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RACE REPORT: NIKE RUN HIT WONDER 10k
written by: Rachel Saks
posted: 2/19/03


What exactly is the Nike Run Hit Wonder 10K?  Take a beautiful 68-degree Sunday morning, six one hit wonder bands, a 6.2-mile course around Hollywood, California, and Nike as the lead sponsor, and you've got it!

The starting area in front of Hollywood High School was packed with more than 7,000 runners all wearing candy apple red "run LA" dryfit race t-shirts with race numbers silk screened on the front.  Danny Bonaduce, the former Partridge Family redhead turned pseudo-star talk show host, welcomed us and led the starting line festivities.  My friend Laura and I weren't sure what to expect, but the line up was to include: A Flock of Seagulls, C + C Music Factory ("Everybody Dance Now!"), Anamotion, Gerardo (read on to see what he sings!), Stephen Pearcy (former original lead singer of RATT.of course!?!), and Missing Persons.  We were really looking forward to the nostalgic riffs to carry us through the course.

After a Jimi Hendrix-esque national anthem by the guitarist for Anamotion, the gun sounded and we were off!  You can only imagine the energy.  About 2/3 of a mile into the course down Sunset Blvd. we could hear the first band in the distance - A Flock of Seagulls.  You guessed it, they were playing, "And I rah-ah-an, I ran so far away-ay-ay...".  OK, I know that you're wondering about the hairdos, aren't you?  Well, the coifs were gone but the music sounded great.  The two singers had long curly hair hanging out from the back of baseball caps (maybe there wasn't much hair left on top to do those hairdos from the MTV videos?).  We didn't have too much time to slow down and look because we had all been instructed at the start not to stop and listen to the bands since that would cause a traffic jam.  Luckily, my brother Andy was at the race with us and stood next to the band cheering us on, taking pictures, and listening to the tunes.

OK, off to the next mile and band.  What band would be next? C+C Music Factory.  The singer was kind of lame as she was not singing the hit but we amused ourselves by singing it anyway ("Everybody Dance Now. bamp, bamp, bamp, bamp, bamp.").  Since the first part of the course was an out and back, we got a second dose of A Flock of Seagulls - a real treat.  Next we headed for mile three.  After a run down the street with the Hollywood Stars on the sidewalks, up came the next one hit wonder - Gerardo.  Have you guessed his gig yet?  If you guessed, "Rico..Suave", you got it.  Complete with a bandana on his head and a bare chest, he was pumpin' out the tune.  Was all this for real?

Just after the mile four marker, a faint beat could be heard down the road.  Then the words became clear, "You are an obsession, you're my obsession.".  Anamotion!  The blond lead singer was belting it out.  Seemed to us that they were playing only that song because it ended as we approached their stage and then they started it up again as we ran by.  I guess that's why they were invited to this 6.2 mile party.  This was all too funny.

Mile five.  Andy was there with camera in hand.  And, there was Stephen Pearcy and his band totally rockin'.  Now, I couldn't tell you a RATT song to save my life, but I do know that this band was L-O-U-D.  Laura and I pumped our fists into the air and the lead singer looked right at us as we jogged by, shimmied, and pulled back his fire-patterned leather jacket to reveal his bare chest.  We squealed.  Hysterical.  I still couldn't tell you what songs this band plays.  Then my brother Andy jumped into the race with us and snapped some more photos of us running - this is Hollywood afterall, right?

Mile six.  Finish line in sight.  We dug deep and finished strong amongst a sea of red T-shirts.  Medals for all finishers were in the shape of CDs, of course.  Then Laura, Andy, and I reconvened on the Hollywood High School field in front of the stage for the sixth and final band - Missing Persons.  The lead singer didn't perform in one of the racy outfits seen on MTV in the 80s, but she sure had the funky stuff/colors in her hair and the little hiccup sounding "ay" thrown into the songs.  The set included "What are words for", "Destination Unknown", and of course the finale, "Walking in LA.walking in LA -ay, Nobody walks in LA."  I felt like I was in a time capsule.  The event was truly the definition of a fun run where you don't care about your time because you are having too much fun.  Photos forthcoming.

This race was the first Nike One Hit Wonder 10K, but they will be back next year for sure - and I bet they are taking requests!