Monday, January 2, 2012

Running away from the old year

Mrs Notthat surprised me by agreeing to run the Half Marathon distance in Brazen's New Year's Eve race at Lake Chabot. She has done numerous events here, but has never actually circled the lake before.

Apparently a LOT of other people also found this race attractive - It completely sold out several days early, which is the first time I can remember this happening with a Brazen race (maybe Coyote Hills last year?).

In any case, there were a LOT of people that showed up for this race (there were more than 1000 finishers). Since it was the last race of the year, Brazen used it to recognize their streakers - no, not that kind of streaker; these were runners that made it to every race this year.

The streakers got a number of perks:

• A great shadow box with medals from all of the year's races (as Nivek, not his real name, is showing above - I love the guy hiding behind him while he gets his picture taken).

• A great shirt proclaiming their coolness and streaker number.

• A GU flavor of their choice is named after them. (OK, I made that up, but how cool would that be!)

Shortly after we took off, I saw Canadian Enirehtak (not her real name or nationality) waving me over to the side. Here I am on what could be a world record pace (HA HA HA) and she wants me to stop. To give me this billboard to wear:

Amazingly, I did wear it and it stayed on my head the whole race (although I had to duck under a lot of branches).

Weird Haired Mom was hanging out at the top of The Hill, snapping pictures of the runners. Even better...

Grandkid First Born was stationed just before the 10K turnaround, reminding the 10K runners to turn around. And...

Grandkid Second Born was at the 10K aid station telling the Half runners to cross the street and keep going. I grabbed a handful of what I called Skittles. He firmly corrected me - "Those aren't Skittles grandpa. You call yourself a trail runner?" (He was right. I think they were actually Mike and Ike's. Or maybe chocolate covered raisins.)

The course was great - I've been on most of it many times before. I figured this new stretch that was added for Bad Bass, that requires you to run through a creek bed, would end up having to be detoured around for the winter races (and last year it would have been), but we've had no rain for a month so it was dry and we were able to enjoy it.

It's a great feeling to see Lake Chabot again after wandering around the eucalyptus groves and being serenaded with a 21,000 gun salute as you pass the shooting range.

This is Mrs Notthat just after the start. It was pretty cool at the start but cleared up nicely later. (Not that it got hot or anything, just a bit warmer.)

Here she is crossing the finish line. She did great at this race, handily beating me.

And here I am getting near the finish line - thrilled to have made it this far without falling or getting lost. Brave but kind Enirehtak met me about a half mile from the finish to make sure I really did wear that thing. She was horrified by how slow I was moving though - she worked really hard to get me to go faster, and probably shaved several minutes off my time.

Here is the shirt and the medal.

For the first time, Brazen set up races on two consecutive days - New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. If you complete a race each day, you get a third medal to tie the other two together. This bonus bling likely had a lot to do with the large crowds, and you'll get to see it in my next post, which I'll try to get done tomorrow.

That's it - move along...for now

PS: Here is a link to a bunch of pictures I took.


Enirehtak said...

Great race and a great read. For the record I was NOT horrified. I was actually impressed by how fast you could run at the end of a very hilly half marathon!

DAK said...

You guys have a lot to be thankful for. Hard work and fun are hard to beat.

notthatlucas said...

Enirehtak - you need a much simpler name. Maybe for now on you will be "Not a Canadian" (NAC for short). And you are too kind (and lying just a bit).

DAK - You are right that we have SO much to be thankful for! The fact that we have managed to stay injury-free (mostly) is amazing. It really is hard at times, but the feeling when you are done is unbeatable. I do dream of dragging you and Mrs TGP out to one of these events - not so much as a race but as an organized tour of a park. With bling at the end.

NAC said...

I forgot to mention - that is a beautiful photo of Mrs Notthat crossing the line. A new FB profile pic?