A couple weeks ago, I won an entry to this race from my friend Renee.
Then my craptastic San Francisco Half happened, and of course I immediately thought my fast days were behind me and I was doomed to never PR again. I took the week pretty easy, doing lots of slow runs with the stroller and a hilly 16 mile trail run with Aron the day before this race.
I got out of bed at 6 AM Sunday morning and my legs were pretty sore from all the tough miles the day before. I made it to Crissy Field and did a very easy 1 mile warm up. My legs still felt pretty dead, and when we lined up at the start, I told my friends I’d probably run about 23 minutes.
When the gun went off, I took off with the crowd and immediately felt like my heart was beating way too fast. I tried to concentrate on controlling my breathing. My legs, surprisingly, felt awesome, and I was shocked to go through the first mile in 6:42.
I was determined not to look at my watch and just run by feel. The turn-around was just past the Warming Hut near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The last part of the course was on a flat packed gravel path with the wind at our backs. I was trying my hardest not to think about how far the finish was, just to keep putting one foot in front of the other as fast as I could.
After what felt like an eternity, I saw the 3 mile marker and turned a corner to the finish line about 100 meters away. The clock was still under 21, so I ran as hard as I could, hoping I could sneak in just under my PR of 20:54. My garmin said 20:53, and they announced my time as 20:52, so I DID get a new PR! I was also first in my age group and 3rd woman overall. Gotta love those tiny races!
This was an incredibly well-run race, especially considering it was their first. It started on time, the course was very well-marked, and it was chip-timed, so results were posted really quickly. It measured exactly 3.10 on my Garmin, which almost never happens! They had a great raffle at the end, and really good post-race food (not that you need much re-fueling after a 5K, but it’s always nice to have around). Plus they gave out medals for the top 3 in each age group!
Big thanks to RoadBunner for all the photos!