The Great Race of Agoura 2020

If a woman runs a cancelled 5K during a pandemic, did it really happen?

Running a 5K is no small challenge for me. I hate running. Every step of the way, I think to myself “Why am I doing this?” which is why I listen to podcasts or audiobooks during my training runs to take my mind off of how my body creaks and groans. But I do well with challenges, so I did my first 5K on my birthday in 2018, and then I did the Great Race in 2019. I signed up again right away because it was fun, and I thought I’d try to beat my time this year.

Alas, the Great Race of Agoura was cancelled in the first wave of cancellations back at the beginning of March. I figured I’d run the course anyway. The cancellation took the urgency out of my training, so I’ve been running just a few times a week. By March 28, the originally scheduled date, I wasn’t ready to run all 5 of the K’s, so I dragged it out. I told myself that as soon as I was able to run the whole distance without feeling like I’d collapse, I’d go out and run the course. By last week, I had gotten up to 4K.

But this morning, Memorial Day, our cat George woke me up early and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I had a sudden urge to just do it. So I did. I opened the package holding my race day shirt and medal that I’ve been saving for this moment, packed a bottle of water for the car, and added a new audiobook to my phone. (The Secrets She Keeps, something easy to listen to.)

I left a car at the finish line and had my husband drive me up the hill to the start. On normal race day I would have walked and used that time to warm up, but it was almost 8AM and I wanted to do it before it got too hot. It was weird running a race without any other runners, with the streets open. It was like any other training run, except at least I saved the course for my own “race day.”

I sprinted toward the “finish line.” The cool balloon arch they usually put in Chumash Park wasn’t there, of course, but I guessed, and I ended my run around where I thought it might be. And in keeping with the tradition of getting pancakes from a booth at the park after the race, I picked up some lemon ricotta pancakes from The Royal Egg. They were delicious.

My final time was between 38 and 39 minutes. It may seem slow, but it was the best I could do. And thank God it’s done, because I’m sick of running. Back to my delicious morning walks and hikes in our gorgeous hills. I hope others will be able to join me for the Great Race in 2021!

Turn That Frown Upside Down at the Great Race of Agoura Hills 2013

On March 23 our entire family ran/walked the Family Fun Run event at the Great Race of Agoura Hills. It was the first time we all participated because our younger son is finally old enough! Last year, it was hard to get him in the pictures because he kept hiding. This year he stayed in the frame, but refused to smile.

brady photo face

What finally got him to smile? Not the fact that he ran almost the whole mile (to catch up and beat another kid), or the free pancake breakfast from Great Harvest Bakery (yum!), or the free pineapple juice, or the gumball from the Tomboy Vintage booth. No, it was when he had all four of our very hard-earned medals draped around his neck.


The kid loves him some hardware!

Here are more photos from the Dole Great Race of Agoura Hills, 2013. Are you in any of them? (Shout out to my pal Charlene for snapping the “finish line” pic, and to Soybu for my cute headband via MomsLA.)

Great Race of Agoura Hills 2012

For the second time Kid 1 entered the Family Fun Run/Walk portion of the Dole Great Race of Agoura Hills. This race day also includes two half-marathons (different routes), a 10K and a 5K, and a Kids’ competitive 1-mile race. Kid 1 is old enough to enter that but like me he has no interest in running. I sometimes decide I’m going to start running to get some exercise, and I am successful at the starting part, but then I remember that I hate running, and I slow to a nice brisk walk which is much more my style.

This year I entered the run/walk with him, so on a nice chilly Saturday morning in March, off we went with the rest of our family to Chumash park, which is normally a wide expanse of green where club sports like football and lacrosse have their practices or games, or people walk their dogs, or families cavort and frolic. But on this day thousands of people descend upon our sleepy little town and the park is festooned with business booths, inflatables, and the cool blow-up finish line that makes even the leisure walker feel like a champion when crossing.

The mile walk was an easy stroll around the neighborhood, where residents sat in their front yards with their young children, cheering us on. We ran the last, oh say 40 yards, which made us look pretty badass when crossing the finish line.

Kid 2 was pretty much only there to play on the bouncy things, but by the time he was ready to play the lines were really long. He waited patiently for his turn, and then made it worth his while by disappearing into the nether regions of a huge bouncy play structure and not surfacing until at least 10 minutes later.

Both Kid 1 and I received large metal medals for our meager efforts. I guess you get what you pay for, because even the family fun run/walk cost $25 to enter. The entire event raises money for LVUSD schools, so it seems worth it.

Here are more pictures taken by Agoura Hills Dad with an iPhone: