This was the 33rd Annual Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5/10k Run. But this was the first year I've heard about it.
It was a really fun event, 100% put on by volunteers which donate all the proceeds to the Chinatown community.
Its a great event for a great cause.
Here is the link to their Facebook site which has some videos - http://www.facebook.com/lacfrc
and their main site - http://www.firecracker10k.org/
When I signed up for the 10k, my friend told me, he ran this race last year, and it had a ton of hills and he wasn't doing it again this year.
I usually dont mind hills and thought, "How bad could it be?"
If I had to describe this race with 1 word it would be HILLS!! It was tough, but Beautiful.. You start off near the end of Chinatown, and run up toward Elysian Park, coiling up all the way to the top, then down towards Dodger Stadium, and back down onto Broadway, where you have the last stretch to the finish line. At times I wanted to take out my camera, but then I didn't want to slow my time down.
As we started the race, I saw the 5k runners coming down the last final turn, and making it back onto Broadway, so I had in my mind, "that's the last turn, then gun it for the finish line."
The race wasn't very crowded, a few thousand people, so the corral markers were pretty much ignored, I didn't stand in my corral, because I wanted less people to dodge.
At the first hill people weren't defeated yet, we ran. It went up forever... After the first mile, it flattened like 100 feet, and I thought, yes its over.. I usually like hills, its my strength where I usually find opportunity to pass up others, but that joy was short-lived as another hill approached. There were a few times when I thought, its over..but no, another hill around the corner. But through all the painful hills, running up Elysian Park had beautiful views of Down town LA and Dodger stadium. It was worth it.
I wanted to run the entire course, but at the peak, it was just too much and I walked the last 100 feet incline.
The rest it was "mostly" all downhill from there. Made up my lost time, and when I saw that last turn, The finish line was near.
I really liked having the finish line so close to the last curve.. If I had to run another 1-2 miles after that brutal hill, I don't know what I would think.. in my mind I kept telling myself, just look for the last turn, it'll all be over soon. It's really what pushed me through it.
I think I might do this race again next year. :-D