November 1, 2012

Awesome 80's Run 10k Race Recap

This past Saturday I ran in the Awesome 80's Run 10k.  This was a race I had been looking forward to for a long time, mainly because I wanted the medal, which was designed to look like a cassette tape.  The race was put on by the same people who did the Hollywood Half Marathon.  They had their inaugural 80's-themed run over Labor Day in Pasadena, and I desperately wanted to go.  However, I couldn't justify the travel expense to Pasadena just to run a 10k. So when it was announced that it was coming to San Diego, I signed up immediately.

I felt very guilty about going, though. My daughter, A, had just come home from two weeks in the hospital (after breaking her neck) the day before.  I didn't want to leave her....but at the same time really wanted to do this race. I NEEDED to do this race. After a stressful two weeks at Children's Hospital, I needed to celebrate and do something just for me.  My husband was very supportive and told me to I went!  You were supposed to dress up in 80's clothes.  I had been planning to go shopping and try to find something preppy to wear, but obviously I had literally no time to shop in the past few weeks.  Fortunately, my friend I, who was doing the race with me, saved the day by getting us both matching neon green tank tops, neon mesh fingerless gloves, and neon headbands.  With my hair in a side ponytail, I was ready to re-live the 80s.

As a side note, this was my first-ever 10k!  I know it's weird, being that I've done countless 5ks, 14 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and 8 triathlons (including a half-Ironman!) but I had never done a 10k. I had attempted a 10k a long, long time ago, but took the easy way out and only did the first loop, making it a 5k. I always regretted that day, but that happened a lifetime ago, back in 1999, and before I really fell in love with running. The only 10k I have done was part of an Olympic-distance triathlon, but I'd never done a stand-alone 10k.  This race would be an automatic PR.

Anyhow, onto the recap!  The race was on Fiesta Island, which, despite it's nice-sounding name, is a desolate island that I think is very ugly. I have done several triathlons there, and a long bike session there for half-Ironman training, and it's ugly and depressing to me each time.  The views of the water are ok, but always to your left is the island itself....brown, dry and gross.  I knew that parking would be awful, and with a 7 a.m. start time I wanted to get there very early.  We didn't have a chance to pick up our packets beforehand (I was too busy at the hospital) and we needed to get those too.  My friend I was supposed to pick me up at 5:45, but at the last minute we changed the pick-up time to 5:30.  Very early, but I'm glad we did, as I read later that parking was a nightmare.

Because we left so early, we got one of the last spots in the first and closest parking lot.  Yay!  We got our packets and came back to the car (still in the dark) to put on bibs, timing chips, etc. While getting our gear on, I had realized she forgot her iPod....I gave her mine (complete with an 80's playlist I had put together) to use.  Before I did SuperFrog, I never would have run 6 miles without music, but that training taught me I could.  Doing that half marathon sans music toughened me up!  Finally we got out and wandered to the start line, where I found my friends Steve, Angi and Andrea.  I was so happy to see them, especially Angi. It was her first race post-cancer (she and Steve were walking the 5k) and I had paid for her entrance fee in celebration of her beating cancer.  After hitting the port-o-potties, it was race time.

me, pre-race

start line

We crossed the start line with 80's music blasting---Eye of the Tiger.  One thing that frustrated me was that since there were no corrals, and there were people doing the 5k and 10k, and runners and walkers, people were all mixed in together. I crossed the start line and literally had two women in front of me walking so slowly they were almost stopped. It was as if they didn't realize they were doing a race and had crossed the start. It took some time to weave around the walkers before I found my groove.

Pac Man


Run DMC--loved these costumes!  

The Blues Brothers

The race was two loops on Fiesta Island (the 5k was one loop).  Although I was music-free, I was never bored.  The costumes people had on were amazing....there was always something to look at.  Many people had on the requisite neon, as did I, but there were some other seriously creative costumes.  Madonnas, Rubic's cubes, Run DMC, Slash, 2 Ghostbusters with the StayPuft Marshmallow Man, the Blues Brothers, Richard Simmons, Michael Jackson, Strawberry Shortcake...I took as many pictures as I could, but I highly suggest you visit the official website and/or Facebook page to see more.  

lots of neon

I don't know how they ran in the Rubik's cube costumes!

hard to tell, but these are two GhostBusters and the StayPuft Marshmallow Man

 After the second loop on Fiesta Island, the 10k-ers had to do a short out-and-back loop on the sidewalk.  This was fine...except for the part that we had to climb a hill to get up to the "back" part.  There were no stairs, and climbing up a steep hill in the dirt was no fun at all; also it slowed down our running times. Not cool at all.  But that was my only real complaint about the race.  There was plenty of water, a good thing because for the first time (in a race more than 5k) I didn't bring my fuel belt. I figured I could get through 6.2 miles without water if I needed, but was pleased to be able to take a cup halfway through at the aide station.

the steep dirt hill we had to climb

I ran the race fast for me....I finished in about 1:08, with an average pace in the high 10's! I NEVER ran that fast....I think all the stress from the recent weeks has been making my runs (including training runs) faster.  I crossed the finish and got the coolest medal I've ever had. I LOVE the cassette tape look!

me, post-race,

 I had a really good time, and was so glad I did it. I was home by 9:30, in plenty of time to spend the day with my newly-home daughter. I got to do a long(ish) run, burn a lot of stress off, and do my first 10k. I would like, totally, you know, do this rad 80's race again next year, dude, especially if they have another totally tubular medal like this year.  Otherwise, gag me with a spoon!


  1. That sounds wonderful! I really enjoy the 10k distance - sometimes crowded 5ks feel like a lot of effort for a super short race, but not quite as enduring as a half. I hate when races start like that! We have several locally that mix everyone together, and the first mile always feels like bobbing and weaving.

    Glad you took some time for you! You've definitely earned it :)

  2. Totally awesome! I'm like, so glad you, like got to run it and everything. :)

  3. I have to do this race next year. I'm in love with the casette medal. The costumes are great too!


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