Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Drag n Fly n Swim?

The Brazen Drag n Fly Half Marathon (DNF to me) has a special place in my heart. A deep dark, somewhat bitter place since it's only the second race I've gotten a DNF due to a missed a cutoff.

I began planning my revenge on the Half course within minutes of finding out that my race was done last year, and ticked off the days until I would bring that course to its knees.

And then ended up signing up for the 10K.

Mrs Notthat and I ran the Palo Alto Moonlight 10K race the night before DNF, and wisdom pointed out that trying to run a tough Half a few hours later would be unwise. (I did that once before, and thankfully there were no cutoffs that year.) Running the DNF 10K proved to be a wise move on our part.

Ymmat, not her real name, is going to make me pay for posting this picture. But it makes me giggle. And it begs for a humorous caption.
There had been a small chance for rain at our race the night before. There was a much better chance for our race today. DNF is known for being a hot course - most of it is very exposed and usually drenched in relentless sunshine. But today it was cloudy and a bit cool. Perfect for running the Half. (Heavy sigh…)

A HUGE surprise was seeing Coach Luap (not his real name) out there trying to steal this pan of bananas. It turns out he was actually signed up to run the Half, but found out once he arrived that his hydration pack was sitting comfortably at home. So rather than pout or stomp off home, he decided to steal a pan of bananas. (Actually, he decided to volunteer in the food area. He wasn't actually stealing these bananas but sorting them alphabetically.)

This is from shortly after we started - note the complete lack of trees. But also note the scattered clouds, which provided a lot of relief for us.

Lliw (not his real name) making sure go the right way up the hill.
The 10K course is a figure 8 that uses mostly different trails than those used on the Half course. This added some fun since it was largely new to us. The above picture is from the middle of the "8" - we would return here after climbing a couple of hills.

This is looking back as we are coming to the top of the warm up hill. Note that the clouds are a lot fiercer behind us than ahead of us.

From the top of the warm up hill, we dash down to the first aid station (mile 1.8). Half runners turned right at this aid station when they came through earlier - 10K runners go straight. Whichever way you go, you end up at a Main Event Hill.

The 10K Main Event Hill is not steep, but it is long and takes forever to climb.

Back at the middle of the "8" - the Brazen Rabbit is with Spokes in the center, and she seems ready to stop me if I had decided to take another shot at that hill. She needn't have worried. 
Once you reach the top of that hill you have a long stretch of downhill - it's a happy day!

As the trail flattens out, you make a left and start on a series of minor hills that were much tougher than they deserved to be.

The start/finish area sits near a small lake and is tantalizingly close. The 5K and 10K runners have to run around that lake though, so we're not quite done yet. And note that the clouds are getting more serious by the moment.

The second aid station, mile 5, was determined to get me hydrated.

I had never run around this lake before, so I was looking forward to it. I especially like running on dams, so this view was pretty exciting.

Before I knew it, I was being herded to the finish line by Mrs Brazen.

I had hoped to finish my 10K before anyone finished the Half, but I failed - two managed to do a lot more "flying" than "dragging" and cross before I did. But they didn't get to tour the lake, so I still won.

Kid Karaoke (who was second overall in the 5K) and Mrs Notthat showing off their  first place age group medals. Note also the massive finisher medals!
Mrs Notthat easily beat me, and even better, won her age group! (She was actually a little less that five minutes faster than me, but I ended up 5th in my age group. I would have had to finish nearly 20 minutes faster just to get 3rd - tough age group!)

Retep (not his real name) explaining how steep some of the hills were on the Half course. He wasn't exaggerating (much).

The shirt and medal were awesome. It was fun to run the 10K course, and to understand how tough it is.

Photo by Brazen. Very moist volunteers in the post-race cleanup.
As it turned out, the clouds were still just threatening when we left to get lunch in Antioch. Not long after we left though, there was a massive downpour and the dusty course quickly turned into a muddy mess (East Bay mud is infamous for its tenacity at sticking to your shoes). Huge props to all those still on the course that slogged through that mess to get to the finish. Huger props to all the volunteers and race workers that also had to deal with the deluge.

And a pat on our back for wisely settling on the 10K, which allowed us to watch the rain while eating hot and sour soup.

That's it - move along…

PS: Here is a link to more of my pictures.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Love those pictures, it's so pretty!
Except for the heavy rain that day. That was not pretty.
The medal envy has set in