Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coldest winter a summer in San Francisco?

Not today.

Mrs Notthat, Weird Haired Mom, and I did the Zombie Runner/Coastal Trail Runs San Francisco race today.

Honestly, I didn't want to do this. We just got back on Tuesday from a trip to Colorado where I did a Full Marathon, and I felt like a weekend off would be good. Also, this race was in San Francisco, which is always cold and infested with bad drivers and no parking. And lastly, it had a bit more pavement than I like in my trail races.

But Mrs Notthat and WHM both REALLY wanted to do it, and I like doing Zombie Runner/Coastal events, and it was in an area that could be interesting - the clincher was that the longest distance was a Half Marathon, which I should be able to easily do (even with the 1000' of elevation). And it was at sea level.

I told you - I really didn't want to do this race! You can't make me! (Actually, I think I was warming up.) A couple of things:

• The weather was STUNNING - I did not see that coming at all.
• Traffic and parking were little to no trouble.
• The views were fantastic - way better than I had thought they would be.

The three of us before the race started. The Bridge sneaking into the picture as well.

The Half started first and headed away from The Bridge for a short out and back.

Once we turned around, this was the view we got to run towards.

A fun thing was that most of us Half runners were able to run past the 10K runners before they started their race (we had gone 1.9 miles at this point).

The one blemish on an otherwise great race (and for me, not much of a blemish, and for WHM, no blemish at all since she actually paid attention to the course ribbons, and not the mass of people heading the wrong way) - there was a turn fairly early that a LOT of people missed. You didn't go very far though before you knew something was wrong. I knew we had to go under The Bridge, and this looked like a good way to do it, except this road doesn't go under the bridge at all.

After making the turn, se headed up the steps. A LOT of steps. This course had a lot of this sort of thing, and weirdly, I handled them well (for me, anyway).

Getting ready to go under The Bridge.

The view under The Bridge.

There was a wide variety of trail types on this race. The single-track, like this, was easily my favorite.

Enirehtak (not her real name) smiling because: A) She has already hit the 10K turnaround and is headed back to the finish line, and B) She REALLY loves running in sand (HA!).

Mrs Notthat has also just turned around and is heading to the finish line and loving the sand.

Once we passed the 10K turnaround aid station (picture to come later, I promise), we had to spend a bit of time on residential streets. Not as good as a trail, but not as bad as I had thought it would be, and it was fairly short.

Back on the trails and looking over my shoulder. I can't believe how small The Bridge looks now - can I have really gone that far?

The Cliff House, which means the Half turnaround is coming up! Yay!

The aid station at the Half turnaround - I've gone 7.7 miles and only have 5.4 miles to go. I still have a mild chance at a PR, but my legs are feeling a bit heavy after last week's fun. But I should easily beat 3 hours and the 3.5 hours time limit.

The 10K turnaround aid station/beach play area. At this point, I only have 3.1 miles (a 5K and 5Ks are easy, right?) left. Unfortunately, a heel blister that I had forgotten about from last weekend started to raise its voice a bit. But I was still fairly strong, so I took off and still managed to run the places I should have.

The finish line! I was pooped by this point. I had pushed a bit harder than maybe I should have, but I did it in about 2:50 or so, and felt happy to have done it.

Mrs Notthat also did very well, and by all indications, had a great time.

The shirt, goodie bag contents (nice!), bib, and medal from today's event.

So in the end, I'm REALLY glad I was talked into doing this race. It was WAY more fun and cool than I had expected. Everyone - the Zombies, Coastal people, fantastic volunteers, and all the runners - was great and made this an amazing event.

Next weekend I really don't have a race to do - instead, I will be at the Last Chance aid station (about mile 43) for the Western States 100 mile trail race. If you are running this, stop by and say "hello!"

That's it - move along...

PS: You can see a LOT more pictures from today here. It's worth it - there are a lot of really nice pictures of The Bridge and other runners.


DAK said...

The thing I don't get is how do you go under the bridge and not end up in China or at least the Farallons? Now THAT would be a triathlon we could talk about. Five mile run, 8,950 mile swim, then a short bicycle ride to Tibet. For this you get a t-shirt.

Beth said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear about next weekend! I bet you will have some great stories after aiding at Western States!

mary ann said...

I couldn't picture this coastal run before, because I know Crissy Field so well, but I've never taken those 5,000 steps. What beautiful photos and congrats to you guys for this run!