April 17, 2011

Run for the Parks

It was the inaugural Run for the Parks race in Livermore on April 17. The race took place at Sycamore Grove Park and since it was a trail race I signed up for the 10k. There was a 5k and a kids one mile race as well. Race fee was $30 and included a race shirt and limited post race snacks. The proceeds from the event benefited the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD). Parking was initially supposed to be at a park just north of the start but it was changed last minute. It was moved just over two miles away. This last minute change caused undue pre-race stress and a significant delay in the race start. There were signs to direct everyone to the new parking area, a large dirt lot at Wente Vineyards. Parking was much more adequate here than it would have been in the original location. Race bib pickup was on a large lawn and consisted of long, slow moving lines. Each person had to sign a waiver before picking up their bib. I waited about 15 minutes to get my bib and once I was up to the front of the line there was chaos in trying to find bibs for everyone. Since the alphabetical signs for bib pick up were not easily displayed people were in the wrong lines. Overall, the race planning for bib pick-up and parking was very disorganized. Also on the lawn were a few booths including one for LARPD. There were a few porta potties here and two more closer to the race start/finish which I thought was a good idea. I made my way towards the start and and after waiting for several minutes it was announced that due to late arrivals and long check-in lines the race would start about 25 minutes late. The 10k race started at about 9am instead of 8:30am. The route had a short part on gravel while on Wente grounds then went across the street into Sycamore Grove Park. It was a dirt trail once in the park with small rolling hills. At just under one mile there was a "creek crossing". At the race start we were warned that our shoes would be wet, which many of us were not happy about but once there I was able to jump across the running water without too much effort.  The dirt trail then separated into two lanes with a small patch of grass in between. The trail itself was uneven, which is expected for a trail run. There were volunteers at each place where the route turned and the road itself had chalked arrows to make the race route very clear. There were mile markers at every mile as well. As we got closer to the north entrance of the park the trail went onto a paved trail. At just under the three mile mark there was a water station that was surprisingly manned by only one person. At this part of the route the trail looped around for about a mile, passing the water station again. The route then had me retracing my steps on the dirt road before taking a different path back towards the entrance of the park. After crossing the street and running on the gravel again I reached the finish line back on Wente Vineyards grounds. There was ice cold water bottles available at the finish which was so refreshing since the sun was out and it was starting to warm up. Heading back to the lawn there were some energy bars and muffins. There was also a booth that had cupcakes and other sweets for sale. Race awards did not start until after 11am since everything was delayed. There were about 400 participants in total.  The race location and course was great but because it was so disorganized I am not sure I would do it again.

Long lines for bib pickup

5k Start
10K Start

5k Results
10K Results
Livermore Area Recreation and Park District