Race Recap & Review: Santa Anita Derby Day 5K

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This past weekend I flew back to my hometown to run a 5K at the Santa Anita Race Track to kick off the largest competitive horse racing day in California. I figure with other races planned for this weekend I’d hold off on them and see what Arcadia has to offer for racing.

My mom raced in the 5K as well, and picked up our bibs at the Promenade at Westfield Santa Anita. Quick, easy, and convenient she says!

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Race Morning

Because Santa Anita is designed to handle events with tens of thousands of people, parking was a breeze at 8am. The weather was a sunny mid-50 degree weather, and it was perfect for a race.

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The start line was held at the parking lot, where such events such as the monthly 626 Night Market and the Arcadia High School Graduation are held. As appropriate with the horse racing theme, we lined up at the starting gates with a trumpet sounding us off, like horses!

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The Course

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The course runs towards Baldwin Ave next to JCPenney and into the LA County Arboretum, home of the peacocks. Luckily none of them were harassing any of the runners, and it was a flat course alongside the lake. I have to admit, I haven’t been inside since I went on field trips back in elementary school.

After the Arboretum was the last mile in Santa Anita Park, where you ran around the backstage where horses were preparing for their races, and then ran under a tunnel to the expo area before finishing on the racetrack itself!

The material horses run on is softer than any surface I’ve ran on besides beach sand. At some points it was a little difficult to run at top speed, but even then, it was very cool to run and finish on the track!

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I finished the 5K at 21:57, or 7:03 / mile. A 5K record and I broke 22 minutes at last. My mom finished at 40:36, or 13:03 / mile.

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Afterwards we rested up, looked at the vendors, and then visited the Seabiscuit statue before heading home.

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Overall, this is definitely a great and unique 5K, instilling the enthusiasm and spirit of horse racing, only with running!

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