainly cleared people out quicker and the post-race expo was pretty dang empty by the time we were done walking through it!
Last year, I was coming off some post-LA tendonitis and Doug hasn't really run since Surf City due to some lingering knee issues, so we figured that the combination of his injury and a massive crowd, we'd cruise through this run and just have fun. A 34-minute finish isn't something I've seen a while, but seriously, we had such a great time, who cares? Sometimes it's all about the fun run and having a blast with your guy while you're doing it, right? Right.
My only real beef with this race is how congested it is - there needs to be staff controlling that anyone with strollers, dogs, etc. needs to start in the second wave at least, so that folks who plan to just run the 5K aren't caught up in a huge crowd and/or risking injury trying to get around them by running straight into potholes or jumping on curbs to get up to the sidewalks to get around them. It's annoying as all get out, but I think speaks to safety, too, when you have a 5K of over 3,000 people.
Otherwise, the race itself is great, medal is awesome (this year it's a spinning jersey!) and it's just a fun day to have supporting one of our favorite teams!
Have you ever done a run through a sports team's stadium? What's your bucket list stadium run?