Two weekends ago, I ran my second Coaster Run at Knott’s Berry Farm. This time, I ran the 10K race. My race story starts on Saturday. I headed down to the Buena Park Mall to pick up my bib and race shirt. The process was very well organized. I only had a couple people in front of me for my bib. Since I had my waiver filled out, I got my bib rather quickly and was told where to go next. On my way to get my race shirt, a volunteer saw I had my bib already and gave me a “goodie bag.” The bag had advertisements for some up coming races and a few other items. Not bad for a smaller race!
After getting the bag, I was directed to where the race shirts were located. I’m always impressed when a smaller race has shirts in all sizes when I arrive. And, from the looks of it, there were plenty of shirts!
It was a pretty cool shirt also! Unfortunately, it was a Cotton shirt. So, I won’t be running in this shirt. Still, I liked the design and color!
They even had a small merchandise table set up! Look at those prices! $20 for a tech pull over? I was so tempted. However, rationality won out and I skipped it. But, at $20, it was hard to resist!
Race day was crazy! Southern California got pounded with a big rain storm overnight that lasted until around 15 minutes before the race started. I braved the downpour all the way to the OC. Once I arrived, I stayed in the car until around 30 minutes before the race. It looked like the rain was finally clearing up. So, it was a good time to hit the Port-a-Potties before the race. Once I got out, I saw my friend Juliana and new running friend Mallory. Neither had made it to get their bibs on Saturday. So, I chatted with them while they got their stuff. Then, we parted ways to head off to our corrals (or waves as they called them).
I got into my wave and got the mandatory pre-race selfie! Almost right after I got in my corral, I met another person who reads this blog! Hello Lynne! It was great to get to meet another blog reader! As I told Lynne, this race was not going to be a PR attempt. The rain and wet ground was going to make sure that didn’t happen. Instead, this was going to be a fun, training run.
We didn’t have the awesome Rudy Novotny as our race MC. I told Lynne that this was just a practice for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. If you haven’t heard, Rudy will not be among the race MC’s for that weekend. It was quite the drama on the runDisney groups. For my two cents, I think it sucks. Rudy is an amazing race MC who should be there.
The race started late. However, the waves were small. So, it didn’t take too long before my wave (wave 4) was off and running!
We started off running around the parking lot. Then, we went under Beach Blvd. and up the other side to get to Knott’s Berry Farm’s entrance. My plan for the race was to run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for at least 2 miles, possibly 3. I knew that we’d be in the theme park until the end of mile 2 and go through the water park in mile 3. Unlike other races I’ve done, the beginning part involved not only weaving in and around runners, but avoiding some pretty large puddles of water. I was so freaked out about getting blisters due to the wet grounds that I wore 2 socks and used Vaseline on the bottoms of my feet. It worked out great! No blisters! I do think that, in avoiding puddles, it cost me some time, though.
Before we knew it, we approached the entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm! Let the fun begin!
We entered the park close to the Camp Snoopy entrance!
Hey Snoopy! Fun fact about me…my very first job was running the rides at Camp Snoopy. Fun Fact number 2…my first day of training for this job was the day that OJ Simpson went on the famous Bronco Police Chase. True story. Part of the chase took them down the 91 freeway, past Knott’s Berry Farm. I had no idea until I got home.
As you can see. The ground was very wet as we ran through Camp Snoopy. The route took us through Camp Snoopy and up through Fiesta Village and into the Roaring 20’s area. That’s where the mile 1 marker was. I finished the first mile in 12 minutes, 20 seconds. I was a little bummed at the slow time. However, my intervals in the theme park was very inconsistent. If I had to walk because of crowding or a large puddle of water, I tried to make up for it. However, there was no rhyme or reason for my run/walk intervals.
Mile 2 saw us start to make our way back towards the front of the park. We passed by this roller coaster (sorry, I don’t know the the name) and turned by the Log Ride. It was super fun being back inside of Knott’s Berry Farm! While I prefer Disney parks, I still think it’s fun to run through any theme park.
Once we got to the front of the park, we rounded and headed back. There were a lot of out and backs on this course.
Here’s the steam train of Knott’s Berry Farm. If you ride this train, they stage a train robery. It’s super fun!
We turned in the Roaring 20’s area again. As we got to the theatre where they have a Snoopy themed ice skating show, Charlie Brown and Lucy were there! Score! I wasn’t expecting a character stop due to the rain. As an added bonus, the line for this picture was only 5 people. I was in line for like 1 -2 minutes. So, it was totally worth it!
We rounded back by the roaring rapids ride at Knott’s.
Then, it was off to an area I think they call Indian Trails.
After that, it was off to parts of Ghost Town (I think).
I had to stop by the Birdcage Theatre. They have a fun old western style of a show in this theatre!
Before we knew it, it was time to head out of Ghost Town and out of Knott’s Berry Farm. From there we turned right and ran by the famous Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant (although it’s currently closed for renovations). As we turned to go up into another parking lot, we crossed the 2 mile marker. Mile 2 was my slowest mile at 13:54. As you can probably tell with all the pictures, my picture stops is the likely cause of the slow time. I did run quite well. Much like mile 1, there was no consistency in my run/walk intervals. I was kind of going with the flow. If I started a run late, I tried to run longer. I even threw in a few 1 minute runs intervals to try and compensate best I could. By the end of mile 2, I decided to just run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for the entire race. My time wasn’t great anyways. So, just have fun with it.
Mile 3 took us through some more parking lot area. Then, back under Beach Blvd. and up the other side. This time, we headed to Knott’s Soak City, their water park. By the time we got here, I started finding my run/walk groove. The running area was better and less of a crowd. Also, the grounds were starting to dry up. So, I didn’t see as many puddles to avoid!
Ever wanted to see a water park when it’s closed for the season? That’s what we got to see.
I’m guessing that, when the park is open, this spot is filled with water. Of course, I could be wrong.
We weren’t in Soak City very long. As we approached the exit to the park, I knew that the 5K/10K split was coming up and we’d be running on regular roads. The “fun” part of this race was coming to an end. I was okay with that because it meant I could just focus on my running for the rest of the way. I crossed the 3 mile marker at 39:17. My total time for mile 3 was so much better. It took me 13 minutes, 3 seconds to finish mile 3. It’s amazing what having more space to run and drier ground will do for your race time!
Once we got on the surface streets, there really wasn’t anything interesting to photograph. So, I just focused on my running. As I was in mile 4, I settled into my run 30, walk 90 seconds intervals. During mile 4 I had thought of shortening my walk break to 60 seconds. For some reason, however, I just wanted to keep the run/walk intervals for the rest of the race. Mile 4 took 13 minutes, 6 seconds!
We had another out and back as we started mile 5. So, here’s my peeve about this race. The mile markers weren’t placed correctly. It seemed to me like the mile 4 and mile 5 markers were somewhere between a quarter-mile to a half-mile apart. It was way too close to be accurate. In the 5th mile, we turned into the Buena Park Mall for a quick out and back. According to my GPS, as we were leaving the parking lot is where the mile 5 marker should have been. If it were, I would have finished mile 5 in 13:36.
Mile 6 was a decent mile. I was more than happy to be in the last mile. It was a slow run, but I was hitting all my intervals and had found my grove. In mile 6, I had switched on my mileage on my GPS watch. I did so as we turned to leave the parking lot and saw I was at 5.10 miles. So, that meant I only had a little more than a mile to go! I tried to rely on the distance too much during the last mile. After all, I could still be off. All that matters in a race is where the official finish line is. So, I kept the intervals going. I felt a little overheated in the 6th mile. So, I unzipped my jacket a little bit to cool off. The sun had come out and I was instantly wishing I had some sun glasses. The sun wasn’t crazy bad. I just wish I had the sun glasses.
Once we approached the final turn before the finish, I started to think about how I would finish. I was running a little slow. So, there wasn’t going to be anything I could to for a PR. That’s okay. As I saw the 6 mile marker coming, I prepped myself to finish. I finished the 6th mile in 13:18. I started running just past the mile marker, but stopped around 45 seconds later. Then, I saw the finish line and ran to finish!
The finish time wasn’t great. But, I’ve done worse also. When I looked up my official finish time, it was 7 seconds faster. So, I guess it took me 7 seconds to stop the watch after I finished.
I got my finishers medal and picked up some water in the finisher’s chute. There was also a line for some boysenberry pie which I skipped. Three years ago, when my wife and I ran this race, we tried the pie. I only got through three bites. It just wasn’t the best post-race food for me. However, this is one of the selling points of this race…Knott’s Boysenberry Pie at the finish.
The expo for this race is at the finish. I think that’s pretty unique.
They even had their official merchandise booth!
Check out those prices! As a runDisney regular, it’s quite shocking to see official merchandise so cheaply priced. Imagine if runDisney or even the Rock n Roll Marathon Series had prices like this. It would be madness!
One of the booths was a BMW one. Check out that car!
My favorite booth was the Nestle Quik booth. They were giving out free chocolate milk! Loved this!
After wandering around for a little bit, I headed off to my car to get a change of clothes. As I went to find a restroom, I ran into these guys. I hope they don’t end up in a bucket at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
Speaking of Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. They were closed. So, I headed off to the Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort for some post race Mickey Waffles! And with that, this report is complete. You just can’t top Mickey Waffles. You know what I mean?
Would I do this race again? Yep. I love running through theme parks! However, it’s not an every year kind of race for me. If you’re in Southern California when the race is happening, I do recommend it.