OC Fair 5k Fun Run

On Sunday I ran in the Orange County Fair 5k Fun Run, the first time I’d participated in the event. I had honestly forgotten about this one until I saw it being advertised in an email I got from Active.com so I figured I might as well go for it.

Much like the WetNWild 5k, this is more than your standard 5k. The route winds through the OC Fair and you have a choice of running straight through the course or, as was my case, decide to take several “Detours of Fun” along the way. I’ll get into those as you scroll through the pictures.

Speaking of pictures, here we go.

Here is the pile of finisher’s medals being prepped at the start/finish line.

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The start/finish line. I was back about halfway so that I could pace myself and not get in the way of anybody who wanted to pass me. And I was actually shocked at how many, um, thinner runners I managed to pass after the first mile.

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Here was one of the Detours of Fun: the Euroslide.

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And here’s a video from my POV sliding down it!

Did you notice the stuffed animal at my feet? No, it wasn’t a good luck charm that I carry with me to each 5k. It was a prize I won at another Detour of Fun in which runners were given two baseballs to break at least one plate. I managed to break two but we were only allowed one prize. (I couldn’t have done that if I paid!) I ran by Ann and Anthony during the run where I gave my prize to him, gave him a hug and a kiss, and kept on running. He named him OC5k.


Another detour was at the Pacific Amphitheater. Here is the backstage VIP area.


Nothing fancy, right? Well, they also let you go onto the stage. Here’s what it looks like to perform in front of…a bunch of empty seats.


While onstage, you could have your picture taken as you live out your rock-and-roll fantasy by standing in front of a mic with a bass – back to the crowd, strangely. It’s worth noting that The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” was playing in the background as my photo was taken and I yelled, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”


And, of course, my efforts were rewarded in the end. Here’s me, now goatee-free if you hadn’t noticed yet, with my finisher’s medal.


A better shot of the medal.


Oh, then there’s my not-so-magnificent time below. I can explain. The time you see is the total time that included my lollygagging with all of the Detours of Fun.


But this is why I use the Sports Tracker app. I stopped it at all Detours and started it when I was finished. According to the app, my total time over 3.16 miles was 34:03 which is much more like my average pace. Click image below to enlarge.


Afterward, we all sat around and waited for the Fair to open. Thinking we had to exit and come back in, we were told that we could just sit tight where we were and partake in the Fair once it opened. So that’s exactly what we did. Granted, we could have gotten in for $2 per person and I got a ticket as part of my goodie bag, but free is good. I ended up giving my ticket to a mom who was bringing her kids in as we were leaving.

And yes, Fair silliness ensued.

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That’s a totally big cow.

All in all it was a fantastic day for a run and some fun in the sun.

Next run on the list: Awesome ‘80s 5K/10k on September 1, 2012. I’m looking forward to seeing some awful ‘80s fashions at that one since runners are encouraged to dress the part.

And yes, my outfit is almost complete. You will see it in less than a month…


Saturday Review

Alright, it’s 11:15 p.m., the Dodgers just reduced their Magic Number to 5, and I’m not quite tired yet. So here we go.

As promised, we spent the morning at South Coast Plaza to buy Tony a toy for completing the school week on a positive note. In particular, we went to a store called Puzzle Zoo (note: lame website) which carries a wide variety of unusual toys and collectibles. Being located in SCP, it’s not surprising that many of their items are what I’d consider pretty expensive.

That did not stop me, however, from buying a vintage R2-D2 Star Wars action figure (see inset) for a mere $5.95. The place has three buckets filled with used figures, most of which are in poor condition and all missing weapons. The ones in better condition and with full accessories (or NRFB for you collector dorks) are in a display case and, needless to say, are not $5.95. Either way, I’m happy to be able to have a slice of my youth staring back at me while I write this. I may go back for more sometime.

Anyway, visiting SCP is always a trip. On one hand, you have a very upscale mall with ritzy merchandise: Cartier, Rolex, Versace, Tiffany & Co., etc. I almost feel like I’m walking through a Beverly Hills shopping center at times.

Then I go outside and realize how wrong I was. Despite its upscale retailers, the mall is located in Costa Mesa which isn’t exactly the neighborhood you’ll see on The Real Housewives of Orange County. In fact, those people couldn’t survive living in Costa Mesa unless Spanish was their collective second language.

A short drive up Bristol Street is far cry from the sparkling watches on display at the Rolex store. The glitz and glamor or the mall is replaced with pupuserias, Targets, and 1988 Nissan Stanzas held together with bubble gum and duct tape. Instead of seeing the well-dressed carrying shopping bags, you’ll see homeless pushing their lives around in shopping carts. Orange County isn’t exactly how it’s portrayed on the idiot box, believe me.

Either way, we accomplished what we set out to do and I took a few pictures as well. In fact I uploaded a fresh batch of phone-cam images to my Flickr account, including the ones taken today. Also in the set are some other interesting shots taken over the last few weeks, so go ahead and check them out! There are some pretty crazy things in that set and each has a full description. Feel free to comment on them as well.

Well, it’s now almost midnight and I’m now getting tired. See ya!