Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bay to Breakers 12k - 5/15/11

I debated whether or not I should even write about this since my participation was hardly that of a runner. Ultimately though, it was a race that I took part in, so here goes my half-assed write up. Having done the whole drinking and dressing up thing in previous years, I figured I should actually run it once, and what better one to do then its' centennial. It was a good thought, but the problem was in the execution. By the time I decided this, the only corral open was the second to last walking corral which had an estimated finishing time of over two hours.

Knowing that I wasn't actually going to get to run it for real, my excitement level for this race was low. It didn't help that the weather forecast was cold and wet, and that I knew it was going to be a complete shit show. However, I was going to run it anyway, especially after one of my friends talked some sense into me and told me it would be fun no matter what, and that I needed to have a better attitude about it. So I did.

I met Emily at her house, and Rob kindly drove us to our 8:15a starting location. As we were driving down to the Embarcadero, you could already see runners in the actually "running" corrals, which started at 7a, running through the park nearing the finish. It kind of made me laugh that we were still 20 minutes away from even starting the race, and here people were already finishing. That was supposed to be me, but I had no one to blame but myself.

I think we started the race around 8:20a with the masses. Emily and I started off in a light jog, and not 10 minutes in, we ran into some of our old soccer teammates and friends who we had planned to meet up with after the race. We stopped to chat awhile, but being that they were walking, Emily and I eventually pushed on, running where we could. We decided not to dress up because the goal was to actually run it. I had thought about dressing up in my "Where's Waldo" costume anyway, but was glad I didn't when I saw them all over the place. Waldo was pretty easy to find that day.

As we neared the Hayes Street hill, we started to catch up with all the crowds of people, and by that I mean all the folks who were dressed up and drinking. It started to get really thick with people just hanging out listening to the music from all the house parties. Not many people were running, and those of us trying to were basically running on the sidewalks to try to avoid everyone else. When we came into Golden Gate Park, it spaced out slightly because most of the drunks were behind us at this point. After running into a co-worker and stopping to say hi, we cruised to the finish with a speedy chip time of 1:36. That's a 13 min/mile. Awesome.

While the race didn't turn out like I had planned, I did end up having a lot of fun. I'd say we walked half of it, and ran the other half, and the part we did run was slow. It was a nice change to be able to walk/run a race at such a casual pace. Being a part of it all, enjoying all the costumes and the craziness, and getting to catch up with Emily, made it worth it. Out of all the people in costumes, I was a fan of the guys who all dressed up as bacon and then flopped themselves on the ground every once in awhile to sizzle. Emily's favorite must have been the muppets with the exceptional costumes. After all, who doesn't like a giant Beaker. And thankfully, the naked people were at a minimum this year compared to previous years.

After the race, instead of hiking all the way back up to the middle of the park where footstock was going on, we went and grabbed some sandwiches and I enjoyed some of Rob's fantastic IPA while hanging out at the animal farm (aka Em and Rob's house). I think the birds and Sunny were happy to have us there. Had I not been oncall, I may have had more motivation to participate in all the festivities, but that combined with a few previous late nights really just made me want to take a nap. And that's exactly what I did. Perhaps one of these years I'll actually get my act together and register early enough to really run it, but maybe this isn't a race I'm meant to run.

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