The Hotlegs Runner Race Review & Recap: 13.1 Los Angeles | The Hotlegs Runner

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Race Review & Recap: 13.1 Los Angeles

Last Sunday (Jan. 16) was my very first race event for 2011 and my 5th half marathon.  I won the race entry to this (The 13.1 Series - Los Angeles) at a giveaway hosted by Thad, the Runner Dude.  Thank you, Thad!

To Race or not to race?  That was the question!

On my post last week, I wasn't sure if I should race it or treat it as a long run.  My marathon training sched says I need to do 18 miles for my long run. So after the 13.1, I had to do another 5 miles after.  The decision came as soon as the race started.  I decided to race it.  The adrenaline rush took over!  Did a 2:30 Galloway. 2K run and 30 sec walk interval.

The Trip
LA is about an hour from our place so I was up by 4am and we were on the road by 5:15am.  We got a little lost finding a gas station so I could pee!  I don't like porta-potties, you see.  But, we made it to the start line just in time.  I was there about 10 minutes before the gun went off.

The Start
The weather was perfect at 7am and I'm glad I wore a thin top and a running skirt instead of tights (Thank you Go Girl Sport for my race outfit!) coz it got really warm later on!

13.1 Los Angeles 2011
I read a review saying that last year, there was no national anthem.  For this year, there was a musician playing it on his trumpet...or maybe a sax...oh I dunno, it was some wind instrument.  I really didn't see.  Just heard.   He was kindda out of tune (sadly) when he was (trying) to hit the high notes. =(  But, we still cheered him on. =)  Also, unlike last year, the race this year started on time.  At exactly 7:13.  Why 7:13?  13 coz it's a 13.1 mile race.  Get it? =)

13.1 Los Angeles 2011

Mile 1
This was my only favorite part, sad to say.  On your right you get an awesome view of the beach.  It was kindda cool running along Venice Beach. However, even before you complete mile 1, when you turn left on Venice Blvd., the beach view is gone. Boo!

Mile 2 - 13.1
Ok, I'm not in a hurry but there really isn't much to tell.

It was basically and out and back course: "start and end along the shores of the Santa Monica Bay, and head south to the world famous Venice Beach area before heading east along Venice Boulevard into Mar Vista and Palms before turning around at Culver City and returning along the same west side of Los Angeles communities to finish up at Windward Circle in Venice." 

13.1 Los Angeles 2011

13.1 Los Angeles 2011
I had to look down a lot of times coz there were a lot of cracks and potholes on the road.  I remember amusing myself by looking at the contemporary apartment buildings and by people watching.  I don't do this a lot but I had to amuse myself somehow, right?  Just some of what I remember seeing (and smelling!)...

  • The first placer (not surprised that it was a Kenyan) on his way back while I was just in mile 4.5 (7.35KM)
  • A stroller running mama pushing with her left hand and waving her right hand wildly in front of her wondering why...and then it hit me seconds after...BAM!  Someone let go off one helluva stinker!  Phew!  Whattya have for breakfast?!
  • 2 blonde men who were also identical twins running side by side in perfect synchronicity.
  • A 70+ or even 80 (I kid you not) year old woman passing me at mile 10.  What the?
    • A barefoot runner avoiding the cracks, potholes and loose asphalt on the road.
    13.1 Los Angeles 2011
    • Darth Vader and Austin Powers by the finish line.

    My rating for this race is... 4 HOT LEGS!

    What I Loved:
    1. Okay for someone could pick up your race packet - very convenient since it was near Mike's work.
    2. Technical shirt - Finally a shirt that fits me!

    3. Mile Markers and Timers - who doesn't love these?
    13.1 Los Angeles 20114. Corral Start - didn't expect this but was happy to see there were.
    5. Running by the beach - even if it was just for a few minutes.
    6. Port-a-potties - though I didn't need to use one, I did see a lot.
    7. Spectator and Crowd support -  there were bands, fire-eaters and cheerleaders.
    8. Lots of Post Race Food and Drink at the finish line - Burp!
    9. Medal - that little oval where you see the spins! woah! :p
    13.1 Los Angeles 2011

    Pretzels, oranges, bananas, gatorade and food trucks for the hungry runners

    Suggested improvements for next year...
    1. Route - would be nice to run longer by the beach
    2. Hydration Stations - though they were plenty, I suggest having one on both sides
    13.1 Los Angeles 2011

    This is only the second year of 13.1 Series in Los Angeles and comparing the reviews from last year, I could say they've improved.  Definitely a good turnout for year 2 -- there were more runners this year compared to it's first year in 2010.

    That said, considering that it's a small event, it was pretty okay.  I can't really complain since I didn't have to pay the $65 or $80 race fee.  Also, I didn't expect a lot since I knew it was a relatively new event.  There's still a lot of room for improvement here -- 13.1 LA has a lot of potential to become a really big and fun event with each year getting better (and bigger!).

    For those thinking of running this, here are my tips:

    1.  wear shorts/running skirt, tank top, visor, and sunglasses - it's suppose to be winter still but it got really warm.

    2.  bring your own hydration belt - only if you're thirsty all the time like me.  Even if they have a lot of hydration stations, there were not on both sides.  And again, it got warm so I got thirsty easily.

    3.  bring your own energy gel - there weren't any.

    4.  don't expect much, just try to enjoy - be happy that you're running another day.  Smile and cheer on other runners.

    5.  bring cash for parking - we were lucky to find a free spot somewhere near the finish line to park but I read you have to pay $8 - $10 for parking.  Have the cash and correct change since (I also read) the machine doesn't accept $20 dollar bills.

    Well that's it!  Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

    I PRed!!!

    My last time was 2:24 (Disney Half Marathon, Sept. 2010) and for this race, my time was 2:18 according to my Garmin.  Unfortunately, the race results are not out yet.

    Anyhoo...6 minute PR, baybehhhh!  Thank you, God! Woohoo!

    Mike and I drove to The Promenade so we could sit and eat peacefully.  We had yummy Persian food!

    13.1 Los Angeles 2011
    13.1 Los Angeles 2011
     Beef, chicken, fish and lots of rice! :p

    Click HERE for more photos!
    Other Photo Credits: ASIphotos

    JuliePosts you might have missed this week:


    1. Congrats on an AWESOME PR!!!!

    2. congratulations on your PR :D

      I always follow your advice #2 & #4

    3. nice job! i am so jealous of you running in such warm sunny weather. we got almost 6 inches of snow today! :) glad you enjoyed yourself! congrats on the pr.

    4. Congrats on the big PR! Sounds like a fun day and you can't beat running by the beach! Way to go.

    5. Cograts on your PR! That is awesome Julie. Yay for running by the beach too! And you look darn hot doing it. :)

    6. That's a mighty big PR, especially in the heat. Congrats!

    7. Congrats on the PR. Great review as well. People will get a lot out of this post.

      Can't wait to see how the marathon training keeps going and then the race.

      Congrats BBF....)Ou are doing so great!

    8. congrats :)"to race or not to race" ummmmm is that even a question? hahahah

    9. Congratulations!!!! A 6 min PR is HUGE!!!! :)

    10. Great race recap! and congrats on your PR! you always look good in your race photos :) i’m quite envious!

    11. Congrats on the PR icamethisclose to spontaneously signing up for this race since I was i LA last week but ultimately passed to save the $$ and not piss off my friend who had a big day planned for us.

      Seems like a fun run kinda wish I did it after all!

    12. Julie,

      Props on the PR!!! I am a blogger (Todayz Run)from Utah. I just got back from running the L.A. 13.1, so I had to send a shout out. Okay I thought the race was way more amazing than you did, but that could have been because the weather was so nice. (Running in 12 degrees in Utah is not fun!!!)
      My question for you since you live in California, is which half marathons in Cali. are your faves? The Disney one has always looked fun, but some peeps say it is not so great!! Since I run for hardware the medals have to be great!!!

    13. Great race and recap, well done! Congratulations on your PR!!! Lovely photos! Haha, not much you can do to avoid the stinkers. Have a good weekend!

    14. Sounds like you had a great time and a PR to boot, nice one.

    15. Congrats on your new PR - great job!!

    16. Sounds like you'd a wonderful day with incredible weather and a mind-blowing six minute PR. Many congratulations. Loved your race report and great set of pictures. Your stretching puts me to shame!
      Well done Julie.

    17. Great recap and congrats again!!

    18. Super congrats on your PR and this is a great review. I've been watching the 13.1 series & agree they have an opp to become really big! Good heads up!

    19. Fantastic time. Congrats on the PR! :X (I always have fun picking a smiley)

    20. I love your race outfit! You look super HAWT in that skirt, but I'm most happy about your PR!! Shaving off 6 minutes in heat, AWESOMENESS!!

    21. Hi - I recently started following your blog and love it. Great race review - and congrats on the PR!!!


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