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10K race in 48:26 min.

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I never jump at a chance to run a 10K (I’d rather pay for more miles), but when my girlfriend Veronique won a free entry to the Love Run, a very local race benefitting Senior Concerns Meals on Wheels, I ponied up the $30 plus a $5 donation to MoW to register, and I was not disappointed!

Let me begin by saying how much I love seniors. I like talking to them, listening to their stories, and imagining what they might have been like when they were younger. They have so much experience, and I feel like a wisdom thief when I chat up my elders. Senior Concerns takes care of our local elder community by providing meals and more to those who need the help. I have a soft spot in my heart for old people and old dogs, so it worked out perfectly that Senior Concerns was the main beneficiary of the Love Run.

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I’ve only been running for two years, and I had never run this race because it was always on the same weekend as Ojai 2 Ocean (now the M2B), but this was the 20th Anniversary Love Run!

I had zero expectations for this race, but the people over at Senior Concerns and the other sponsors BLEW ME AWAY!!!

Packet Pickup:

Packet pickup was held over two days at our local Road Runner Sports.

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I knew I would be impressed the minute I saw chocolate bars making their way into the swag bags.

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I pretty positive that this was the most swaggy of bags I’ve ever received at a race! 

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Shampoo, a Vapur bottle, deodorant, sunscreen, electrolyte samples, CHIP CLIPS!!!

I think they’re standard, but they always make me a little bit excited!

The Race:

The morning of the race, Veronique drove to my house so we could carpool. We dropped my kids off at my mostamazingsisterintheworld’s house and drove five minutes to the start at the Westlake Village Hyatt. Where I realized that I had left my Garmin at home. Running naked? Not in the plans. But then again, I didn’t really have a plan since my quads were still giving me mixed signals from last week’s marathon. I was just hoping to finish.

Porta potty lines were a nonissue:

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Plenty to go around!

There were two races, the 10K at 7:45 and the 5K at 8:00. There were around 1,400 participants this year, which was apparently the largest (and most competitive) group in the history of the Love Run!

The race started on time, and there were no issues with the start. Race directors made it pretty clear that faster runners should be near the start and slower should be at the back, and since it’s a very local race, people listened!

The race was a pretty flat out and back, aside from the minor descent at the beginning/climb at the finish. Within the first 100 yards, I knew I was going to be struggling to not walk. Six miles is NBD usually, but without my security blanket/Garmin and with the fatigue from last week, it seemed to last an eternity. 

My only complaint for this race is that it majorly bottlenecked at the 5K turnaround. I had to weave a lot and dodge walking groups flailing their arms as they animatedly chatted, fully taking in the gorgeous morning.

There were two water stations set up along the course, but I nerdily brought my own handheld because I feared the heat and didn’t want to be left in a melted puddle of runner on the streets of Westlake.

All my drama aside, Veronique continued her PR roll, clocking in at just over 50 minutes!!!

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Twinner Kayanos!!!

She’s amazing and gets faster with each race!

I didn’t ever feel strong or find my zone in this race. It was both a mental and physical task to finish the 6 flat miles in 48 minutes. Luckily, my new Oiselle Rogas gave me wings to finish strong! Because it was a small race, I managed to squeak in an age group award, and I’ll take it. Actually, my kids, as usual, fought over it.

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Blondie for the win. My mini me was hoping for bigger, better things in the post race bag.

Post Race:

Think Great Race of Agoura, but more intimate!

A free pancake breakfast was provided by the Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks! Check out their website… there’s a Brew Fest in August that sounds pretty darn spectacular!

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Another piece of awesome of the day was the free massage from Elements Massage in Thousand Oaks.

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I’m calling tomorrow to schedule a massage!

There were a lot of other super cute local businesses there that I never knew existed.

It was a great event, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a small, local 5/10K put on by super nice people.

The Good:

  • really local and small
  • well organized
  • awesome swag bag and post race festivities (including a kids’ zone!)
  • flat and fast course (if you didn’t run your first marathon the previous weekend)
  • hot breakfast

The ehh:

  • The bottlenecking at the 10K/5K

Total Score: 9.6

 

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