50,000 people flooded the streets around the LA Coliseum this morning for the 2005 Revlon Run/Walk for Women. It’s an annual event, this race, and it supports an extremely important cause. Marcia Cross, from the smash TV hit, “Desperate Housewives” was one of the celebrity speakers as was Mayor Jim Hahn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I was praying he would take the stage with his trademark, “Can you smellelelelelelelll what The Rock is cooking?!!” or “You better know your role before The Rock lays the smackdown!”, but alas, he did not. He was actually pretty well spoken and seemed to have legions of female fans squeeing with delight as he signed shirts and hats.
He kicked off the race too. Here is a videoblog of the race start (9.2mb). I went with my wife, and because I haven’t run since the 2003 LA Marathon, this race seemed like a good excuse to start getting back into some kind of shape. I offered to jog with the baby stroller. Unfortunately, I got stuck with the walkers at the back of the pack of 50+ thousand and didn’t ever really get the chance to run. The whole race felt like the 405 on any Friday before a three day weekend (or even just any normal day). It was slow going. In fact, at one point I found myself about 30 feet behind The Rock and his contingent of fans, handlers and picture-takers. The mayhem caused a huge logjam. It was then that I decided to stop trying to run and just relax and enjoy the walk. That allowed me to absorb the magnitude of the unifying reason for the race. People carried banners and pictures and wore t-shirts with their loved ones’ names. Others proudly wore “survivor” shirts with the number of years since their diagnosis. Teams and corporate sponsors banded together to walk in packs carrying huge signs with their team names. One of my favorite signs was this one:
Every year, I do the Revlon 5k. Every year, I end up leaving thinking that it’s a good day in Los Angeles when that many people are united together to support one worthy cause.