Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Loopy 5K on the Fourth

A whole bunch of us signed up for the Redwood City Fourth of July Pre-Parade 5K. It's billed as a 5K with 40,000 people cheering you on.

Well, some do cheer, and I found that if you run with a cute seven-year-old grandkid they cheer louder, but an awful lot of the 40,000 spectators are busy trying to find the perfect spot to watch the parade and almost all want to be on the other side of the road that you are running down.

But it really is fun, and this year's version was significantly better than last year's version. For a start, the course was a true 5K distance (the previous course was significantly long). And there were timing chips. And it was clear that you had to run three loops of the one mile course, with volunteers waving signs to make sure you went the right way.

OK, another way to get people to cheer you on is to wear an arrow through your head. Especially if you are wearing a frog hat. Just saying…
Grandkid First Born was ready to rock this race! She ran with me the whole first lap - I didn't lose her until she stopped at the aid station for water. She ended up setting a PR with an astonishing 32:23 finish time. (I suspect she would have placed in her age group, but there were kids on scooters and some that I think did not run all three loops).

Grandkid Second Born also ran it this year, and also had a nice time of 36:44. His dad ran with him while Weird Haired Mom ran with GFB.

We talked the twins that were visiting from Oregon to run the race as well. Their older sister (on the right) was so stunned that they were doing this that she drove down all night just to see it (sort of - she actually came down with their parents to pick up the twins, but it really does make a better story if it was just to see them in the race).

I had no idea how they would do - I don't think either of them had ever done a race before - but was thrilled that they were giving it a shot. (Spoiler alert: One of these two *cough Aleahcim (not her real name) cough* would beat all of us handily, while the other *cough Nonnahs cough* would get beaten by GSB. By a lot.)

Once I finished, I turned around and barely caught WHM and GFB steaming across the finish line.

GSB was thrilled to be done and awfully happy with his performance - I loved it!

I didn't realize that one of the twins had already finished - I just assumed they were both still out there so I headed back out to give them encouragement (or let them use my phone to call 911 if needed). And sure enough, I found one of them and ran her into the finish.

I went back out to find the other one but found Not a Canadian instead! She had run the race and beat all of us, including the fast twin by a stunning seven seconds. (She was daring me to take an embarrassing picture of her. I did. This is the nice one though. I'm a nice guy. The other one is on Facebook.)

So I went back out again (I think by this time it was brought to my attention that the twins were both done). This left The Big Wind and Inaffit on the course, both of whom were walking it. I pointed the camera at them and told them proper race etiquette is to run for the camera. Inaffit took off and TBW just laughed.

Since the Bairds were staying to watch the parade, they had their chairs set up, with these fun notes on them.

It was a blast. Even the shirt was better than last year - a better design and it was a tech shirt! And the goody bag? Look what it had:

The grandkids had these out and in full use within seconds of being done.

It was a blast. Mrs Notthat's goal was to break 30 minutes for the first time - she did that and then some with a 28:47 finish (6th in her age group). I wanted to break 30 minutes, and did by a whole 35 seconds.

But the real winners were the schools, which is what this race raises money for. There were nearly 800 finishers (some of them in the stroller divisions), and each had a great time.

And there was almost no pre-parade horse poop to dodge!

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more pictures here.


mary ann said...

what a great time you all had!

DAK said...

You're looking quite buff there NTL even with an arrow through your head. At least you're not talking about baseball.

Beth said...

Congrats to both of you on going sub 30!! I know Diane has had that goal for a bit now, she did it with room to spare!!