I can't tell you how much FUN this walk was! I grew up playing in this park - La Mirada Regional Park - in fact, we lived there before the park was ever even built. But after moving out of La Mirada in 1979, I haven't really been back there, other than driving by when I go to see my parents. I had no idea there was a water park there now! Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatic Park is a very cool, pirate themed water park practically in my own back yard.
It was a beautiful morning for a walk - and that park is gorgeous. Tennis courts, handball courts, a Frisbee golf course, baseball fields, and a lake with ducks and geese. But - two things were on my mind -
- it is the first time I'll be walking a course that isn't completely flat. There are hills to climb, sometimes "off road" (off the sidewalk), through grass and mud
- and second - I'm all alone. No one else I know registered and I wasn't meeting anyone there. Walking and talking really makes the distance pass quickly, but I don't think that works the same if you're just talking to yourself.
I got there, parked, and wandered up to the crowd. To my horror, the event MC was leading everyone in a warm up, beginning with 200 jumping jacks! Thankfully, it wasn't mandatory. I decided to use my time checking in on Facebook and getting some photos. Then suddenly, up walk Roger and Roberta, from Weight Watchers! They had spotted me and come over. I was thrilled to see them! I don't know how it happens, but even when we don't plan on it, I bump into them at a race. The Cypress 5k, the Turkey Trot, Knott's Coaster Run, and now here. In the midst of thousands of people, how does that happen?!? But whoohoo! I was SO happy to see them. I know my pace is considerably slower than theirs, but they graciously slowed down to walk with me, and we enjoyed a great walk together.
Near the end of the race, right before the Finish Line, the course actually entered the water park for a "walk" through the Lazy River. For those who didn't want to get wet, you could opt to do the "Walk of Shame", and walk a sidewalk instead. This actually disqualified you in the timing, if that was important to you. Since I still have the old fashioned leather tennis shoes, I had to take them off and hold them through the water. (Good excuse for a new pair of shoes, if you ask me.) Was that ever FUN!! After the first 20 feet or so the current took over and helped propel you along. The water was 3 1/2 feet deep. I had my iPhone in a waterproof case, so I was taking pictures! there were different obstacles along the way, but most you could avoid. Except for what I'm calling "the Buckets". The buckets were full of water, and randomly dumped them on the people below. I got through safely, but Roget was a direct hit! I didn't want that part to end. But we got out, received our finisher's medals, and enjoyed some water, Gatorade, bananas and oranges. We lightly looked at some of the vendor booths before we got in our cars and headed home. I really hope they have this next year, because I can't wait to go again!
|Just getting into the water|
|Roger and Roberta in the River|
|A direct hit on Roger!!|