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Renegade Racing Memorial Day Half Marathon Event

We attended as a guest of the venue

courtesy Renegade Racing

courtesy Renegade Racing

Memorial Day – a day that is held in the hearts of young and old for a variety of reasons. The holiday marks the beginning of summer for many children and is a day full of BBQs, beaches and quality family time. The true reason for the holiday is, however, the opportunity to pause and not only remember, but to commemorate and show appreciation for the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Thousands of lives have been laid down in the fight for freedom and we would be remiss as a nation if we didn’t take the time each year to remember their sacrifices on our behalf.

On Memorial Day this year Sandra and I had the privilege to participate in the City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run organized by Renegade Racing and sponsored by Saddleback Memorial Hospital. The event has been a part of Laguna Hills for 16  years now, but this was our first opportunity to participate. While we have seen a variety of “running costumes” at the various races we have participated in over the years, I don’t think I have ever seen so many runners in patriotic attire. While the event is a fun racing event like many others – this event is also unique in some special ways.

New starting with this year’s event over the next five years the race will have a different US armed forces themed medal. If you race every year for the next five years, in 2018 you will earn a Joint Chiefs of Staff medal to commemorate your accomplishment. This year’s medal honors the Marine Corps.

courtesy Renegade Racing

2014 medals – image courtesy Renegade Racing

The City of Laguna Hills adopted the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, of the 1st Marine Division for this year’s event. This infantry battalion, nicknamed “DARKHORSE” is based out of Camp Pendleton. Additionally, members from a team of Marine wives called “Stroller Warriors Camp Pendleton” will be participating with their children in the other events. A $3.00 portion of each registration fee will be donated to the support group known as Team Dark Horse, a 501 ( c ) (3) organization. Visit their booth at the FINISH LINE EXPO to purchase 3/5 T-shirts, hats, water bottles, and other memorabilia. Donations are gladly being accepted. Visit the 3/5 Official Website HERE!

This event was very well-organized. Runners had the option to pick up their race packets on Saturday or Sunday AND the morning of the race. This was a great option – especially for us busy moms who had our weekends full of family events and weren’t able to pick up our bibs early. Packet pickup the morning of the event was quick and easy. And as with all racing events, there was much excitement and fanfare at the starting line.

Patriotic Start Line

Patriotic Start Line



With the Grand Marshall of the event

With the Grand Marshall of the event

I personally have never been to a race that had a Grand Marshall. This was pretty cool to have our Grand Marshall lead the race. He said I could sit on his lap, but I settled for standing next to him and allowing him to put his arm around me. As is tradition with all races, we began with The Start Spangled Banner prior to the start gun going off. Somehow, it was even more poignant being Memorial Day and knowing that this race was being held in support of men and women who are currently risking their lives for my freedom.

Ready to run!

Ready to run!

The course for the Laguna Hills Half Marathon is considered a little bit “hilly” but nothing too bad and the steep hills were nice and short. Fortunately for us, we are locals and we run these hills frequently. It was certainly a nice change to be so familiar with the venue. While we had never run this exact course, we had either run or driven almost the entire course so we always knew exactly where we were and what hills were coming our way. There’s a definite advantage to “home court” even in running!

Runners fill the streets of Laguna Hills

Runners fill the streets of Laguna Hills – this is along Paseo de Valencia


Sandra is all smiles while she runs

Sandra is all smiles while she runs along Alicia Pkwy

Sandra and I stayed together throughout the run – it’s nice having a running partner that has a pace that close to your own. We finished within seconds of each other – both clocking in at 1:58. For me, a personal best.

13.1 miles done in 1:58

13.1 miles done in 1:58 – Showing off our finisher medals commemorating the US Marines

The finish line for all three races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon) was the entrance to the Laguna Hills Community Park. They had a wonderful community Expo set up for families and runners to enjoy. We, of course, took the opportunity to pose with the Marines and their big guns. When I was handed mine, he mentioned that it weighs 27.5 lbs. It was a heavy gun! Such great young men to meet and visit with.

Girls, Guns, & the US Marines - OORAH!

Girls, Guns, & the US Marines – OORAH!

The community Expo included various vendors along with large inflatable for children to enjoy, kids races, and great music. They also held a City of Laguna Hills and Team Dark Horse Ceremony and special presentation which included a wonderful bagpipe band playing Amazing Grace, followed by a moment of silence. It was a wonderful event to start off our Memorial Day festivities.

For more information about the Memorial Day Half Marathon and other events from Renegade Racing visit their website HERE!

Julie is an OC Supermom to six beautiful children in Orange County. She is an editor with Astraea Press, active in the community and enjoys running in her free time.

Sandra is Brazilian born; Venezuelan raised currently living in Orange County. Her husband along with their three children has lived in several cities throughout the world. Sandra is a stay at home mom who doesn’t have enough time to run, cook, bike, thrift, DIY, sew, swim, and compete in endurance sports, but she sneaks it in anyway. She has completed in more than 40 races varying between 5K to full marathon and sprints to iron distance triathlons.

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  1. Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon | OC Mom Blog | OC Mom Blog - […] to earning my US Navy medal this year. You can read about my experience running the 2014 race HERE on…

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