October 29, 2017
The Cancer Challenge returned to the UCLA campus for the second year in a row. One year it was randomly in Woodland Hills after the L.A. VA told them they would not hold it after at least 8 years at that location, and I ran at UCLA the first LACC I ran.
Last year, I carpooled and we paid beaucoup bucks for parking. Since I am driving by myself, I don’t want to pay $15 for parking and I’m going to figure out a cheaper option – I don’t mind walking in a bit.
The other change for this year is that they offered a 15K option. I have done a 15K option (of sorts) the past few years, because I’ll run the 10K and then the 5K, but this is an actual 15K race (aka 3 loops).
I mapped out where to park and gave myself a lot of extra time to navigate around that area and also to walk in to the race start. Where I thought I would park was too close to dorms and there was pretty impacted parking and a number of permit signs to prevent parking.
Another 3 blocks away, I found lots of parking in the neighborhood (and no signs!). It was probably about a 15 minute walk (as compared to the 10 minute walk from the paid parking lot).
The weather is quite a bit better this year (last year, ran in a torrential downpour), but it is a bit chilly. There is a decent crowd from AREC doing the 15K – Laura, Chuck, john Ellis, Stephanie, and Jessica Centeno (in matching outfits).
My thought is that I want to run a decent first 5K, a slower next 5K, and a horrifically slow third 5K (or just run decently). It’s certainly not a flat course, with one long uphill in the first mile, and a steep uphill at about 2.5 miles.
First loop – 24:56 (decent first 5K!)
Second loop – 25:56 (slower, but decent)
On my third loop, I stumbled on the speed bump when I got distracted by a driver wanting to drive on the course (but stopped by course monitors). This caused my inserts to turn completely around (and wrenched my back). So then I stopped completely to readjust the inserts and Laura passed me.
Third loop – 32:12 (horrifically slow 3rd 5K – but I did trip AND stop to fix my shoes).
Total time was 1:23:27 (way off my best) but good enough for 4th in my division and 46th overall (any time you overall your age, it’s a good day).
On the walk back to my car, I ended up meeting a UCLA alum who placed in his division in the 5K – under 18:00 for the race. He was either a PT or in training to be so we talked about rehabbing injuries and running, etc. Helped to pass the time on the walk back to the car.