*Updated Mary 6, 2019*
The Heart Mini occurs in March each year and is a great mid-season race for runners planning on running the Flying Pig Marathon or another spring race.
With several large hospitals in the city, this race typically gets a large turn out! There are several events: Half marathon, Heart Mini 15K, 1K Steps for Stroke, 5K Run, 5K Walk and a 2K Kids Run– each event sponsored by a different area hospital.
For more information on this year’s race, click here: 2019 Heart Mini
The half marathon offers a lot of spectating spots. I was not living downtown at the time of the 2016 race (and I assume most spectators won’t be familiar with downtown either) so I did find it hard to figure out the map. Google maps will be your friend for this one! Jon did the half marathon when I spectated in 2016 and then we both ran the heart mini in 2018, prepping to do so this weekend again!
From the start- I would plan to spend a decent amount of time near the statue that is located at 5th and Pike (on the left hand side when running down 5th towards Columbia Parkway, up the road of the Taft Museum of Art). This is a great spot for several points in the race. Once the runners go out Columbia Parkway, you won’t see them again until mile 8.5. If you stay in the same spot, you will see them round the corner. From there, I would head to Eggleston and Pete Rose Way, where you can stay to see them shortly after mile 9, again at mile 11 and then right after mile 12. My advice would be after you see them at mile 11, head to the finish line to ensure you don’t miss them! (Tip from yours truly who unsuccessfully attempted to race my runner from mile 12 to the finish line and missed his half marathon PR…)
If you are spectating the Heart Mini event instead of the Half Marathon, it is a little more challenging to see your runner more than once because the race is mostly on Columbia Parkway. You can be at 5th and Pike to start and then cheer on the rest of the runners until you time out when you should head towards the finish line. The best spot to see your runner multiple times would mean foregoing the finish line and being at Torrence/MLK and Columbia Parkway; however, I am not sure what parking/traffic would be like! For a shorter distance race like this, I would opt for being at the finish line!
A great race for a good cause! The post-race celebration is always a great time!
Comment below with any additional race tips you have or what you are most excited about for this upcoming race weekend!
Half marathon course map
Heart Mini race course map