Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4.5
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
2.5
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
3.5
The Lake Forest Chargers 5K begins at the corner of Lake Forest Drive and Serrano Road. You will proceed SE on Lake Forest Drive to Jeronimo Road at which point the course turns around (makes a U-turn) and proceeds NW on Lake Forest Drive to Toledo Way. The course then … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Bettejh1 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This used to be my neighborhood July 4 morning....In all the years I lived a mile from the start line, I ran this race unless I was traveling out of … MORE

    This used to be my neighborhood July 4 morning….In all the years I lived a mile from the start line, I ran this race unless I was traveling out of town and always had a love/hate relationship with it. I loved it because it was local and many of my neighbors ran it. I hated it because I could never reach my goal in that race; either the heat or the elevation threw me. I did come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd AG in various years, and 4th many times, I think.
    The Charger 5k or Firecracker 5k or whatever they were calling it each year is a simple, local, small race that is almost always on July 4 (sometimes they move it to the 3rd if the 4th is on a Sunday) and precedes the city of Lake Forest’s July 4 parade.
    Part of Lake Forest Drive is closed for both the race and parade.
    The Tshirts (as far as I know they have never offered anything but actual cotton blend tshirts, no tech shirts) used to have a challenge rhyme on the back for the year, like “Beating you in 2008 feels great”. I loved getting those shirts and would get a large size to use as a pool cover up or to give to my hubby who did not run. The medals are fine, winners get gift certificates and small race medals. Age groups are 5 year increments.
    Anyway, the race:
    The start is in front of a Ralphs grocery; some of the lot is blocked for shoppers and the rest is open if you arrive early enough. Surrounding residential streets have parking if not on the parade route. It starts a little late for a mid-summer day, so there will be bright sun on your face during the last 3/4 mile. Be prepared.
    You run .9 mile down LF Drive to Jeronimo, which is a nice gentle slope. If this were a longer run, I’d caution not to run too fast down the slope, but being only a 5k I learned to just go out medium-hard and take advantage. If you go out too fast, you will pay for it….because…once you turn around at Jeronimo you get to run half-way back up the slope and turn on Toledo, which is even more “up”, you could almost call it a hill. The turn around is at about mile 2.2, just past El Toro High School. If your legs will let you, fly back down Toledo. The final turn back onto LF Drive will put the sun on your face and you will run the rest of the earlier slope back up to the finish and that leg of the run is the toughest, dig deep!
    Post race isn’t much, but there is a pancake breakfast at the high school, very yummy and the line moves fast.
    This is a long review of a short race, but I’m so intimately familiar with it, I had to share! My son-in-law used to coach Bball at El Toro and these fundraisers make a big impact.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    2
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    Profile photo of Debra Okano
    Dokano REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Challenging course - downhill start with big hill at 2 miles - back down to slight uphill finish. But, well organized, and family friendly (a lot of young people, strollers, … MORE

    Challenging course – downhill start with big hill at 2 miles – back down to slight uphill finish. But, well organized, and family friendly (a lot of young people, strollers, etc.). I run it every year with my friends – see a lot of neighbors and the kids from the local high school. Also love the fact that the race is supported by A Snail’s Pace Running Store so age group winners receive gift certificates!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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  2. Lake Forest Chargers 5K