Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the history of the Valley Crest Half Marathon?
A: The Valley Crest Half Marathon is a grassroots race created by Larry and Nancy Dervin in 2002. The VCHM was designed as "user-friendly" for trail running newbies but still provides a challenging race course for the elites. What stands us apart from other races is our exceptional team of race volunteers who make the Valley Crest Half Marathon "The Friendliest Race in L.A."!
Q: Can I sign up on race day?
A: You may sign up on race day, space permitting however, if the race sells out, race day registration will close down. Race day registration begins at 6:00am at a cost of $75. Please bring CASH; NO CREDIT CARDS OR PERSONAL CHECKS. if the distance to your car is too far to walk after registration, we will provide bags and pens to label and leave in our secure area. We are not responsible for theft or missing items; please leave valuables in your car. Shirts and shirt sizes are not guaranteed to race day registrants and if you pre-register, you will save a few dollars; all good reasons not to wait until race day.
Q: What about race day parking?
A: Parking is extremely limited so please follow the instructions of event staff with regard to parking your vehicle, as we are trying to get lots of people as close as possible. CARPOOLING is highly recommended. Vehicles outside the park gates must be legally parked, parallel to the curb.
Remember to make a full STOP at the stop sign when exiting the park.
Q: Why do you encourage carpooling?
A: As previously stated, parking near the start line is extremely limited so it is important that people arrange to CARPOOL. You can use our FACEBOOK link on the race home page to arrange your carpools and we suggest meeting up to leave cars in the Gelson's parking lot on the east side of Reseda Blvd. just north of Ventura Blvd. From here, it is just a short drive to the race site.
Q: What is the weather typically like on race day?
A: In the past it has been cool and overcast, with Southern California "June Gloom" conditions. As always, things could heat up, and you should be prepared to run in warm temperatures.
Q: Will there be any training runs on the course?
A: There will be three or four group training runs scheduled on the race course. These runs will be unsupported; all runners must carry their own provisions. Information will be posted on the "Latest Info" page to announce the dates.
Q: What is the course distance and elevation change?
A: The race course numbers are taken from Tom Harrison Maps. The race distance is approximately 13.2 miles with approximately 3400' of elevation change; 1700' of gain and 1700' of loss.
Q: Why is the race limited to a certain number of entries?
A: Over the years our number one goal is to provide our participants with a highly personal, low key, fun event. We don't want to host a large cattle drive that becomes difficult to manage. Likewise, there is very limited parking at the race site.
Q: When/Where is Bib Pick Up?
A: Race day bib pick up will begin at 6:00am on the grass area on the left side of Reseda before the cup-d-sac. Please line up according to the signs for LAST NAME INITIAL.
Q: How is the course marked?
A: The course will be marked on race day only! The course will be marked with large chalk arrows on the ground.
Q: Do I need to wear trail shoes?
A: The entire race course is on city maintained fire roads. That said, the city has not been maintaining the fire road as regularly as they did in the past, probably due to the economy situation. Trail shoes are desirable but are not mandatory.
Q: Do I need to carry a water bottle?
A: Even though there is ample support, we recommend you carry one 20-oz water bottle or equivalent, especially if it's a hot day.
Q: Are there any water crossings which will cause my running shoes to get wet?
A: There are no stream crossings for the Valley Crest Half-Marathon.
Q: Can I give (or sell) my entry to another person to use in my place?
A: No. Registration entries ARE NOT REFUNDABLE or TRANSFERABLE to another person or DEFERRABLE to another year.
Q: Is pacing allowed?
A: Illegal pacing of lead runners has been a problem at VCHM. Runners may not be paced by runners who are not entered in the race, who are not wearing a 2014 race bib, who do not run the entire race course, from start to finish. Runners may not be paced by "Bandit" runners. Monitors on the race course will look for violators will be disqualified from the race results.
Q: Can I listen to my music during the race?
A: EARPHONES /BUDS are strongly discouraged at RRCA sanctioned events. Their use presents a serious hazard to runners participating in street races where emergency vehicles enter the course and may not be heard by runners who are listening to music. Although VCHM is a trail run, it is remotely possible that runners may encounter emergency vehicles on the course. Likewise, runners may encounter other trail users in the form of hikers, mountain bikers, horses and riders, park rangers on ATVs, as well as wildlife, including rattlesnakes. The wearing of earphones/buds would make it difficult to impossible for you to hear an emergency vehicle approaching from behind, the shout of a biker, or a verbal warning of a snake ahead. It would be difficult to impossible to enforce a ban on earphones/ear buds at the Valley Crest Half Marathon however their use Is discouraged for the aforementioned reasons. If you choose to wear earphones/buds, you should be aware that this aforementioned reasons. If you choose to wear earphones/buds you should be aware that it will increase the burden of your liability should you be involved in an accident/altercation during the course of the race. If you do wear earphones/ear buds, we request that you consider only plugging in "one ear" so you may be more likely to hear what�s going on around you and that you please remove the earphones/buds entirely at the start line so you may hear the instructions given and remove them entirely as you approach the finish line so you may hear the instructions given.
Q: Can I leave a drop bag?
A: Since you start and finish in the same place, we recommend leaving any bags you may want in your vehicle. We will have a drop bag area (located near the registration tables) for those who would like to leave dry clothes for after the run. We will provide bags and marking pens and we will NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR VALUABLES or any items not picked up after the race.
Q: Where can my family and friends watch the race?
A: Race spectating is possible at the start/finish line, and at approximately the 7.0 mile point on the course (when the runners go back past the start/finish). This spot is located just a short walk up the fire road from the start line. Please exercise caution when walking on the race course.
Q: Will there be Race Photos?
A: Race Photos will be taken by Robert Edington Photography. Wearing your bib number on your front side will help our photographer sort and post your photos online for easy viewing. To see a sampling of some past Valley Crest Photos, go to: robertedingtonphotography.com. Remember, if you want Robert to keep coming back, you need to buy his photos!!!
Q: Can I pre-run the course?
A: Sure! This is an easy course to run, entirely on dirt Mulholland. Go to the top of Reseda, turn right, go about 3.5 miles, turn around at Alhama Dr. and come back. When you get back to Reseda continue past on Mulholland until you reach the Nike missile base. Turn around and go back for 13 miles. The actual course will be clearly marked by race day.
Q: Is the course open to public use on race day?
A: Although the race is permitted to use the trail, the course is not closed to public use on race day. Runners should be aware that they may encounter other trail users including mountain bikers, hikers and other runners.
Q: Is there a problem with rattlesnakes?
A: There are rattlesnakes in the Santa Monica Mountains along with other assorted creatures. However, there has never been a reported problem in the run's history. Use caution and always look where you are going. Be careful!
Q: What are the rules about dogs?
A: State Park Rules - NO dogs on trails, and no dogs will be permitted in camp on race day.
Q: What about the Swag?
A: The VCHM features technical race shirts, finisher medals, and awards three-deep in five-year age divisions!
First Place Males/Females Overall win prize purses as follows:
- $300 cash prize
- Perpetual comp entry into VCHM
Sponsor Gifts & Age Division Awards will be presented the the top three males/females, as follows:
Awards, shirts and medals must be claimed on race day; they will not be mailed.
Q: When and where will the Awards Ceremony be?
A: The Awards Ceremony will begin at approximately 10:30AM at the registration area on the grass on the east side of Reseda Blvd. (across from the toilets).
Q: How do I contact the race director?
A: By mail:
PO Box 17900
Encino, CA 91416