Chinatown Firecracker 10K/5K Race Review

I first ran with Ellen back in February of 2013. We were both Lululemon Run Club newbies and ran a four mile loop with Kathy. Ellen had run a half marathon before, but was getting back into consistent running after a recent move to LA. Sometimes being a Garmin Girl has its benefits. I found our first run together on Garmin Connect. Ellen, remember running up Doheny? You were NOT happy, but you refused to walk. You’ve been setting PRs ever since.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 2.12.50 PM

Ellen got free entries into the Firecracker 10K/5K so kinda last minute I decided to tag along and keep her company. We raced the 5K together and took it easier on the 10K (although our last 3 miles were still 7:15s and we were talking the whole time). We crossed the 5K finish line in an official time of 21:02, Ellen’s fastest time yet, winning her 1st place in her age group on a crazy hilly course. The course came up short on my Garmin, but I’m pretty sure it was the two times we ran under the 110 that threw off my watch. Goooo Ellen! According to my Garmin we averaged under 7 minute miles, something I knew Ellen was capable of, and I was excited to pace her to accomplish that. I’m pretty sure Ellen wanted to smack me for speeding her up some of those crazy Chinatown hills, but she did it, and like any crazy runner minutes after the race was already setting new goals for her next 5K.

photo (1)

Ellen’s coworker Lauren was there to cheer us on, and after the race we met up with Anna (Ellen’s twin) and all went to the Arts District for brunch. The area is made up of a bunch of abandoned industrial buildings just east of Downtown near the LA river. It’s slowly being gentrified by artists. It’s the kind of place where you run into a bunch of people doing photo shoots. Kinda like DUMBO in New York. I always joke that I’m not cool enough for Silverlake/the Arts District/Echo Park/Los Feliz. I’m just a beach bum. Anyways, Anna did her research, and we ate at Zinc (really cool atmosphere but we weren’t impressed with service) and got scones and sweets at Daily Dose (much nicer staff, and didn’t make us feel like we weren’t cool enough to be there). Anna really wanted to try The Springs which is completely raw, every stereotype of LA, and totally her style. Organic, raw, vegan, juices, yoga on site, lofty look. I’d be down for eating there sometime. The menu actually looked pretty good, and the servers were really nice when we walked in to check it out. Yeah…I’m still a little bitter about the service at Zinc. I really wanted to like it, but they acted WAY too cool for sweaty runners. Anyways, I love checking out different neighborhoods in LA.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 3.05.25 PM

So back to running, thinking of running this race next year? You totally should!


  • Great theme, festive and spirited. Drummers, dancers, firecrackers, music. The whole community really got involved.
  • Beautiful 10K course with views of the valley post rain storm, Dodger Stadium and Downtown LA. It was gorgeous and worth the mile long hill. Personally, I loved the challenging course.
  • AWESOME t-shirts, trail mix and granola bars in the goody bag. I love freebies!
  • Option to run both races (although the 10K started 30 minutes after the 5K, so it was quick turn around time).2015_Run-3001_50_1-Final-e1421392542478


  • There was no water right at the finish. You had to weave around and we went a good 30 minutes without water after the 10K.
  • The festival in Chinatown was so crowded. It was hard to walk around. I never really crave beer and take advantage of beer tents, but it looked packed.
  • Hilly course? That wasn’t really a con for me, but could be if you’re looking to PR.

Onto This Week’s Runs

  • Monday- Three Miles at Back On My Feet (No Watch/I’d guess 9:00 Average Pace)
  • Tuesday- Run MDR Track (2×400, 1×800, 3×1200)
  • Wednesday- Off
  • Thursday- Ten Mile Run (7:28 Average Pace)
  • Friday- Four Miles at Back On My Feet (8:35 Average Pace)
  • Saturday- Twelve Mile Run with Marta and Ellen (8:10 Average Pace)
  • Sunday- Firecracker 10K and 5K!

And other important happenings from the week…

1. Saturday we drove Alaina to Disneyland so she could run inside, ride the Little Mermaid and run back out while we ate in Downtown Disney. She has an annual pass and is doing a 30 before 30 challenge. Visiting Disney monthly is on her list. She’d been out of town a lot this month so wasn’t able to get a proper day-long visit. This is the definition of no excuses.

photo 2 (2)2. Check out our cutie Kindergarteners at their Writer’s Publishing Party on Friday. Their crowns said “Ask me about my book!”

photo 1 (2)3. I never told you about running with Ryan Vail. He was in LA prepping to run the LA Marathon. He was in Playa to pace his wife for a 16 mile tempo and was getting warmed up. He passed me in the opposite direction on the bridge and I just KNEW it was him. When he turned back around and passed me at what must have been a snail’s pace for him, I knew it was my moment. I called out, “Are you here training for LA?” He turned around and said, “Yeah, are you running it too?” I told him I was running Boston for the first time, and he was super friendly, congratulating me on qualifying and giving me some pointers for the course. He asked me if I had any advice for the LA Marathon course, which was really nice because who am I!? We ran about a mile together, before I turned off the beach path to run back home. He smiled, and said “Good luck training!” SUCH a nice guy.

4. Two weeks to help Ellen and I reach our goal. SUPPORT GIRLS ON THE RUN!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s