(#51) New Year’s Race Los Angeles At Night (January 5, 2013) – Part 1 (Round and Round the Parking Lot We Go)

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Aurora De Lucia with her medal from the New Year's Race Los Angeles at Night 2013. It doesn’t get much more convenient than this. I left my apartment twenty minutes before the race started. I was at the start line in five.

I met up with Brian and Singrid from The Long Beach International Half Marathon. The race started about 20 minutes late. Even though I was ready to get the party started, I had all night. It didn’t matter much to me.

As we went around downtown, I saw the Disney Concert Hall, and other downtown-type places. It almost helped me connect where places were that I’d been before, in relation to each other.

But alas, I have no sense of maps in my head or on paper, so I still don’t know where anything is. Luckily, I didn’t need to. I just followed the course.

Once we made it into the Dodger Stadium area, I thought we might be in for some fun.

Nope. We went all around the parking lot for what seemed like our entire lives. I am hesitant to complain too much about it because people on the Facebook page are furious about it. (The internet is often awful, and should not always be read/paid attention to.)

There was a course map available. (I don’t think it was available when I signed up as one of the first 500 runners. However, being in the first 500, I got a steep registration discount. (My entry fee was only $45.) So, what do I have to complain about?)

Anyway, the course map did show that many miles would be done around Dodger Stadium. (For once I actually looked at a course map ahead of time, because they were posted everywhere throughout my building.)

But I don’t know that everyone who’s unfamiliar with Dodger Stadium knew it would be miles and miles of parking lot, just because lines on the map were going around the stadium.

Also, I think the main killer was not that it was a seemingly endless parking lot – but that it was a silent seemingly endless parking lot.

It very well may be hard to get permits to play music late at night, but that was what made it boring. If we had had pop music blaring, I doubt that nearly as many complaints would’ve come in.

Once we’d been going around and around Dodger Stadium for what seemed like eternity, we got to go through the stadium. “Single Ladies” was playing – it sounded like it was coming from some suite people were hanging out in. I was all, “I know that dance.”

Surprisingly, I still remembered it in my head, though I was only doing small hand motions on the course. But, I was about ready to run in the middle of the baseball diamond and rock out a show… Perhaps next time.

When we finally got out of the Dodger Stadium area, we made it back to the craziness that is downtown Los Angeles. We saw scenes of people getting in fights down the block from us. We saw a car almost ram into the course. (And I saw police leap into action. I’ve never seen a police officer reach for his gun before.)

Even though L.A. is crazy, I never once felt unsafe. (For one thing, I live down here and I’m obviously as tough as nails, I’m sure…) There was a very large police presence (and of course whole bunch of runners were around as well).

A couple of fun things from our super safe adventure: A college-age looking man came up to us and asked for directions to his next bar. Turns out, he was going the same way as we were, so he talked to us for a bit and showered us in confetti he had hiding in this New Year’s trinket horn looking thing.

There was also a man on the side of the street, who didn’t seem crazy or drunk, who wanted a hug. I nearly gave him one, but I didn’t want to stop. Though we had a slow rhythm going, we had a rhythm, and we were ready to finish this race!

(Sorry, guy who wanted a hug. Hopefully you got one from someone behind me.)

I’ll pick up with more tomorrow.

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