Grand Prix
Century Club

Long Beach Grand Prix Foundation Hosting Inaugural 5K

Runners of all ages and skill levels have an opportunity for a completely original running experience on April 8 in Long Beach.

The Long Beach Grand Prix Foundation is hosting the inaugural Run the Course Grand Prix 5K Run/Walk on the downtown street course that will be used for the 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13-15.

The entry fee will be $35 until April 4, and participants will receive a finisher medal, an inaugural Grand Prix 5K T-shirt and a complimentary Friday general admission ticket to the TGPLB.

“The Long Beach Grand Prix Foundation raises money for six different charities,” event chair Ken Miller said. “What we’re trying to do is make this a fun event that does great work at the same time.”

Last week, sat down with Miller for a special edition of the podcast “What Up, Long Beach!?” to talk about this new event.

Question: Where did the idea for this unique race come from?

Answer: The foundation board made this decision, and we really modeled this after the St. Anthony High School 5K, which started nine years ago. It was very small, and now is the top fundraiser for the school.

Q: Are there age groups?

A: There are nine age brackets, and there are going to be first, second and third place winners as well as overall winners. And everyone who finishes will get a finisher medal. They’re really nice. We’re sparing no expense to do this the right way.

Q: Who is sponsoring the event?

A: This thing wouldn’t come off without our sponsors. We’ve got some of the best restaurants in the city like Legends and Bubba Burgers, as well as some of the up-and-coming new fitness centers like Orange Theory and Nine Round. The way I look at it, you can go to these great restaurants and eat and drink like crazy, and then go work it off at the fitness centers afterwards.

Q: What kind of shirt do participants get?

A: It’s a very nice design and we’re doing a tri-blend T-shirt so people are going to like the feel of it.

Q: And they get other things too, correct?

A: Yes, we’re also going to give out discount coupons and free appetizers from some of our sponsors. And runners get a ticket to Friday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Essentially, people are going to walk away with much greater value than what they paid for the registration fee.

Q: Is anything else going on around the track?

A: We’re going to have one of the Indy cars at the runners village with a backdrop where kids, or kids at heart, can take pictures and pretend that they’re IndyCar drivers. And that’s at no extra charge.

Q: And it’s a family event too?

A: We’ll have approximately 15 exhibitors and they’ll be offering different things at their tents. So, people can come down and bring their families to walk around, take pictures with the Indy car, see some great racers at a really unique venue and have a really fun day.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.