Year of the 5K: Melanomania

Before this month began, I had two 5Ks scheduled for May. The second is the Firefly Run and will take place on the 31st in Carson, but the first 5K took place this past weekend. Put on your sunscreen, folks, because this post is about Miles for Melanoma.

Miles for Melanoma

Miles for Melanoma at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Miles for Melanoma

This was actually my post-run picture.

You may or may not be wondering what melanoma is, but let’s get into some helpful facts about the disease because it could come in handy one day. First of all, melanoma is the fastest growing skin cancer in the United States and is the most common cancer for those between the ages of 25 and 29. It may start out looking like an irregular mole, but can spread and become more dangerous if left untreated. Exposure to ultraviolet rays is the biggest cause of melanoma, but wearing sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds are great preventative measures to consider to protect yourself. You should check with your doctor if you notice and new and unusual spots or moles on your body. More information can be found here.

Anyway, there are several Miles for Melanoma 5Ks across the country, but this one in particular was held at Universal Studios Hollywood and was presented by Universal Pictures, Pale Girl SPEAKS, and the Melanoma Research Foundation. I went with my friend Isabel and, after parking and getting shuttled to the check-in area, we got our bibs and a good amount of free stuff that included a t-shirt, a couple different tubes of sunscreen, and a nifty keychain that helps you gauge the UV levels outside. There were a couple booths to check out in the area and they were all surrounded by buildings that were used as sets for movies such as Transformers and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Sunscreen Spray

This guy totally sprayed sunscreen on Isabel right before I took this picture.

What made this 5K really interesting was that the course traveled through many more movie and television sets around the Universal lot including Amity Island from Jaws, the Bates Motel from Psycho, and Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane.

A western set, probably from some western show or movie.

Some set from some show or movie.

When did we reach San Antonio?

When did we reach San Antonio?

There's something in the water!!

Come on into the water!!

Where Lynette lived on Wisteria Lane.

Where Lynette lived on Wisteria Lane.

The apocalypse is nigh.

The apocalypse is nigh.

Who knew Whoville was so close Norman Bates' stomping grounds?

Who knew Whoville was so close Norman Bates’ stomping grounds?

The first two-thirds of the course was fun because it was almost like you were entering a different world each time a new set appeared. Then, the last third happened.

All the interesting sights just disappeared and you pretty much surrounded by trees, random buildings and storage facilities, and what I think was the LA “river”. Everything just became underwhelming, and that continued on to the finish line where Isabel and I were left feeling like a lot of the excitement was sucked away. There wasn’t even a lot of things to do after finishing, so we just hopped back onto the shuttle to the parking structure and left.

Um, well, this is interesting.

Um, well, this is interesting.

It is a shame though because it seems like there is a lot of potential for this course. The event was only in its second year at Universal Studios, so they are probably still experimenting with it, but they need to figure out how to rework the course to be more uniformly interesting rather than ending on a much lower note than it started.

I’m excited for the Firefly Run at the end of this month though! Should be interesting doing a group run at night. Don’t need to worry much about sun damage then, right?

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