While in Los Angeles, California for the birth of his first grandchild, Herndon lawyer Doug Landau of course found a local race to run on an early Sunday morning. While the traffic in the LA area is usually the stuff of Halloween nightmares, leaving at “O-dark stupid” meant that the kinetic trial lawyer could avoid congestion and get to the race venue with plenty of time to warm up and scout out the terrain.
Always on the lookout to make the most of “road trips” like this, Landau has been successful combining “Cases, Races, Places & Faces.” The 4th Annual “Howl-o-ween Doggie Dash 5K!” was a run (or walk) you could do with your pup (or without) to help the LA Frontrunners raise funds for PAWS/LA. There were two separate 5Ks – one for humans only and one for pups with their human! The unique winners’ trophies for dog and dasher had both a runner AND a canine on them! The start and finish area for Doggie Dash 5K was the Crystal Springs Picnic Area in Griffith Park (behind the Ranger Station/baseball fields). The 5K was a loop around the golf course on the dirt and sand of the horse trail.
LA Frontrunners is a running and walking club for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT) and their friends and supporters. LA Frontrunners participates in competitive and non-competitive running events, weekly Fun Runs, an annual Pride Run, their Grand Prix racing series, social events, and more. Club members assist each other with running goals and promote camaraderie among the LGBT community. On Saturday mornings, the group meets at Griffith Park and the club is very good about signage, directions and mile markers.
In the “Humans Only” 5 km, Landau lost contact with the leading quartet of 20-somethings after the first mile, but managed to hang on for 5th overall, 1st Master and age group winner. He enjoyed running not on pavement, but on the softer surfaces, and while the temperature was only in the 60s, it was a lovely morning for a run.
The winner averaged 6:10/mile, while the running lawyer managed only 7:24 pace. As part of his prize package, the affable Race Director gave lawyer Landau a set of holiday socks for a newborn baby, as well as a beer glass for LOTS of toasts for the new grandpa.
Landau learned that the LA Frontrunners are part of the more than 100 Frontrunner clubs across the U.S. and around the world. One of the beneficiaries of these races was PAWS/LA. PAWS/LA is dedicated to preserving the loving bond between people and their companion animals. To that end, they provide services to assist low-income seniors and people disabled by a life-threatening illness to be able to keep and care for their pets. The PAWS/LA Programs are designed to ease the financial, physical and emotional challenges of caring for a companion animal, both in and outside of the home. PAWS/LA provides a comprehensive package of essential animal support services — all at no charge — to eligible participants.