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@olau822

Artesia, CA Raving since 2016 active 3 years, 3 months ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Great Wall

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Valencia Trail 50

  • I run because:

    i want to stay healthy, fit, and energetic

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (6)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50K Santa Clarita, CA Mar 25, 2017 8:26:45
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 9, 2016 4:20:00
25K Calabasas, CA Aug 27, 2016 2:52:00
Half Marathon Death Valley, CA Feb 6, 2016 2:02:00
10K Encinitas, CA Oct 15, 2016 48:38
5K Los Angeles, CA Mar 18, 2017 25:55

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (17)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon San Francisco, CA Jul 23, 2017
Marathon Newport Beach, CA May 6, 2017
50K Santa Clarita, CA Mar 25, 2017 8:26:45
5K Los Angeles, CA Mar 18, 2017 25:55
Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 5, 2017 4:21:00
Marathon Carlsbad, CA Jan 15, 2017 4:48:48
Half Marathon Escondido, CA Dec 11, 2016 2:24:40
Marathon Avalon, CA Nov 19, 2016 6:04:00
25K Laguna Beach, CA Oct 29, 2016 3:05:00
10K Encinitas, CA Oct 15, 2016 48:38
Marathon Long Beach, CA Oct 9, 2016 4:20:00
Half Marathon Big Bear Lake, CA Oct 1, 2016 2:02:17
25K Calabasas, CA Aug 27, 2016 2:52:00
Marathon Xilinhot, China Jul 2, 2016 5:10:06
Marathon Los Angeles, CA Feb 14, 2016 4:47:00
5K Los Angeles, CA Feb 13, 2016 27:14
Half Marathon Death Valley, CA Feb 6, 2016 2:02:00

My Raves

If there was an award for best website and logistics for a race, this one is it. You can tell they really want to make the race the best it … MORE

If there was an award for best website and logistics for a race, this one is it. You can tell they really want to make the race the best it can be and they really thought about all the little things that make a race special. They go out of their way to explain everything so there is no confusion about the race. It’s really the only race I’ve reviewed so far that I really don’t have any recommendations to make it better. They even had a tent portapotty station at a trail race. Now that’s kicking it up a notch. The stations were great. The views were amazing. I just wished there were more single track instead of fire roads but it was clearly stated that there would be 70% fire roads. It’s just a terrifically organized race.

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It's nice to see tents for charities in the Dodger's parking lot rather than tents selling stuff. This is a hilly quick run around Elysian Park and the surrounding hills … MORE

It’s nice to see tents for charities in the Dodger’s parking lot rather than tents selling stuff.

This is a hilly quick run around Elysian Park and the surrounding hills around Dodger’s stadium.

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The good: 1. Very huge and hefty medal with a great design. Now i want to add magnetic tape on some other medals so I can stick them up on … MORE

The good:
1. Very huge and hefty medal with a great design. Now i want to add magnetic tape on some other medals so I can stick them up on my fridge.

2. Easy free parking at beach and a good excuse to warm up and cool down with a 15-20 minute walk.

3. Wave start and good gap between the half and full.

4. Nice long sleeve shirt and shopping bag which I can use for grocery shopping.

5. Ample beach potties along the route.

6. The emergency blanket was a plus for the walk back to the parking lot especially in the cool overcast weather

Improvements:

1. The aid stations are needed during the toughest stretch (18-21) and more Biofreeze spray volunteers needed earlier in the race. And the gel stations need to be spaced out instead of jammed in the middle stations only. The stations also should be on one side like at most races so people who don’t want to stop can just run through without running into a crowd.

2. There are very narrow lanes for the marathon runners and a bit dangerous when bicyclists whiz by. Added an additional half mile from having to go around runners.

3. More separators are needed so the half marathoners don’t crowd up during their middle miles.

4. Feel bad for the people who needed to wait an hour for their beer after the race.

5. The thrice out and back loops was a bit boring

It’d be a great race if the organizers put as much thought into the little details and logistics as they do in designing their medals. After 20 years, you’d think they would have all those details ironed out.

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Logistics: Nice day off race bib pickup. For the size of the marathon, it should be allowed like any other smaller races without the extra fee. Also ran out of … MORE

Logistics: Nice day off race bib pickup. For the size of the marathon, it should be allowed like any other smaller races without the extra fee. Also ran out of the 1/4 zip so settled for a woman’s to give as a gift.

The roving medics on bicycles saved my bacon on mile 19 when I got a muscle spray for my calf. Having medic stations all spread out doesn’t really help a runner if they cramp up and are lying on the ground. These roving medics were a lifesaver! Any big race should consider having this kind of roving medic on bikes. I’ve seen too many runners with big cramps later in a marathon and a med tent is too far away.

Nice views along the beach. The only boring and really hilly portion is a turn out loop during the middle of the race when runners have to loop towards a business park and freeway. If they had kept it only along the beach, it would have been better.

There were many after race booths for food and drinks. Everything is conveniently located next to a mall so parking was free and many food options nearby.

Cool medal with etching on both sides!

Many gels along the route and plenty of drink stations.

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Nice 8 AM start time, so not too early. Two out and back rolling trail routes with a bit of sandy trail. There weren't any steep climbs. The total climb … MORE

Nice 8 AM start time, so not too early.

Two out and back rolling trail routes with a bit of sandy trail. There weren’t any steep climbs. The total climb was only 185 meters. There were many short up and downs so it was a lot of quick downs and using momentum to climb up out of the steep rises.

Had views of Lake Hodges in Escondido. Convenient free parking and all of the mountain bikers who were sharing their trails were very cordial and supportive.

The aid stations only had water and sport drink although there were hot dogs and hamburgers at the end with chips.

Kudos for having portapotties at convenient locations.

300 plus for the half, 10K and 5K.

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Take the hour long boat ride in the morning of the race and it's a short walk to the fountain where the staging area is. Over 200 for the marathon … MORE

Take the hour long boat ride in the morning of the race and it’s a short walk to the fountain where the staging area is. Over 200 for the marathon and 300 for the half. Also a 10k and kid race. Everything is within walking distance in the small town of Avalon.

Course: very well marked with mile markers, very rare for a trail race. Very enthusiastic volunteers and well stocked stations. All unneeded was a bottle and refilled it every aid station about 2-3 mile apart. The biggest one is at mile 20 after their crush hill. Actually, the first climb during mile 2-3 to get atop the 2000 foot peak was tougher. But it’s quite flat from mile 5-18 with occassional rolling hills. But it’s quite steep at the beginning and end except for the first and last mile. Having poles would have helped for the steep parts. The only bad part was during mile 18? the fire roads where vehicles kick up a ton of dust except for the rangers who slowed down.

Saw buffalo from across a dip in the valley at mile 6and again at 21when you backtrack on the way down to Avalon. Huge swooping turkey vultures at the peak too.

Swag: long sleeve tech t and buffalo medal. Not much food afterwards but aid stations were great. There is a ice water pouring station around mile 15-16. Pizza at the end but only two pieces left and I arrived middle of the pack. But plenty of food options afterwards. Nice to see a band afterwards.

It’s right in front of the harbor so you can relax at the beach or take a soak in the cold water.

The scenery is nice but mostly cactus and chapparal.

It’s nice that you can go the morning of the race by boat.

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It's a flat switchback course along the beach. 5/10/15k. Production: convenient parking and beach facilities with a huge expo for a beach run. Many vendors are out giving out samples … MORE

It’s a flat switchback course along the beach. 5/10/15k.

Production: convenient parking and beach facilities with a huge expo for a beach run. Many vendors are out giving out samples and very well suported by sponsors. Very easy morning packet pickup. It’s next to a park so other people are out to enjoy the day. It’s a afternoon run so not a super early morning start time. More family friendly. 5

Swag: better quality tech t shirt and nice medal. vendors gave away free drinks and snacks. Some snacks in the swag bag but no food after race. 4

Avoid the many rocks and slopes on the right and stay on the wet flat sand on the left for a smoother faster race.

There are good views of the beach from atop the parking lot and look out area above the expo.

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Positives: 1. Convenient location for parking 2. Organized expo and website 3. Mostly flat course and early start time 4. Snailpacers paced the race with many pace times! 5. Tech … MORE

Positives:
1. Convenient location for parking
2. Organized expo and website
3. Mostly flat course and early start time
4. Snailpacers paced the race with many pace times!
5. Tech shirt with good design and without ads littering the back
6. Five bands throughout
7. Beer garden after the race
8. Three gel stations

Improvements:
1. It’s good the organizers separated the half marathoners at the start. Too bad they didn’t separate them again towards the last two mile stretch on Ocean Blvd. It lead to a huge mess. It would have been easy to split that last stretch in half so the full marathoners don’t need to weave in and out of the walkers doing the half. This one fix would make the race a lot better.

2. Overpriced merchandise and not many race booths at the expo.

3. No sport drinks, only Nuun for electrolytes.

4. Too many dead ends to loop back and forth.

5. The views weren’t great. Half the course is through suburbs. The only pic I took was at the harbor during sunrise of Queen Mary and the bridge.

6. The medal could have given more space to representing the city than the sponsor. The airplane sponsor didn’t need almost have the medal.

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Scenery: Beautiful road race through forest roads next to Big Bear Lake. Smell the forest and see the light dance on the lake like diamonds. 4 Production: very well organized … MORE

Scenery: Beautiful road race through forest roads next to Big Bear Lake. Smell the forest and see the light dance on the lake like diamonds. 4

Production: very well organized for a small race. Big dj van and live times immediately uploaded. No pre race vendors except for a beer company. 4

Swag: cotton t and wooden medal. Would have liked the metal version better. 3

Course: many switchbacks and quite a few rolling hills so not flat as advertised. It’s all on surface roads so expect the curved road that you will share with passing cars over some parts. Very well stocked stations and friendly volunteers.

It’s 6750 feet above sea level so it is a bit cool. Definitely worth it to stay overnight before the race as the drive up is very nice in and of itself.

I almost never rerun a race but this one might be an exception mainly due to the scenery.

Also the rare race that allows dogs!

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Course: normal ribbon and arrows but no mile markers. It's almost all uphill the first half and downhill the second half with a bit of single track at the end … MORE

Course: normal ribbon and arrows but no mile markers. It’s almost all uphill the first half and downhill the second half with a bit of single track at the end after 21k. Chapparal and well kept trails

People confused with starting line as there wasn’t one and people didnt know where to line up as there weren’t any visible signs available.

Ran one loop. Two, if you are running the 50k. But tiny medal. A little bigger than a coin, really. But you need to do the 50 for a buckle. I’d see unhappy faces if the 50k got the same medal! Watermelon and some drinks at the end. I’d expect more runners, especially for an anniversary race, if they took care of the runners a little better.

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Transport out to a small town at the border of Inner Mongolia is hit and miss due to the erratic airline traffic. You will need to know mandarin or book … MORE

Transport out to a small town at the border of Inner Mongolia is hit and miss due to the erratic airline traffic. You will need to know mandarin or book the race hotel or it’ll be a tough go. Logistics is nowhere near Western standards.

The run itself is in the middle of a three-day biking event through all of the rolling hills and grasslands. If you traveled far to get here, don’t expect the Great Wall marathon’s fanfare and setup. It’s not any amenities besides a big bus where they stuff your bags for check-in and some watermelon in the end. The star is mainly for the bikers and this Mongolian hut are outside the town where they stage the bike races.

The course doesn’t need marking as there are many runners and everyone just follow the line of runners. You see pastures of sheep grazing and cows and a few horses. The stations are well spaced out and sufficient where you only need a handheld bottle.

Swag: a tight biking shirt and medal with the runner’s portrait who set the course record on one side of the medal. Never had a medal with the record holder on it.

There is some standard touristy things at the yurt biking area, like archery, horse riding, and food. Saw a biker with a big bottle of John Walker’s after a long day’s bike ride.

It’s worth doing if you are entering the bike portion as well. The race is only worth it if you’re already in the country for holiday.

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Nice run at a state park with mostly chapparel and some ocean views. Too bad there was no race day bib pickup but they make you go to a mall … MORE

Nice run at a state park with mostly chapparel and some ocean views.

Too bad there was no race day bib pickup but they make you go to a mall the day before to pick up your number and shirt. Boo. Not convenient for people who lives far away or can’t go on given pickup day.

Beware of mountain bikers during single track portions

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Got the marathon parking near the finish line and took one of the early shuttles to Dodger's Stadium. Groups are separated by corals and you need to show that you're … MORE

Got the marathon parking near the finish line and took one of the early shuttles to Dodger’s Stadium. Groups are separated by corals and you need to show that you’re in that pace group to get in which is good. It’s a bit chilly in the morning and should have brought my emergency blanket.

Forgot my gels but thank God they gave away as much gel blocks as you want in front of the stadium and that fueled me throughout the race no problem. One block a mile did the trick. And there are many volunteers who will give away free fruits, pastries, and even Yokault towards the end at mile 24 or so which really gave the energy for the finishing kick.

It’s a pretty straightforward course from Chavez ravine to Santa Monica. There were no switchbacks and crazy repeating routes just to make up the miles. There were five or six bands throughout which really boasted my morale.

There were tons of running clubs giving away free stuff throughout and the ice cups really helpful as it got hotter as the morning progressed. I didn’t see this at all in the Long Beach marathon so it really shows the size and scope of this one.

It’s really a nice way to see some of the major neighborhoods in LA county.

AT the end there was a good spread of food but you do need to walk the mile afterwards to reach it. It’s good though as i needed the walking after the race.

The medal is substantial and one of the heaviest ones i’ve got.

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It's a good way to get all of your nervous energy out of the way for the LA marathon the next day. The course is a bit hilly around Dodger's … MORE

It’s a good way to get all of your nervous energy out of the way for the LA marathon the next day.

The course is a bit hilly around Dodger’s stadium, but a good way to get a good run in before the marathon as it has a bit of hills from the stadium to the downtown LA areas.

Nice tech shirt and a well designed medal.

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The pickup is at the ranch area of Death Valley in the midst of many campsites and palm trees. It's a long drive to get out to the start but … MORE

The pickup is at the ranch area of Death Valley in the midst of many campsites and palm trees. It’s a long drive to get out to the start but it’s a scenic one, more scenic than the race itself.

It’s a pretty bare bones race in terms of support and swag. You do it mainly for the scenery. It’s a one way switch back route from the camp village out on a paved road or you can run on the bit of trail right next to it. The road is still open on the other lane so you will get cars passing by.

There are some high school volunteers along the route at aid stations. Porta potties, which are definitely needed, are spaced throughout, because it’s wide open desert surrounded by mountains on both sides.

The swag is minimal with a cotton shirt and small medal. There were drink and some trail mix and snacks after the race. They did send a ribbon for finishing second in age group. Hope the money goes towards the local schools instead of lining the pockets of the RD. Pretty low key race.

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