Earlier this month I participated in the 8th annual Chula Vista Community 5k. The first thing that drew me to this run was that it’s held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. How cool is that?! You get to run around a venue where actual Olympic athletes have spent several hours training for the grandest athletic event in the world! Now, you can come at certain times during the week for a free audio-guided tour; however, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to actually run around the training grounds and pretend to be an Olympian myself! The second thing that attracted me to this event was that it was only $10! I like cheap – so a 10 buck run is right up my alley. I did have to pay a two dollar online fee (those pesky fees), but the price included a custom bib with my name printed on it and a t-shirt. Also, children 3 and under were free although they don’t receive a bib or t-shirt.
You could choose to pick-up your packet either the day before or the morning of – I had someone grab mine the day before and from what I heard it went pretty smoothly. The parking situation was interesting. I arrived to the venue about 10 minutes early (it was a fun run, not a timed race – so I wasn’t worried about being exactly on time.) But much to my dismay, I was met with a long line of cars waiting to get in and find parking. There were a couple of parking attendees, but they didn’t seem really prepared for the amount of cars that morning. By the time I got close to the parking lot, I was informed that it was full and I needed to turn around and drive back to a church I had passed earlier and park in a dirt lot behind the church parking lot. This was a little frustrating because it did make me a later than I wanted to be for the start of the race. I wish that there had been better communication between the parking lot attendants so that I didn’t waste time waiting in line and driving around in a circle. But, eh whatever, 10 dollar race – you live and learn.
It was kind of a bummer that I started the run 10 minutes late, but I caught up pretty quick to everyone and it was a cool and misty morning (thanks, marine layer). It was really amazing just running through all of the different event areas and imagining all of the athletes that have been there displaying their talents. There were plenty of volunteers at the start and end of the run and a couple of water stations. Here are some course pics!
My favorite part of the race was getting to run on an actual Olympic training track! It was not only inspiring, but insanely soft and springy – it felt like running on a cloud!
There was also a bounce house about 3/4 of the way into the course which was a nice touch for the kids! The finish line included water and fruit and there was an optional $5 pancake breakfast. Afterwards, we headed up to visit the sponsor tents and see the torch! A few athletes were signing posters and Sea World had a big table with activities where they brought a few small animals for everyone to meet.
The DJ looked lonely as usual until the raffle started and then he was surrounded. I didn’t enter the raffle this time, but I did hear him announce a few restaurant gift cards.
Besides visiting the vendors and checking out the torch, there was also a gift shop and BMX bike museum to checkout and a podium to pose on.
P.S. I don’t know those people ^^^ So what was the SWAG?!
- I already mentioned the t-shirt, although I will add that it’s a tech tee, so bonus!
- A signed poster by a few athletes (although I had no idea who they were)
- The Hubert’s strawberry lemonade was pretty good, I would probably drink it again
- A custom bib as previously mentioned
- Bottle of water
- Tote bag
- Magnetic clip
- Flash light keychain
- Free trial coupons from 24-Hour Fitness
- Lots of toothpaste!
I will also say that I didn’t get a chance to hit up every vendor as I brought my squirmy baby-toddler with me this time and he doesn’t have a lot patience for swag shenanigans. So the haul could have been greater, but I really was just taking in the scenery and enjoying roaming around the facility. Also, race photos were available for purchase a few days after the event.
I really enjoyed this event and since it is super family-friendly I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun run. I will warn you that dogs were warmly welcomed to this event, which is great because I love dogs; however, I had to swerve and dodge a lot of them so you really have to pay attention to your path. I also liked that the proceeds went to help afterschool health programs in the area. My only recommendations:
- Better preparation/communication for the whole parking situation.
- Offer medals/awards so we could at least pretend to be winners of the day! I would have paid a little extra in registration fees so that I could add an “Olympic medal” to my collection. 😉
Overall, it’s a great event especially for the price – so check it out! Go Team USA!!