L.A. Firecracker 10K

Last June, I ran my first 10K around my hometown of Crofton, Maryland. I ran down the American flag-lined streets of the planned community to Town Hall, past my old elementary school, all while groaning as I climbed the hills of the parkway. I thought that 10K was hard, but it paled in comparison to the LA Firecracker 10K.

Gerred and I love running together. It is very much our “thing.” Now that we live in San Diego, one of the best places to run all year long, we’ve signed ourselves up for a few races this year.

The first race we set our sights on was the LA Firecracker 10K. We wanted our first time seeing Los Angeles together to be unique and we couldn’t think of a better way to see the city than with a run. I had seen a Lunar New Year Festival before, but it had been in a gymnasium on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. So, I was ready to see how LA Chinatown did Lunar New Year the right way. And above all we chose the 10K to prepare for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in May.

After 6 weeks of training with Nike +, Gerred and I were ready for LA and the big 10K on March 1st. We hopped in the car at 5 am and drove 2 hours to the race. We arrived at the race, carbo loaded with chow mein from yesterday’s packet pick-up, and ready to see LA.

The opening ceremony started with Shannon Lee, daughter of the famous Bruce Lee, announcing the days events. As she stepped away the Lion Dancers soon moved through the streets to the beat of the drums, chomping on lettuce, and returning just as the firecrackers set off. Smoke filled the starting line and after the 5K had returned, our race began.

We ran through the hills of Elysian Park. The hills were difficult, but I reminded myself how I was able to climb the hills of Baltimore’s Charles Street and that I could climb these hills all the way to the summit of Angels Point. It also helped that I changed out my regular audiobook for the Spinning station on Pandora.

Once we reached the top it was mostly downhill and I was able to pinch my pace by 3 minutes (remember I’m not the fastest runner so I was shocked.) We came down the hill and passed the Dodgers’ Stadium and the LAPD Academy.

When it came down to the last half-mile I could hear the drums. I broke into a sprint and passed the finish line. We were handed our medals and we were pleased. After posing with the Instagram board we called it a day and headed home.

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