The New Year’s Race Los Angeles Half Marathon at Night – Race Reveiw

The New Year’s Race Los Angeles Half Marathon at Night was a very novel idea. The promoters did and excellent job getting the word out for this first time event.

It took me a while to register. As much as I wanted to pull the trigger on this event I was thinking about the possibility of rain and cold the first Saturday night in January. The money I could have saved by registering early might go up in smoke since I had little desire to run on a cold rainy night. I was also already registered for the Xterra Boney Mt Trail Half Marathon the next morning and that is a must do race,

Well we lucked out since it didn’t rain, even though rain was in the forecast and it rained hours later. But, it was cold. Cold is good running weather but I still sweat and getting into warm, dry clothes immediately after the race was important to me.

Here’s where the New Year’s Race Los Angeles nailed it. They had a great gear bag check-in system and moved our gear right outside the finish line secure area. The after party with food trucks, Sierra Nevada beer tent and music was great, but it was cold at midnight when I was in thee eating and sipping a cold frosty.

The Course: When you live in LA and have run all the downtown LA races possible, what was going to make this race different from all the rest? Running inside Dodger Stadium. I think running on the warning track and just outside the base-path was the coolest part of the race. The course felt like the LA Marathon in reverse, running the downtown streets, past City Hall, Olvera Street, Chinatown then up to Dodger Stadium, the only real difference being, in the dark. The streets were safe and I din’t hit a pothole. The only downside was the maze of running in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. More about that later.

Another win was running at 9 PM. It was dark, instead of the many unusual costume and yes there were some, was the way people lighted themselves up.

Potential Improvements: The race started late. Not the biggest deal for a first time race. It was a inaugural event and traffic downtown, with a Clippers game in progress and streets closed for the race, made driving those one way streets difficult and time consuming. I found less traffic coming in from below. I came in off the 10, even though I live in Pasadena I parked south of the Staples Center. We also ran too much in Dodger Stadium parking lot. I think we made up about 3 miles inside the gates. it got to be a little boring.

IMHO The Real Fix: This is an awesome idea, a night race in LA but let’s do it in summer, when it is warmer. It was late for some but the runners I knew wanted to party. I think the local businesses would also benefit.

I will be back. I like the night race thing. I think I’ll run it purely for fun next year. I have some fun ideas but I’ll share those later. Pretty good job for a first time event.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs


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