Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Last update feb 28, 2018
Fiesta Days 10K/5K

Memorial Day Monday in May, La Canada, CA, 7:30 AM
App and info: call the YMCA of the Foothills at 818-790-0123

Julie Miller reports: The Annual Fiesta Days 10K on Monday - Memorial Day - in La Canada is a well-organized, fun event. The race is on shady, tree-lined streets, and runs past beautiful homes and well-manicured lawns and gardens. You can register on, call the YMCA and ask for an entry form, or sign up race morning. You get a better-than-average goody-bag and a tee-shirt. The start is in the parking lot of Descanso Gardens in La Canada, right off the 210 at Angeles Crest (1418 Descanso Dr., La Canada-Flintridge). No need to wait in the porta-potty line if you go right into the restrooms in front of Descanso Gardens. Parking is easy -- you park right in the parking lot of Descanso Gardens.

The race starts downhill, so it's tempting to go out too fast during the 3 miles. Save some breath, because mile 4 is a long, taxing uphill, and there's more climbing at mile 5 too. Awards go 3 deep in each 5 year increment age division, and the first place winner in each division gets a big trophy cup. Runners up get big medals. Post-race refreshments include oranges and bagels. There's also a 5K run, and a 5K walk, and a 1 mile family fun run.

Catherine Gallagher sez:
The Descanso Gardens 5K/10K Earth Day "Fun Run" is a timed race that runs through Descanso Gardens. About 1/3 dirt path and the rest tar. It is very low key. Probably 500 runners or so, and most do the 5K. The course itself is 2.5K. So yes, the 5K pack does it twice and the 10K pack does it four times. Lots of double-back spots where you get to give a nod to your buddies. The repetition is a tad annoying because there is a fairly large climb up to the Boddy House and one gets to do it over...and over! On the other hand, the course itself is quite pretty. One runs throughout the Gardens and gets to enjoy the lovely gardens. By my 4th circuit, the park was starting to get the touristas milling around, some of whom seemed oblivious they were strolling on a race course, but we coexisted well enough.


Descanso 5K course

When I say low key - I mean it. There is no day-before expo. No email reminder about your upcoming race. At 12 minutes before the start virtually nobody was lined up. It seemed they had prepared for a larger crowd and I wonder if some people simply forgot to show up.

Otherwise, it is still a well-organized race. Volunteers got us our bibs and t-shirts in no time. The race was timed by Racewire who sent us our results within minutes after the last few finished. There were pretty medals and plenty of finish-line snacks.

We also got a pass to the gardens that seems good for a future visit. Meanwhile, if one so chooses (and I did), one can double back on the course after the race and wander around a bit. There's a sandwich shop at the entrance and I ordered the kiddy turkey sandwich which was still more than I wanted to eat. Beware, though, the gate leading directly to the race start parking lot gets locked which means adding just a tad more trudging to get back to it when you're done trudging around the garden.

All in all, a decent race.

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