I had little expectations for the Run Forest Run 5k in Santa Monica. With a $25 5k these days, I was minorly concerned that the course wouldn’t be accurate. Not only that, but the last week was super busy becasue it was short. So my expectations to run “well” at the Run Forest Run 5k were not high. But my goal this summer is to run as many 5ks as possible and run under 20 minutes again.
Before the Run Forest Run 5k:
My friend Brittany and I arrived in Santa Monica around 4:30 pm the night before. The drive there is usually not bad and only takes about an hour and a half. We went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant, got some Carlos Bakery Cake (YAY for a taste of NJ in CA), and went to bed early. I didn’t sleep well, but I tried not to worry too much. We ran from the hotel to the Run Forst Run race. I didn’t feel great during the warmup but I wasn’t too concerned. I kept telling myself: “this is a $25 5k,” it is not that serious.
Run Forest Run 5k Race:
The Run Forest Run 5k also had a 10k, 15k, and half marathon. All of the races did a bunch of out and backs, and I decided I wanted to see how organized the race was before committing to anything longer. I’ve enjoyed running hard 5ks anyway. I think the 5k/10k/15k all went off simultaneously. (I think the half marathon began before?).
Anyway, the Run Forest Run 5k went off quickly. There was no countdown; it was just a go. Which, because it was just gun time, is not great. Luckily I was already at the front line. There were probably 50-100 people at the Run Forest Run 5k, which was many more than I expected.
The Run Forest Run 5k is just out and back. It runs by the Santa Monica Pier, which was awesome. During the first mile, I found myself as a second woman. Where I stayed the entire time. I felt like I was catching the first woman, but the moment she realized it, she took off. During the first mile, I was focusing on getting more rhythm. There weren’t a lot of people out, so we didn’t have to weave much. I ran a 6:32. I was very surprised.
The next mile went along the paved boardwalk and turned around at mile 1.55. My turn was not incredibly fast or graceful, and I ran a 6:36 second mile. I found myself slowly catching one young boy but always about 10 seconds back from the first female. It was nice to have someone motivate me, and I just focused on staying as close to her as possible. To my surprise, I ran a 6:32 last mile (LOL, my previous miles in 5ks have ranged anywhere from 6:40-6:50).
I crossed the Run Forest Run 5k in 20:19 and was the second woman (5th overall?).
Run Forest Run 5k Thoughts:
I’m thrilled with this and pleasantly surprised. It’s my fastest road 5k of the summer and tied with the 20:19 and the track Twilight 5k (which I flew and died at). It’s nice to have a consistent race with a fast last mile (and not because the mile was downhill). The more 5ks I’ve run, the “easier” 6:30 pace feels again, which is always motivating.
The race itself was well put together, and I would recommend any in the LA area. We did get medals and an accurate course (no t-shirt, but that’s ok).
Questions for you:
What’s the cheapest 5k you’ve done recently?
Have you been to Santa Monica?