Weird Haired Mom (WHM, mother of the grandkids) and I joined 622 other people at the Brazen Racing Bay Breeze event in San Leandro, along the shore of San Francisco Bay. (Mrs Notthat had a previous engagement and was unable to come along, although given the cold wind, she would have been miserable there.)
I picked up WHM at 7:30. I knew she had done something "special" to her hair the night before, but this was my first real look at it. Weird Haired Mom indeed! (But she was easy to find in a crowd.)
The medals table. Everybody gets a finisher medal (actually, they ran about 3 or 4 short - I think there was a bigger turnout than expected - a much bigger turnout than the previous two races I have run with them). There are also medals for overall winners as well as medals for the top three finishers in each age group. Bling for all!
Yak (not her real name) volunteered at the t-shirt station. I took this to prove that she really worked hard at this station. Volunteers score a t-shirt and a free race later.
Uidualc (who did not officially participate, but did go along for the walk just for fun) and WHM returning from putting our goody bags and shirts in the car.
This is a hacked together view of the area where you picked up your bibs, timing chips, shirts, and food. As usual, everything went smoothly - the lines were quick and everything was waiting for you. (By the way, I completely failed to get a porta-pottie, or any kind of a bathroom picture. I know how heartbroken you are. Sorry.)
Number 345 is Anert (love that name with my super-secret code!) who is also from San Jose Fit. Each race (half, 10K, and 5K) had different color bibs this time, which was a nice touch. Anert walked the 10K and WHM the 5K.
The walking SJ Fitters - me, Anrol, Ahtreb, and Anert.
Notice how perky we all are. That's mostly because this is a massively fun thing to do, but it's also because we are in a sheltered area and don't know there is a cold wind ahead of us.
Nod is also a walking SJ Fitter, but he was keen to get started and was already at the starting line.
Also joining us were Aicram (number 56) and Aleakim (not in this picture) who you might remember from the Jan 2nd New Years Run at Lake Chabot. The guy on the left was a friend of theirs who I promised to give a hard time to since he did not hang around for Aicram to finish.
The Half Marathoners getting ready to head out.
Aicram and Aleakim both started out running, which meant they were way ahead of me. Aicram started walking after a bit, and I managed to pass her. She was still going at a pretty good clip though.
The trail was dry and fast. The mud to the side of parts of the trail really reminded me of the Bear Creek event. I swear several runners looked longingly at this mud.
Coach Luap (to the left) also volunteered for this race, manning the aid station at the 10K turnaround point. He was very busy slinging water and sports drink when I passed by.
The only vaguely muddy spot on the whole trail.
Finally a picture of Aleakim. This was an "out-and-back" trail - she was flying at this point, already having turned around and streaking towards the finish line.
Finally I reached the turn around point. I grabbed a handful of M&Ms (which I swear were frozen solid). Most of the trail along the shore of the bay is unprotected, and was hit with a fairly bitter, cold wind. While that was annoying to us runners/walkers, it was worse for the volunteers at the aid stations who had to just stand there and could not do much moving to warm up.
Once I turned around, I started seeing the others that were behind me. Here is Uidualc. I'm pretty sure he had not even noticed the cold.
The next person I ran into was Aicram. She was still going strong and perky, but was having a bit of pain. (That face is the result of the cold - sorry Aicram).
Then came Nod, who also did not appear to notice the cold.
Then came Ahtreb, who is impervious to the weather.
And then there was Anrol - the only one smart enough in our group to wear gloves. I was intensely jealous (and a bit stupid since my gloves were sitting in a nice warm car - I was sure I didn't need them).
My wildly optimistic goal had been to finish in under three hours - my time turned out to be 3:00:35! I can't believe I got so close (although I cheated a bit by jogging for the last few hundred yards). In any case, Anert and Yak were waiting at the finish line.
WHM then joined me at the finish line. Note her yellow shirt - the men got gray shirts and the women got these yellow shirts.
After the picture, WHM quickly put my Jayhawks sweatshirt back on...
...and ate another donut. There was a nice spread at the end of the race (as usual).
Next to finish was Nod.
Then came Ahtreb, still perky.
Followed by Anrol, also perky, and inexplicably carrying one of the mile marker signs as a souvenir.
A cool thing was that all the SJ Fitters (along with some of the Brazen people) hung around to cheer for everyone as they finished.
And last (but by far not least) came Aicram. Word had gotten to us that she was struggling and in pretty severe pain. But she was determined to finish standing up, and she did. It was a great moment when she crossed the finish line, as you can see on Aleakim's face.
And that was it. Here is the men's shirt and the medal (WHM noticed there was both a pink and a blue sea creature - one for each grandkid!).
The event was a LOT of fun, although I will add "a cold wind" to the list of things that walkers/runners care about at these events (the others being hills, rain, and mud).
Ahtreb cleverly came up with this being the "Bay Freeze" event. What made the cold a bit harsh was that it was relatively nice at the start line, so many did not take as much warm clothing as they would have if they had known how cold the wind would be. We should have guessed that though - it's cold along the bay even in the summer.
I was thrilled that WHM had a good time and is looking forward to doing this again.
That's it - move along...